Teens heart Hong Kong

Teens heart Hong Kong

Hong Kong rocks - but some people have great ideas to make it even better

May 26, 2011
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Hong Kong is a multi-cultural, multi-layered city full of inspired individuals who love their home. We don't always get a chance to express that love in a way that improves our community; but a programme set up by the Li Ka Shing Foundation is a chance to redress that balance. The "Love Ideas Love HK" scheme welcomes community-centric ideas from Hongkongers who want to make the city an even greater place.

A number of these schemes are being proposed or run by young people, or benefit teenagers, such as a scheme by students at Diocesan Girls' School to enhance relations between local Hong Kong teens and their cultural minority counterparts, or Operation Breakthrough's plan to buy a bigger bus to ferry underprivileged youngsters to sporting events.

We look at three of our favourite youth-led projects.

n online food community

Hong Kong-born Senna Lamba, 15, has an ambitious plan: to create a community food website where young people can share recipes, restaurant reviews and ideas about the city's delicacies.

"I'm always at ease in the kitchen," says Senna. "I try to cook or bake whenever I get the chance and I love it." The HKIS student writes about the food of other cultures whenever she travels, and keeps a notebook of recipes gathered from cookbooks - all ready to be shared.

With the help of a computing student, she drew up sample pages for a website called Teensum - an interactive platform to exchange ideas. "Hong Kong is a great city for food-lovers of all ages," Senna adds. "After Teensum is up and running for a while, I'll publish a compilation of original recipes submitted by members of my food community."

Senna's recipes and ideas are now on www.teensum.com

Do Good Pin

Swedish business student Patrick Bostrom and his three teammates from the University of Hong Kong came up with a bright idea a year ago: distribute "Do Good Pins" to 150 people. Whoever receives a pin has to perform a good deed, then pass the pin to a friend and ask him to do the same. The cycle goes on and on, and so does the spirit.

Bostrom, 24, says this idea began as a way to encourage teens to do good - but now the team hopes to involve other layers of Hong Kong society, and get retirees involved. The team needs funds for a website to connect students and older citizens. Teens will not only perform good deeds, but also film the life stories of senior citizens and upload them. "As students, we can take small steps to make a big impact," Bostrom says.

Find out more at dogoodpin.com

Young tourist guides

Liberal studies teacher Celia Li Pak-sze and a group of tourism students from HKFYG Lee Shau Kee College are planning to give urban guided tours to primary students in Tin Shui Wai, an isolated new town once dubbed the "city of misery".

Li says this project aims to help students develop an interest in local culture and cultivate a sense of belonging - to Hong Kong and their community. "Many of our students come from middle-class families, and they don't usually have a chance to serve the unprivileged," she says. "We hope this project is not only for our students' own good, but also for the benefit of society."

Volunteer Alex Fung Ka-chun, 16, says, "This project is a great way to let lonely children in Tin Shui Wai ... learn more about the city."

Funding would give student volunteers at least eight hours of training, including a briefing on building history.

Vote for your favourite ideas and help get them into the top quarter of the scheme's 674 proposals to receive up to HK$300,000. Go to www.loveideas.hk by November 21.

Additional reporting by Bharisha Mirpuri

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