The Human Rights Challenge Week experience was a one in a lifetime experience. Because most of us live privileged lives with necessities like shelter, food, water, we teenagers often think of human rights as simply freedom of speech and expression – but forget that these basic necessities are also part of “human rights”. More importantly we are oblivious to the refugees who lack these human rights, and this Challenge Week experience drastically altered the way I view the concept of refugees and the world.
On the first day of our Challenge Week, we attended a talk regarding refugees. The speaker was from Christian Action, and he introduced to us the history of refugees. The speaker astonished us with the sheer number of refugees in Hong Kong and around the globe, who are deprived of their fundamental human rights. This talk engaged us on issues of global importance as we acquired the knowledge that enabled us to understand the meaning behind our experience in the following days. In addition, the talk posed to all of us a challenge: to investigate how we can “think globally” and “act locally” in order to help underprivileged members of the society.
The next three days of our experience were mainly working experiences at the Crossroads Foundation. Our group was split into teams and was given different working experiences, such as re-organizing books, packing boxes of clothes, re-arranging toys and domestic supplies and more. On the surface, these appeared to be repetitive and simple tasks. However, the talk from our first day allowed us to understand the implications of our work over the three days. Two of my friends and I spent a day in a place called the “local boutique”. We were asked to organize donated clothing onto different shelves that were to be distributed to local refugees. One of the most remarkable experiences was an encounter with a local refugee family. The couple went to our workplace to look for clothes for their child and themselves. We were delighted to see the joyful reaction from the mother when we offered her a piece of clothing that we thought would suit her. Yet at the same time we were startled to witness the deeply rooted problem of a general lack of awareness and care towards refugees in our society. The challenging aspect of this experience was to think of a solution to help refugees, many of whom are come from minority ethnic groups, gain attention and subsequent aid in Hong Kong.
Maggie Tsui (11D)
Overall, the whole Challenge Week experience prompted us to be more engaged in the issues facing refugees and challenged us to brainstorm solutions for how we can absolve refugees from the status quo.