Sunny days

Sunny days

A charity helped students at eight schools visit Germany to find out about the country

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Charisma, beauty and brains are only a few of the qualities Miss Hong Kong contestants possess. Yet those who reach the competition's final rounds can add to their list of philanthropic duty. For they join Wai Yin Association, a Hong Kong charity comprising former Miss Hong Kong contestants. This year the charity launched its Travel, Experience, Share (TES) programme, which helps less-privileged students travel overseas. Groups of three students from eight schools, accompanied by a teacher, won two-week trips to Germany in July to study the nation's culture, history, architecture and conservation.

Luk Man-hon, Chan Wing-sze and Li Yeuk-fung, all 16 and students at HKMA KS Lo College, in Tin Shui Wai, won the trip for their proposal to discover "How Germany Goes Green". Man-hon says: "We are concerned about environmental conservation. At first, we didn't know what to choose to study. But we knew we wanted a topic to use as part of our academic learning."


Photo: KS Lo College

They worked out a budget and a detailed itinerary of the trip, including its logistics. Accompanied by teacher Kum Chi-kim, they visited Frankfurt, Hamburg, Freiburg and Munich, and maintained a daily blog, including photographs and videos of their activities.

Kenny Wong, the association's honorary legal adviser, says: "We could afford to take only three students from each school. But we wanted their message to reach their entire school - especially their peers. That's why we wanted them to create blogs with pictures and travelogues."


Photo: KS Lo College

The students from KS Lo College visited the Black Forest's Triberg Waterfalls, which power a hydroelectric plant, the House of 1,000 Clocks beside the waterfalls, and Hamburg's "Energy Mountain", a former landfill site that has been converted to create renewable energy using wind turbines and solar panels. On their blog, the children wrote about the greenest city they encountered.

"Freiburg is the sunniest city in Germany; each year it receives 1,800 hours of sunshine, which is efficiently utilised to generate electricity ... we saw a lot of solar panels on the roofs of houses, churches and even the outer walls of buildings, just like the main station building facing our hotel room!"


Photo: KS Lo College

Last week, the association awarded prizes to groups who compiled reports and blogs that best captured the TES spirit. Each of the three students from KS Lo College won HK$4,000 after receiving both the Best Creative Blog and Team awards. Other schools whose students went to Germany were Buddhist Sin Tak College, in Kwai Tsing, Elegantia College, in Sheung Shui, Fanling Kau Yan College, HHCKLA Buddhist Leung Chik Wai College, in Tuen Mun, Holy Carpenter Secondary School, in Hung Hom, Queen Elizabeth School Old Students' Association Secondary School in Tin Shui Wai, and Yu Chun Keung Memorial College No 2, in Pok Fu Lam. To see the winning blog of KS Lo College, and those of the other schools, go to: http://www.waiyin.org.hk/tes2012/popup.php

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