I am Hugo Law, now in my final year at the Hang Seng University of Hong Kong. I am the coordinator of the Wu Zhi Qiao team in 2018-2019.
WZQ: How do you come across Wu Zhi Qiao? When do you join the Wu Zhi Qiao project?
Hugo: I joined the Wu Zhi Qiao project for the first time at Year One. When I was a freshman at the university, I hope to find and participate in voluntary works and get to know the Wu Zhi Qiao team. Time flies and I have joined the Wu Zhi Qiao team for four years.
WZQ: Which projects have you participated? Share with us your memorable stories or experiences.
Hugo: Wu Zhi Qiao is different from other charitable organizations since we can build bridges with our own hands. My first project was to participate in the main construction of a footbridge at Fengshan Village, Chongqing City. The year follow, I enrolled another footbridge and community enrichment programmes at Heshang / Hesha project in Yunnan with lots of profound memories and enhancements. Personally, I like to communicate with others and especially with the villagers to apprehend more. I remembered once I had a chance to chat with a villager, he stated that before we come to the village and built the bridge, heavy rainfall happened one night. As of no street lights by the river side with complete darkness, a villager slipped down the river accidentally and drown. When I heard that, I felt sad as if we could have come over earlier to build the bridge, this tragedy could have been avoided.
WZQ: Upon participation in the Wu Zhi Qiao project, what is your experience or enhancements?
Hugo: Once I was in charge of children's programme at the Fengshan Village Project and wondered whether the activities would attract the students as prepared in Hong Kong. When we got to the village, we realized our worries were not necessary. The children in the village were indeed simple. A simple gesture of small hug could make them happy. Although their living environment and conditions might not be comparable to the urban development and setting, they were happier than the city dwellers. They valued simplicity with happy attitude which made me unforgettable. I have participated in various volunteer services such as voluntary tutor or elderly visit etc., yet the services of Wu Zhi Qiao was a quite different. Wu Zhi Qiao’s project not only focused on the provision of services to others, but also attributed to the personal growth of volunteers, and strived a good balance. I have learned a lot through the collaboration with other university team members, teachers, villagers and other volunteers, etc. I have the opportunities to listen to their stories and comprehend new approaches and perspectives. We have to live with the villagers during the programme and helped us to realize the rural living conditions were different from Hong Kong. This has enriched my horizons.
WZQ: Try to use one word to describe Wu Zhi Qiao and why?
Hugo: I think it is "companionship". Apart from personal development and growth, there was ample of chance to meet like-minded friends. As I have joined the team at Year One for four years now, I have befriended with other Wu Zhi Qiao’s teams from various universities. For many years we have remained good friends and continue to serve together since we love to help others. Wu Zhi Qiao project was not just one off with mere registration. Participants have to collaborate and work from scratch to the completion of the project with return visit. Through the project cycle, we have to collaborate with other teammates and teachers to build friendship which was very meaningful. My university life was enriched which attributed to the ‘companionship’ of the Wu Zhi Qiao experiences.
WZQ: Anything you like to say to the student team and volunteers of Wu Zhi Qiao?
Hugo: My suggestion to volunteers is that do not merely focused on your own responsibilities or activities, be relaxed and open minded to enjoy the process of the voluntary service, take more time to communicate, share your stories and listen to advices with people around you. Apart from helping villagers to improve their livelihood, it was more important to communicate and let the villagers knew that you concern and care about them. Very often participants were too devoted in the construction of bridge and ignore people and stories happening around. Upon completion of the project, take more time to engaged in community services and sharing with the villagers which your takeaway would be more fruitful.