Heartbeat: An enlightening excursion

Heartbeat: An enlightening excursion

The “Cambodia Visit”, which has been held every July by socialist Wong Kwok-fai, had succeeded again this year. A group of 50 people, including teachers and students, from three Carmel Schools – Carmel Secondary School, Carmel Pak U Secondary School and Carmel Bunnan Tong Memorial Secondary School – went on the trip.

The trip took place on July 2-6. They went to Cambodia, aiming to do different volunteer tasks there, and the mission this year was at Kurmul International School. It was founded by International Education Association, which belongs to the same group of Carmel Schools in Hong Kong. The Kurmul International School, located in a poor village, was founded two years ago by some Carmelians who had made substantial donations towards making everybody’s dream come true. Since the school was located in a remote area far away from the airport, it took the group quite a trip to get there.

The temperature was 33 degrees Celsius with high humidity. Unfortunately due to tight budget, air conditioners were a luxury they couldn’t afford. Some of the visiting students started to complain as they were all soaked in sweat while, surprisingly, the local students just sat calmly and smiled. There were only Primary One and Primary Two, and only a few teachers. The infrastructure there was so primitive and basically inadequate, and two or three students had to share one textbook. Yet to the group’s surprise, the morale of the students was so high, much better than that of most schools in Hong Kong. Shouldn’t Hong Kong students be ashamed of themselves?

The volunteers started to teach the Kurmul students, such as music and so on. They then visited the orphanage nearby, where some of the students in Kurmul came from. A majority of them were dedicated Christians: they read the Bible and sing hymns every day. One of the volunteers, named Leung, said it was a such an amazing experience for him to be there, and he was deeply inspired. He vowed to start treasuring what he has, including his family and the chance to study in such a flawless environment.

Lawrence Lour, the chief principal, thanked the volunteers again. He ended the visit by quoting the biblical idiom: “It is more blessed to give than to receive.”

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