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In Grade 9, my friends and I decided to participate in a Bread Run. It’s a project made by the non-profit Food Bank Charity Feeding Hong Kong where volunteers such as ourselves can aid the Food Bank in the collection of fresh food from stores that have not sold out all their fresh produce yet. A Food Bank act as a storage and collection point for perishable and nonperishable food, they work hand in hand with food distribution charities that distribute the otherwise wasted foods to the ones in need.
I addressed Learning Outcome Number Six during the run: By developing international-mindedness through global engagement, multilingualism, and intercultural understanding.
Throughout the entire Bread Run, I needed to engage with local Hong Kong people. I’m not the most proficient at Cantonse and I don’t spend enough time interacting with local Hong Kong people and understanding their culture. ( Although in a sense it is my culture as well as I grew up in Hong Kong just in an international school environment. ) I practiced my Cantonese by conversing with shopkeepers when I needed to collect the food and passersby when I was asking for direction. I gained a better understanding of Hong Kong’s streets, as I needed to travel to many different destinations, outside of where I normally would travel to. Overall it was a fun and eye-opening experience.
Every year our school holds a Family Fun Fair, one which I used to attend as a lower school student. Now, as an upper school student, I’ve taken up the role of being a volunteer for my club, Orbis, to help raise funds for the nonprofit Orbis. If you don’t already know, Orbis is an international non-profit organization that aids with preventing preventable blindness in impoverished areas by ensuring them access to quality eye care.
During the fair, we sold drinks and color changing Orbis mugs. I volunteered to help set up the stands and manned the stand for the first hour. Of course, this was a group effort and with instructions from our club executives, everyone headed off to complete their assigned tasks. Some went to collect the drinks, others began unpackaging the ice; some went to hang up posters, others began preparing our stall. It was a group effort, and quickly we had the stand ready to operate. Then, with five friends behind one stand and a few other’s attracting potential customers, things became hectic. Juggling between exchanging money, keeping track of the items sold, pouring drinks, and collecting ice, if it weren’t for everyone it the group having their own specific role, the stand would have been really messy.
This addressed our fifth Service as Action learning outcome: How did you work collaboratively with others?
I think it’s a combination of good leadership, everyone having their own task, and good communication between members for the stand to work.
This month, I spent a week in Vietnam and stayed in a faraway village to help them lay a concrete ground for their local elementary school’s playground. Our accommodations were clean and comfortable, although it took some time for us to get used to.
During this week I addressed the fourth learning outcome: Persevering in action.
I’m not a very active person and I generally avoided labor work, so labor services such as the one on this trip are always a challenge. I think I persevered in giving all my effort during service work; be it shoveling rocks and sand, passing weighted buckets, mixing the materials to create cement, transporting the cement to skilled workers, and planting profitable trees for the elementary. I tried to take as little and short breaks as possible and I volunteer to take over a weary friend’s work. It was really hard to pull through, with the heavy weights in the buckets, with the soreness that comes with shoveling, and the blazing sun above me but I persevered and still tried to complete the work to the best of my abilities.