Give me one minute: I want the chance to start again

Give me one minute: I want the chance to start again


Screengrab of the video 'Kind of Freedom' by Chan Tsz-hin
Screengrab of the video 'Kind of Freedom' by Chan Tsz-hin

When I was in Secondary Two, I was so addicted to video games that I always ran away from school. I was sent to a School for Social Development (SSD). I have been here for more than a year now. 

Students are referred to SSDs because of their emotional and behavioural problems. Many of them are here because they skipped classes. Those who are sent on court orders, like me, need to live in the school, and are only allowed to go home at weekends.

I am not a problematic student. I have never broken any rules, but I have only been home three times since I got here - to get a haircut or to get some more clothes. As my mum is still very angry with me, I cannot go home very often. I don't know how to ask for her forgiveness. 

Life in the dormitory is boring, and there are a lot of restrictions. Phones are banned and comic books are censored. We get up at the same time every day, wash and go to school. Our dormitory is right next door to our classroom. After class, we have dinner, wash and clean, do some self-study and sleep. Tomorrow, our routine will be exactly the same. 

There are electronic locks everywhere in the school. There are access controls for every single door, and we need a card to get around. On top of this, the windows are barred as though we are in a prison. 

Nonetheless, our principal Mr Lee Kam-ming is very caring. He always encourages and inspires us. He said: "It is very interesting; people learn to cherish things only after losing them. Tsz-hin, please remember the feeling of losing freedom. When you leave here, you have to learn to be a better person, and don't ever come back."

I miss home and freedom. I want to escape this "jail" and return to a normal school. I really hope I get the chance to start again. I will manage my time and spend it wisely with my friends and on my studies.

The programme is co-organized by UNICEF HK, the Hong Kong Baptist University’s Academy of Film, Hong Kong Arts Centre and Incubator for Film and Visual Media in Asia, with support from Young Post. You can check out the videos online at


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