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Exploring Another Side of Hong Kong: The Impoverished in Sham Shui Po

Exploring Another Side of Hong Kong: The Impoverished in Sham Shui Po

A cosmopolitan city with glitzy skyscrapers and vibrant nightlife – it is how Hong Kong was presented to tourists and foreigners.  Is it really the case?  Residents in Sham Shui Po may tell you another story.  Being one of the poorest districts in Hong Kong, Sham Shui Po is densely packed with cramped and shabby flats.  Christopher Hams, a visiting student from Australia, got a different perspective of the district by participating in CEDARS’s “Think Global, Act Local” Community Engagement Programme for the Underprivileged in Sham Shui Po.

Studying social work at university, Chris hopes that what he has learnt can be put into practice in real life.  Instead of simply attending lectures, he would like to make learning more engaging by stepping out of the classroom and paying a visit to homes of the grassroots.  As he put it, “I joined this programme as I want to acquire some practical knowledge of social problems.  I hope I can apply what I have learnt in Hong Kong, and at the same time take Hong Kong’s experiences back to Australia.”  With limited proficiency in Cantonese, Chris was a bit held up by the language barrier, which hindered him from understanding the residents better.  Still, he had a good time playing games with kids, teaching them homework and distributing food to the residents.

Chris also thought that this programme mutually benefits both himself and the underprivileged.  On one hand, his visit could provide the disadvantaged with an insight into tertiary education, particularly in the activity “On My Way to HKU”, in which campus tour was organized for children to have a taste of university life.  On the other hand, he got a better grasp of event management skills.  “I want to set up an NGO in the future, so the skills of organizing voluntary activities are exceptionally useful to me,” he said.

Written by:
Katie Yu
Year 4, Faculty of Arts
April 2018

 

Exploring Another Side of Hong Kong: The Impoverished in Sham Shui Po