Unforgettable Days in Thailand: The Chai Sui Kau Hall Social Service Study Tour / 難忘的泰國之旅: 陳瑞球堂社會服務團

(按此看中文版)

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.

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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.

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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)

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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。

由準備行程的一刻開始,所有參加者信念都十分堅定。作為團隊一分子,我們全力以赴,做足準備工作。由處理罐頭環捐贈,到駐坐宿舍地麵大堂募捐捐款、文具和玩具給孤兒和這次義工團的實際策劃,均由我們團隊一手包辦。除了負責人要做好準備,每位團員也有機會藉著參與籌備的過程,都對此行意義有更深入的了解。異於一般的考察團或義工團,參加者不只在行程途中才得以參與,我們從準備過程中爭長了許多知識,非常有意義。

我還記得離港那天,我們把送給孤兒的玩具及文具裝進行李箱,絞盡腦汁才把大件、需要妥善包裹的玩具放好。縱使裝箱難關重重,但我們盡可能裝滿行李箱,希望將更多捐贈玩具贈與有需要人士。

到訪孤兒院那天天氣酷熱,搬運這些物資真的非常疲累。到埗後,把這些「新」玩具送給那十個小孩時,我們看到他們由衷的笑容。我難以想像他們平日不常收到玩具,而每次收到的只是二手用品,為何還會那麼開心。我們在孤兒院認識了來自英國,想幫助孤兒院長遠發展的義工。對我而言,此程讓我親身感受到遭遺棄的兒童多麼需要社會伸出援手,多麼需要大眾關心,引我深思該如何支持那些願意長期服務的熱心人士。此外,我甚至想過要促請政府正視孤兒問題,提供更好的成長環境。

此行中另外一項非常有意義的事情,就是去罐頭環回收中心參觀。罐頭環似乎無用、隨手可棄,這小小的東西可是有需要人士的恩物。罐身通常沒有噴上顏色,我們可以好好利用,造成義肢給有需要人士。由於香港沒有組織提供這種服務,我們便嘗試拜託泰國其他收集罐頭環的人。最終,我們從熱心的宿生們手中收集得數噸罐頭環,遠超我們預期;到回收中心點算,差點就裝滿捐贈箱了!對比我們來時那個空虛的捐贈箱,可見公眾對此種服務仍不瞭解,這點與比較關心經濟效益,忽視環境保護的香港人近似。如此種種啟發我想想如何善用廢物,其實在丟棄以外還有其他處理方法。

除了義務工作,我們還看到曼谷的另一面。火車市場和水上市場令人印象深刻。因為在香港體驗不到,所以覺得很特別。其實,香港也許有很多吸引人又有特色的地方等我們去搜羅。可是,我們沒有這般時間、心情及空間去享受。泰國很適合學生去旅遊,因為泰國物價相對較低,大學學生有足夠的消費能力。我希望以後到世界各地再參與這類有意義的旅行。如果你願意付出及體會當地文化,旅行絕對是個學習的好機會。

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文: 黃啓曦 (前陳瑞球堂導師)
譯: 楊雅怡
圖: 黃啓曦 (前陳瑞球堂導師)