Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong


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YMCA 2018 August Perspective


Cover Story

Cover Story
Understanding the True Meaning of Nature
How would you feel if you had to take yourself offline for four days and nights and sleep on a floor in a room without air conditioning? Uncomfortable? Intolerable? Like it was the end of the world? Or would you love it? This is exactly the kind of experience the 12 young participants of our “Forestwalk” eco-tour in Borneo signed up for. They spent four days living in a simple and traditional way and in perfect harmony with nature. These nature-filled days helped these young people understand the beauty and complexity of the natural world and reflect on the environmental damage caused by overconsumption.

The Borneo Rainforest Eco-Tour 2018, also known as “Forestwalk”, as part of “Be a Global Citizen Campaign Certificate Programme” of Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong. The trip was designed to give young people a real understanding of the importance of environmental protection and what will be lost if we do not protect our Earth. The Programme Coordinator, Mr Lee Siu Lun explained, “Once you have immersed yourself in wildlife, you will truly understand and love our place in the world.” Driven by this motivation, Lee decided to bring a group of young people to the Borneo rainforest to allow them to appreciate the natural ecology and cherish the Earth in action.

Understanding the True Meaning of Nature Before their departure to Borneo, the participants, aged between 15 and 21, visited the Y'S Men-YMCA Wong Yi Chau Youth Camp and learned about wilderness cooking and rafting, and gained several important outdoor survival tips. Before the trip, they expressed concerns about mosquitoes and other tough conditions, but they were also very excited to visit the mysterious rainforest.

Throughout the tour, participants were given multiple opportunities to come into close visual contact with rare species and make ecological records in the rainforest. They observed the daily habits of the Red orangutan, horned frogs, bearcats and fireflies to understand how these various creatures interact with the forest and with each other. The ecological data recorded by these young people will become a useful resource for local researchers.

The young participants stayed in simple accommodation near the Iban, a tribe indigenous to the area. Their rooms had no bed, no air conditioning, no TV and a limited electricity power supply. Nonetheless, they were amazed by the simplicity and beauty of their surroundings; “I never thought that living in nature could be that peaceful and immersive”, said one participant. Another remarked that his non-allergic rhinitis diminished significantly during the trip.

In addition to experiencing the lifestyle of the indigenous people, the participants also interacted with local children, making paper airplanes with them and playing with them. Everyone overcame the language barrier through body language, and enjoyed a fun and tranquil time together. “Without a smartphone, I can dive deep into the Earth!”, one of the participants remarked.

Most importantly, these young people came to realise the significance of simple living – an easy and practical way to reduce their burden on the Earth. This year’s eco-tour enlightened them all, encouraged them to change their attitudes toward life, and promoted the importance of protecting the environment – all of which helped them fulfil their responsibilities as global citizens.

Our “Be a Global Citizen Campaign” will continue to hold different themed activities and exchange programmes; if you would like to take part in any of these, participate in our global forum, or help promote social inclusion and environmental sustainability, click here to learn more!


What’s New?
Bridges Street Centre guided tour registration is now open
Bridges Street CentreThis year marks the 100th anniversary of our Bridges Street Centre. To help the public learn more about us and celebrate this momentous milestone, we will be holding guided tours of the Bridges Street Centre between 22 September and 3 November 2018. Everyone is welcome to visit this Grade I historic building – registration opens from 27 August onwards, details and registration of the docent tour will be announced in our Facebook fan page, don’t miss this unique opportunity!



Highlights of our Activities
Love With no Boundaries: Watching fireflies
Love With no Boundaries: Watching firefliesIt is hard to see the true beauty of fireflies in a concrete jungle. To allow the next generation to connect with nature and help them start to take responsibility for protecting the environment, we joined hands with Hang Seng Bank, our Y-Care CSR Gold partner, in an outreach programme. The corporate volunteers first visited low-income families, newly-arrived families and ethnic minority children in the Shek Kip Mei area. They then brought them to Taipo Kau to watch fireflies. Everyone was amazed at seeing the beauty of fireflies for the very first time, especially the children. The participants then learned about the importance of taking care of plants, animals and the Earth, and understood how, by looking after the environment, we could improve living conditions for us all.


Global YMCA Updates
A summer of overseas sports for young YMCA members
世界青年會消息 August and July are usually busy months for Chinese YMCA of Hong Kong, but this summer has been extra busy and extra special for us. Besides the amazing variety of summer programmes held at our service units across Hong Kong, we received several invitations from overseas YMCAs to participate in international sports programmes.

To give you a taste, in early August, two YMCA members from Kowloon Centre proudly represented Hong Kong in an international swimming competition organised by the Taipei YMCA in Taiwan. Their performance was outstanding, with the duo winning four Gold medals and one Bronze.

This was also our first time participating in a basketball training camp organised by the Tianjing YMCA in mainland China, with seven youngsters from our Kowloon Centre, New Territories Centre and Tin Shui Wai Centre travelling to Tianjin from 8-13 August to enjoy a unique and fun training experience, playing basketball with youths from many different countries. Our YMCA coach even led a few training sessions, with his upbeat style and techniques hugely appreciated by the participants as he provided the youths with positive reinforcement and a focus on teamwork.

A delegation of 21 children from our Tuen Mun Centre and Wu Kwai Sha Youth Village also headed to Seoul, Korea from 6-10 August to participate in the 9th Kid’s World Cup organised by the Seoul YMCA. Our YMCA participants outdid themselves, winning Champion in the 7-9 age category and First Runner Up in the 10-12 category.

We will continue to partner and work with overseas YMCAs to provide unique sports experiences to people of all ages. We strongly encourage our YMCA members to pay attention to announcements of upcoming overseas programmes and take part in them to gain unique and valuable international experience.


The Discover YMCA Channel
“Be a Global Citizen Campaign” shared by Lam Chiu Ying
Be a Global Citizen Campaign” shared by Lam Chiu Ying Video


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