Service as Action Reflection

How did you become more aware of your own strengths and areas for growth?

As a member of The Reading Tree, I became aware of my own strengths and areas for growth through participating in Kids4Kids sessions where I read, played, and taught English to local children. From this, I became more aware of my strengths with children, as I was able to interact with them communicate effectively with them despite the children not knowing much English. I did this by using more simple English words that would allow them to understand the activities we are doing, and talk to them by asking questions about themselves, such as what’s their favourite colour. This allowed me to develop a strong connection with them, and let them feel more comfortable around us. Furthermore, since this year was my first year doing this type of service, at first I didn’t know what to expect, but after going a few times, I enjoy doing service with them, as it gives me an opportunity to connect with our local community. I think that for my areas of growth, I need to be less shy when approaching the children, and be able to have more control with them by adapting my behaviour depending on their personalities and character.

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This was the email sent out as a reminder, and the names are crossed out for privacy reasons.

How did you undertake challenges that developed new skills?

I took a continuous first aid course for a total of 30 hours, and the whole concept of first aid was a challenge to me as I was not familiar with it, but I was interested in finding out more. During the course, I had trouble with remembering how to do some of the bandaging, as we needed to know how to do this for the exam of our first aid certificate, and got confused as to which type of bandaging I had to do for different situations. However, because of these challenges, I listened carefully to the presentations, asked questions, and additionally practiced some of the more challenging types of bandaging at home. This allowed me to develop a new skill, as I know how to do CPR and bandaging for different situations, gained a deeper understanding of first aid, and as a result, got my first aid certificate.

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My first aid certificate that I received after completing the exam

How did you discuss, evaluate and plan student-initiated activities?

As a member of UNICEF, I helped plan the bake sales we did this year. Since I was part of the fundraising sector, I discussed and helped organize logistics regarding what goods we were going to bake, the price for each good, volunteers at the booth etc. With everyone’s enthusiastic contribution and effort to baking and being at the booth on the day, we were able to have a successful bake sale. This was successful due to the money we earned and donated to Mother’s Choice.

During a CAS week trip to Chang Rai, Thailand, we went to one of the schools to interact with the local children. Before we went, I helped discuss and contribute ideas as to what games we should play with the children when we arrive, and thought of what we could give them as presents. We organized a stationery collection drive, where anyone in the school could donate any type of stationery, and we brought it to the kids as resources they can use at school. When we arrived at the school, we played games such as soccer, jump rope, and a huge parachute, and it was overall a very memorable experience that has stuck to my mind. I think this was successful because despite our language differences, we were able to make the children happy by playing with them, and they were sad to see us leave.

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Using the huge parachute to play games with the children

How did you persevere in action?

I persevered in action when I was a volunteer for UNICEF’s Family Fun Fair booth, as I am currently a member of the club. We initially planned to make and sell cotton candy, but before we opened the booth, we found out that the cotton candy machine was not working. As there were around five of us at the booth, we had to act quickly as some were trying to fix the machine, and some were trying to come up with alternate solutions if the machine wouldn’t work. In the end, we could not get the cotton candy machine to work, so our solution was to sell hot chocolate as our product instead, which was an appropriate alternative for everyone.

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My friend and I who volunteered for the UNICEF Family Fun Fair booth

How did you work collaboratively with others?

I worked collaboratively with others when I volunteered for the UNICEF Poverty Simulation. This simulation consisted of various booths with activities which would allow the CDNIS Grade 4 students feel how poverty and being discriminated is like, thus giving them an insight of our world today. The booth I was in charge of was the “store” booth, where if a group of G4 students had enough money from the other booths, they are allowed to buy an item from the store depending on how much they had. The prices of the goods were more expensive, which allowed the students to have a sense of what people in less economically developed countries lives are like. Not only was I required to work with my fellow club members who also volunteered to ensure the whole simulation ran smoothly, but also with the Grade 4 students, in order to make sure they had fun whilst learning about the message we want to convey.

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Group picture with some of the UNICEF club members and the Grade 4 students after a successful simulation

How did you develop international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism and intercultural understanding?

I was able to develop international-mindedness in various service opportunities that I have completed. In UNICEF, I was able to get a better idea of the United Nations, as well as the Millennium Development Goals that are related to our mission. In The Reading Tree, I was able to communicate with local children who knew minimal English through Kids4Kids.

During CAS week this year, I went to Fujian, China. This allowed me to develop international-mindedness as I didn’t know much about the culture, but I learned that the people live in these houses called tulous, and we were lucky enough to help some families repair their houses by making our own cement and putting them in the gaps of the tulous, as they are made out of mud bricks, which can deform after a period of time. I understood their culture more through this experience, as well as the living conditions and environment in Fujian.

As a member of the 1st Hong Kong Canadian Scout Group, every year in December there is a Canadian Commemorative Ceremony which I participate in. Each year, we each lay a poppy on a grave to remember those who fought for Hong Kong. This year, I was lucky enough to be part of the three people who help raise the Canadian flag at the ceremony, and since I have participated in this since 2010, I was able to feel even more connected to our school and our community as a whole.

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Flag raise at the Canadian Commemorative Ceremony at the Sai Wan War Cemetery, December 2016

How did you consider the ethical implications of your actions?

I think that all that all the service that I have done has influenced my target group for the better, as I was able to achieve something for various communities that go beyond Hong Kong.

When I went to Taiwan for the Mandarin Immersion Trip our school hosted, I did community service by visiting and performing to elderly home in Kaohsiung. I performed the diabolo, which was a new skill I learned, a skit, and left handwritten messages for the elders before we left. Even though what we did was not life-changing and was quite small, I still think we were able to achieve something for this community, as they clapped along to our performances, and were very enthusiastic, hence making them feel happy and entertain them.

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Certificate received for performance and dedication to the Elders

I was a Junior Student Ambassador from 2013-2015, where I was able to work closely with the school community and create a better welcoming environment for new students. We organized orientations before school officially started so the new students can get familiar with the school, and held various events throughout the year to ensure a smooth transition, and that they were involved. By doing this, we were able to provide new students with people they could go to and trust while being new at CDNIS, and provide them with a place of support, where they would be welcomed any time.

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Junior Student Ambassadors Photo