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A Big Dream

A Big Dream

When Tiffany Tay visited Columbia, she walked into a slum which was packed with shabby housing in poor hygienic conditions.  She was surprised by the fact that the slum was not far from the commercial area.  It only took her five minutes to walk from heaven to hell.   
 
During the Joint University Study and Cultural Tour held by University YMCA (HKU), students visited Peru and Colombia for two weeks during the summer break.  The programme consisted of three parts, including sightseeing, cultural exchange and service learning.  In the service learning part, HKU students got a chance to walk into the red-light district and deliver care and love from Hong Kong to Colombian children.   
 
However, without the help of local volunteers, services in Columbia and Peru would not be carried out smoothly.  Language was the main barrier between Hong Kong students and the local community.  Translation service provided by local volunteers bridged the two parties together.
 
Students had a deep reflection on their role in society while exchanging thoughts with Columbian volunteers.  Local volunteers whom Tiffany collaborates with received help from YMCA before.  “They believe that they had taken from the institution, so they want to repay the society via YMCA as much as they can,” said Tiffany.  “I now understand that I should not take things for granted.  I am looking for more service opportunities.”
 
Tiffany is astounded by Columbian’s dedication to their nation.  She witnessed their excitement when the country entered Round 16 of FIFA World Cup 2018.  All shops were closed, national flags were swung, and people ran to the streets to support their country.  Local volunteers were also passionate about Columbia’s future.  They have already had plans to make their country a better place even though they are college students only.  The dream is big, but it is worth trying.  “Their passion inspires me to carry out an actual plan to achieve what I really want.” said Tiffany.
 
Written by:
Clare Wong
Year 3, Faculty of Arts
January 2019

 

A Big Dream