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YMCA 2017 August Perspective

25-08-2017

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Theme story
Promoting Hong Kong in Belarus with the YMCA’s Uni-Y!
To build youth awareness of global issues and help them get a glimpse of different cultures around the world, the University and College YMCA Department of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong (Uni-Y) offers a vast array of cultural exchange activities for Hong Kong youth.

This summer, the “Global Y Trainee Programme 2017” sent two students – one from Hang Seng Management College and the other from the Chinese University of Hong Kong – overseas to the Republic of Belarus on a cultural exchange trip. During the one and a half month voyage, the two participants, Leo Ma and Anthony Tai, assisted in the organisation of a large-scale summer camp, promoted Chinese culture to non-English speakers, gained considerable local media coverage and had a wonderful time.

Two students participate in the exchange activities in Belarus Both students described the trip as an incredible experience – not only did they learn a lot more about a new country; they also learned more about Chinese culture in the process!

At the start of their journey, both Leo and Anthony said they were excited, but also unsure about what to expect – after all, it was their first-ever overseas internship experience trip. Leo recalled that “It was my first time going beyond Asia; I had to apply for a travel visa in Shanghai to visit Belarus. The country seemed somewhat mysterious and opaque to me and I was both nervous and excited before the departure.” A twist made the journey even more ‘interesting’: both young men lost their baggage when they arrived, and did not get their bags back for a full three days!

During the trainee programme, Leo and Anthony both served as Chinese tutors and coordinators of a children and youth summer camp for YMCA Brest and YMCA Minsk. They also assisted in refurbishment work on a YMCA suburban campsite and organised a three-week art event in Belarus called “Hong Kong Month”, which introduced Chinese and Hong Kong culture to local participants through different cuisines, arts and crafts and festivals.

“We had no translator to help us during the entire period. Added to that, the local people do not speak English; so it was a big challenge for us when we were asked to introduce Chinese and Hong Kong culture to the locals and teach them simple English. To make things more interesting for them, we had translated the materials in advance to make sure they are accurate. During this process, we gained a deeper understanding of our own culture” Anthony explained.

Despite the language barrier, Leo found the Belarusians to be very friendly and eager to communicate with them, they were also invited to join the community games. Thanks to arrangments made by the local YMCA, Leo and Anthony were interviewed by a local TV channel, they appeared on a programme called ‘Morning Train’, and were featured in newspapers, sharing details of the trainee programme and other YMCA activities.

Leo concluded that this half-month expedition was a worthwhile experience for everyone involved. He believes now more than ever that young people should make good use of their time sooner rather than later, because “once you become part of the workforce, you may not have the time, energy, motivation or opportunity to explore the world.” Meanwhile, Anthony is certain that this programme helped polish his interpersonal communications skills, giving him opportunities to work with people from different backgrounds and cultures and helping him develop abilities which will help him stand out in future workplaces.

If you are a college student and want to take part in an overseas exchange or trainee programme, please contact the YMCA’s Uni-Y department at your college; or click here for more information.

 

Highlight of our Activities
YMCA volunteers gain extra recognition with rebranded scheme
YM Volunteer gain extra recognition To promote the value of volunteering to the wider public and recognise our outstanding volunteers at the same time, our longstanding Volunteer Service Award Scheme was recently transformed and renamed the “YM Volunteer Scheme”. This scheme acknowledges our volunteers’ contributions and assesses them based on their length of service and the nature of their voluntary work, providing trophies and certificates to recognise and celebrate their contributions. The rebranded YM Volunteer Scheme also features a “Rookie Award” to acknowledge outstanding new volunteers and their commitment to volunteering.

Follow the link for more information on the YM Volunteer Scheme.

 

Global YMCA News
A recipe for success
Global YMCA NewsFood brings people together, especially food prepared in a kitchen which serves outstanding cuisine to happy clientele. Franzi Fleischer and Christopher Suess, two German apprentices from the Further Education College for Food and Supply in Nuremberg, Germany are spending four weeks in The Cityview, learning what it takes to provide a true “Cordon Bleu” dining experience to a diverse clientele.

Franzi and Christopher are being stationed in different sections of the kitchen during their placement in Hong Kong, a process that is helping them discover both eastern and western fusion cooking techniques. “Hong Kong has impressed us very much and we are enjoying the culture, the local food and also getting to know a new language” says Franzi.

Besides working in the kitchen, the visitors are also getting to experience different aspects of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong as apprentices. Throughout the summer, we are hosting 29 international volunteers from various YMCAs around the world as part of our Global Y Explorers Programme. These volunteers are being accommodated at our Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village, and Franzi and Christopher have been taking part in the many social gatherings being organised at this low-carbon camping village.

“At the beginning, it was a challenge for us to get to know a new place, but all the people I have met were so helpful and friendly, and in no time, I found myself so comfortable and enjoying every day of my stay here” remarked Christopher.

There is no doubt that these valuable culinary learning experiences, along with many new friendships and wonderful memories, are something both Franzi and Christopher will be bringing back to Germany at the end of their apprenticeship.

 

Activities Highlights
Y-Care corporate partners: Helping SEN students grow
Y-Care corporate To help special education needs (SEN) students realise their potential, this year, QBE, one of our new Y-Care Gold Partners, is sponsoring a project called ”Volunteering: An Inspiring Journey for Children”. Starting in September, this nine-month training course aimed at SEN school children will be held at Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong Wong Chuen King Children and Youth Centre. A volunteer team from QBE will also participate in the project, offering timely and appropriate training to SEN students while raising public awareness about their needs.

 

Preparing delicious meals for the elderly
Preparing delicious meals for the elderly Earlier this month, Shewan Hongyuan (HK) Limited, another of our Y-Care partners, teamed up with Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong New Territories Centre to show love and kindness to the elderly. The company’s volunteers invited elderly members of the community to enjoy fabulous and affordable dinner at our New Creation Depot social enterprise. In addition to offering tasty meals to 115 elderly people, the volunteers also chatted and mixed with them and spent a wonderful evening together.

If your company would like to become one of our Y-Care CSR partners, please visit our website.

 

Member Privileges
Save 10% on musical tickets!
musical poster”Fly Bao to the Moon” an original musical comedy produced by the talented 19-year-old director Chan Yan Shek and starring Raymond Tseung, Anne Heung, Mag Lam and Brian Burrell, will hold 40 performances at the Sunbeam Theatre in North Point between 18 August to 17 September. YMCA members can enjoy 10% off when purchasing tickets over the phone by using the promotional code 470 and their membership number. Tickets are priced at HK$280, HK$380, HK$580 and HK$780.

For enquiries or to purchase tickets, please call any of these numbers: 2577 0555 / 9872 1706 / 9872 1253

 

YMCA’s YouTube Channel
2016-17 “Be a Global Citizen Campaign” Award Ceremony
“Be a Global Citizen Campaign” Award Ceremony

 


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