Last May, Chan Sui Kau Hall held a meaningful study tour to Bangkok, Thailand. We visited Friends For All Children (FFAC), an orphanage in Bangkok, and sent can rings to the Prostheses Foundation Of H.R.H. The Princess Mother for prostheses creation.
All of us participants were determined to make a change from the very start of this trip. We tried our best to get involved in as much preparation work as possible–from handling can ring donations and encouraging residents to donate money, stationery or toys at lobby counters to the planning of voluntary services. It was especially meaningful because our entire team got to develop a better understanding of the meaning behind the trip. For most study tours or voluntary basics trips, participants only became involved to contribute during the trip. But for this project, we all found the preparation stage an excellent learning process.
I remember from the day of departure, we had to figure out ways to packed all collected toys and stationery into our luggage together as some were too large and bulky. Though it was time- and effort-consuming, we managed to pack up as much donated goods as possible, hoping to take them all to those in need.
The day we visited the orphanage was very hot. We had to carry our heavy goods to the orphanage with care. It was really exhausting. However, when we arrived and gave out those “new” toys to our 10 children, bright grins and smiles lighted up their faces by instant. It was difficult to imagine how happy they were from receiving our second-hand toys. In the orphanage, we also greeted a volunteer from UK who aimed to serve on a long-term basis. This visit had really allowed me to feel the need of the abandoned children. They obviously needed more care from the society. I was enlightened to think more about how to support passionate people in performing long-term services. I even thought of raise awareness of this situation to the government so that those abandoned children could have a better environment to grow up.
Another meaningful part of this trip was our visit to the Can Rings Donation Point. Can rings are useless to most people and are often trashed away after use. However, this tiny little thing could be a grace to the needy. As they are seldom painted, can rings make the perfect material for prosthesis. We tried to contact different parties for can rings collection as no organisations in Hong Kong provided similar services. We had received tons of can rings. It was beyond imagination. When we arrived at the Donation Point, we almost filled up their whole donation box! The emptiness of the original box indicated that the general public did not have much awareness about this type of recycling. It reminded me of how this also plays true in Hong Kong where people care more about the economics than the environment. This inspired me to think more of how to make good use of the waste we discard.
Besides voluntary works, our team also got to explore different aspects and faces of Bangkok. The most unforgettable places I visited include the Train Market and the Water Market. They were quite unique because we do not have them in Hong Kong. While there are also many special and attractive places for us to explore in Hong Kong, we do not always have the time, mood and space allowing us to enjoy our environment as much as we did in Bangkok.
In conclusion, Thailand is a good place for students to visit. The living expenses in Thailand are relatively low which is affordable to most university students. I hope that I can have more meaningful trips like this around the world. Travelling is always a good way to learn if you are willing to contribute yourself and explore the cultures around you.
Writer: Andy WONG (former Residence Tutor, Chan Sui Kau Hall)
Images: Andy WONG (former Residence Tutor, Chan Sui Kau Hall)
今年五月，陳瑞球堂舉行了一次前往泰國曼谷的考察團，別具意義。我們不但到景區觀光，還到曼谷探訪孤兒院Friends For All Children（FFAC），並把罐頭環送去慈善機構The Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. the Princess Mother循環再造造義肢。
文: 黃啓曦 (前陳瑞球堂導師)
圖: 黃啓曦 (前陳瑞球堂導師)