HKUST Connect Service Learning Trips – Journeys of Light, Hope and Love

HKUST Connect Service Learning Trips – Journeys of Light, Hope and Love_photoHKUST Connect is a community engagement initiative that aims to raise civic awareness and develop sustainable partnerships with the wider community. Through participating in community services and programs, as well as service learning trips, students gain an opportunity to develop deep learning of issues about the world and contribute to those in need. Rita Law and Synix Sun have both taken part in service learning trips last year. The experiences have been insightful and transformational for them. “In June, I visited a local primary school with children from the ethnic minority of Yi living in the Mabian Yi Autonomous Region in the Southern Sichuan. I joined because I wanted to serve the children in the rural villages and help them find their dreams. I wanted to give them courage to keep chasing their dreams no matter what,” said Rita, a Year 3 student in the School of Humanities and Social Science. Seeing children as young as seven years old climbing steep mountains every day for more than four hours in order to go to school was a great lesson for Rita. “Seeing them overcoming the difficulties every day taught me that I should be more grateful for how much I have, living in a prosperous city in Hong Kong. Being educated seems to be basic for us, but for these underprivileged children, it is such a rare and precious opportunity,” said Rita. Synix, a Year 3 student majoring in Risk Management and Business Intelligence, visited Cambodia twice via service trips: first as a participant in January last year, then as an organizing committee member in June. “I chose to take part in the service trip for a simple reason – I wanted to learn more about the world and be able to serve the people who are in need,” said Synix. “Through the trip, I realized the power of education and how it could be a life-changing experience for the children in Cambodia. Being able