Can you tell us a bit about yourself and what you are doing currently?
I used to work in the charity sector as it has always been my genuine interest to do something related to charity. I first developed my career in mainland China where I worked as a project manager on a wide range of service projects. My job gave me a chance to be a frontline humanitarian worker and it was absolutely one of the most valuable experiences for me. As I am pursuing my postgraduate degree now, I can no longer commit to extensive business trips. I recently found a job as an administrative staff member at an NGO which allows me to study, work and also pursue voluntary work.
What drives you to serve the community?
My genuine interest and passion are the main things that drive me to serve the community. In fact, I gain energy from service users. I always feel revitalized after completing service activities. Due to this, I consider myself a beneficiary instead of a person who donates time and energy - I enjoy every moment during service activities.
What do you believe is the impact of the volunteer work you've done for HandsOn?
I believe giving service users a sense of companionship and belonging is the biggest impact that I have made. Many people think that since Hong Kong is a well-off city, most people have enough “stuff” and don’t need anything. This might be true, but according to my experience, service users, especially those with special needs, want nothing but companionship. They just want to be engaged in different activities and have someone pay attention to them.
What advice would you give someone looking to start their volunteer journey?
I would say expectation management is one of the key points to note. Volunteers may sometimes expect to do great things or make an obvious difference after one or two activities. I suggest that after you find your interest and passion, you should be a regular volunteer and try to make a long term commitment. This will help you to build closer relationships with other volunteers and service users and make your experience more fulfilling.
Can you share an interesting story or touching moment you have had while volunteering with HandsOn?
I was very impressed when a group of volunteers and I led kids with special needs through rugby training this Summer. I was so grateful to the Hong Kong Rugby Club for their sponsorship and contribution in providing all the resources to make these workshops a success. We all had a great time and I was moved by the mission of the organization and their commitment. I sincerely hope that they will continue to sponsor these kids in the coming years.