A Taste of Empathy

Feature by Ching Suen

Many of us, leading the privileged lives of students with opportunities all around us, don’t know what it really means to live in Hong Kong’s poorest ten percent. Granted, as a student body, we raise copious amounts of funds and resources every time we Make a Difference. By all means, Dress Casual Days have indeed become synonymous with ‘bring-at-least-$10’. Undoubtedly, every time a fundraiser is held, we try to educate each other and spread awareness of causes worth fighting for. Sure, we care; as one of the strongest schools student-initiative-wise in Hong Kong, we really live up to our mission statement.

However, we have less opportunities to stop and truly empathise with others in different walks of life by, let’s say, living a day in their shoes. This year’s Kuca MaD Week allowed students to do just that. The fourth consecutive 24 Hour Famine was hosted on 15–16 February, with 30 students from Year 11 and above participating. The task: to go 24 hours without food or drink apart from water or juice. In true SIS spirit, some even went on to complete 36 hours of the challenge.

Eager volunteers for the 24 hour famine being briefed by Mr Gardner

All proceeds went towards The Hub HK, a local Children and Youth Centre which provides academic programmes amongst other activities to support children from less fortunate social and economic backgrounds.

Students participating in the event not only raised money through sponsors, but also spread awareness about the word about it didn’t last. A grand total of HKD$15,000 was raised, in conjunction with a series of other events.

This year’s MaD week highlighted the importance of remembering the role that local NGOs play in helping the underprivileged in Hong Kong, as well as how gaining personal experience goes a long way towards finding empathy.