Interview with Volunteers: Sabrina, Lucille, Suzanne

Sense of Identity

Sabrina, Lucille and Suzanne, volunteers of HIA’s Asylum Seeker and Refugee Program, have similar backgrounds: they are all from Hong Kong, had lived in London and are now studying in medical schools in local universities. Sabrina is a second-year medical student, and she became a core volunteer of HIA’s Asylum Seeker and Refugee Program since being acquainted with HIA in an event organised by Christian Action. Lucille and Suzanne are both medical students, just like Sabrina, they are also members of HIA’s University Chapter. Moreover, Suzanne also represented Medical Outreachers to join HIA’s Nepal Solukhumbu Health project in January this year.

These three girls have a coherent view that their horizons should not be limited to Hong Kong only. They doubted whether Hong Kong is truly an international city, “There are only few students who care or understand what is happening in Syria, and they also do not pay attention to international news”, they expressed unanimously.  Lucille explained, “I don’t see the coexistence of diversified culture here, instead I see segregation in the structure and operation of the society. London is more like an international city when compared to Hong Kong. The young adults in London possess a sense of global citizenship, they discuss global issues and try to understand different cultures. Meeting people with different complexion and nationalities is part of their daily lives as well.”

Sabrina is a core member of HIA’s University Chapter.
Sabrina is a core member of HIA’s University Chapter.

Genuine or Fake Refugees

The three girls, like everyone else, do not like lies, however, they emphasize that genuine refugees in Hong Kong face different difficulties such as looking for accommodation, food and medical service, and there is a huge gap between refugees and local people. Before joining HIA as volunteers, they do not know the existence of refugee groups in the community. Most of the Hong Kong people think all refugees are fake, and think that they are threats to the society. “One of the explanations is the lack of empathy”, said Sabrina. “Just imagine it: without identity, a human being is unable to get even the essential social security. The great irony is that the society does not treat them from a humanistic perspective!”

Lucille actively participates in HIA’s asylum seeker and refugee services.
Lucille actively participates in HIA’s asylum seeker and refugee services.

Roots and Eyes of Hong Kong

Lu Xun had promoted the thought of “Love your neighbour as yourself”, which is not just a religious slogan. Suzanne said nowadays the people in Hong Kong only care about what happens on the island, but totally forget about the broad international view that we used to be so proud of. It is ironic that refugees were an integral part of the development of Hong Kong in the past century, one question we have to ask ourselves is how many of our grandparents or great-grandparents were indigenous people?

The three young adults agree that an integrated society is the benevolent rule, and medical service should be indifferent to all social classes. Through the participations in local and overseas community works, they know that no matter how prosperous or how deficient a city is (just like Hong Kong and Nepal respectively), in order to help underprivileged people, it is still necessary to have all-round health and community care service. “Now, I understand, as a doctor, the constipation problem of a granny cannot be solved simply by asking her to eat more vegetables. For elderlies living alone and beyond their means, could he or she walk properly and freely? How about their vision? Do they have a full set of teeth (even false teeth)? Do they have enough money to buy vegetables? Do they have utensils to cook and tenderize vegetables? Are they living in sub-divided flats? … If every medical staff could help their patients to fight for the best support, then we could write a completely different story,” said Suzanne.

Suzanne participated in HIA’s Nepal mission in January this year.
Suzanne participated in HIA’s Nepal mission in January this year.

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