Love. Dedication. Enthusiasm. These words accurately define the 23rd Hong Kong Union for Young Leaders (HKUYL). The union's motto has always been "To inspire tomorrow's leaders today", but in reality, it provides much more than inspiration. Members also gain self-confidence and a group of lifelong friends who have endured many challenges together.
HKUYL has always been ahead of its time in providing young people with activities which help them discover their own leadership strengths. More importantly, they learn about themselves, by exploring their own personal definitions of the word "outstanding".
This year's theme, "Stride Over the Miles", reflects how the union encourages teenagers to surpass their own expectations, overcome obstacles and explore the long journey.
November to December, 2014
The Annual General Meeting cum Opening Ceremony of the 23rd HKUYL took place on November 22 at Queen's College. Our honorary advisors, Alan Leong Kah-kit and Rachel Cartland, joined us, and delivered their encouraging words to this new generation of leaders.
The day marked the official end of the 22nd HKUYL and the commencement of the new committee of the 23rd HKUYL. This was then followed by orientation day, where campers were split into small groups that went on city-wide scavenger hunts. During the activity, campers got to know one another as they worked together as a team to solve riddles.
Each group of campers was also assigned a specific local problem. They had to come up with a 15-minute presentation for the first workshop of the new term, as well as a proposal offering several solutions to that problem. The problems included supermarket monopolies, prejudice faced by ethnic minorities, the education system, and censorship of the media.
The workshop took place on November 30 at TWGHs Wong Fut Nam College. The day kicked off with games and team-building activities such as capture-the-flag, which challenged members' creativity and practical skills. Once we were warmed up, the day proceeded with presentations and proposals, where members practised their presentation skills. The workshop successfully introduced members to the formality of the project, as well as current affairs in our society.
Following a series of workshops, the World Congress was launched on December 29 and 30 at Youth Square. Dressed in suits and ties, members showed their impeccable public speaking skills, representing different countries as ambassadors, discussing serious problems and calling for immediate actions. Six issues were presented: Censorship on Media in Mexico; Market Monopolization in India; Urban Planning and San Nong Problems in China; Dehabitation of Endangered Animals and Climate Change in Brazil; Discrimination in the USA; Low Competitiveness of Youth; and the Hikikomori Problem in Japan.
Facing cut-to-the-bone questions from council members, members had to constantly amend and improve their proposals and action plans. After two days of drama, the event successfully ended with the passing of the proposals.
At the event, we were very honoured to have Dr Eric Tsang Po-keung, the Chairman of Green Power, with us. He shared the importance of global awareness for leaders in the 21st century, and provided new insights into leadership.
HKUYL Alumni Association
The HKUYL Alumni Association (HKUYLAA) connects HKUYL alumni and serves the community. The HKUYLAA actively provides a platform for UYLers to keep in touch by organising sports games, community services, mentorship programmes, guest talks, and other reunion events. The alumni offer support for our current members, strengthening ties and relations within our UYL family.
To celebrate the recent lunar new year holidays, HKUYLAA organised poon choi dinners both here and overseas. The reunions strengthened relationships, and fostered cultural discourses and exchanges between UYLers, passing on our 23 years of traditions and our treasured UYL magic.
Stride Over the Miles
A mile is not only a unit of measurement, but a record of our endeavours and endurance. Evaluating the past while foreseeing the future is a quality a leader should possess. We cannot dwell on past glories, but must drive ourselves to review our history. Cultivating a vision to view things from different perspectives so we can recognise new ideas is the only way to keep advancing. Leaders become outstanding by a desire to be outstanding.