In loving memory of Mr Choi Kim-Kwong (1951 – 2012), who passed away at the age of 61 from lung cancer, his daughter Ms Athena Choi Hoi-Shuen and older brother Mr Choi Kim-Lui (BSocSc 1972) made a gift to the University in 2015 to establish the Choi Kim Kwong Service Learning Fund (蔡劍光志願服務基金).
Mr Choi Kim-Kwong was a self-made entrepreneur who built a successful logistics business. Deprived of educational opportunities when he was young, he had a strong belief in the importance of education and in the nurturing of future generations. Ms Athena Choi decided to bring her late father’s belief to fruition by supporting students as they realise their dreams. “I like to think of my father as of one of those ‘silent heroes’. He embraced the thought that his mission was to try to provide more to help his closest get a better education and better life perspective. For that purpose, he started to work when he was still a teenager, established his business at the age of 27, and supported siblings as much as he could, happy to see his brother he grew up with, becoming the first-in-the-family. When his time came, although aware he’s lying on a deathbed, still was more concerned for others than himself.”
“This foundation is the legacy of my father, Choi Kim Kwong, to all gifted, young people who need support to get what he most regretted for – a high education. It does not demand gratitude, but a commitment to do what all ‘silent heroes’ do – help those who need it, with kindness and compassion, without expecting a reward for your help.”
Mr Choi Kim-Lui, the third eldest brother, also wished to pay tribute to his younger brother through this meaningful initiative. “Being a first-in-the-family university student myself, I fully appreciate the value of supporting wider community learning and experiences for first-in-the-family students. I sincerely hope that the Funds can fulfil my brother’s wish for a better education for young generations.” It is hoped that the Fund will enable first-in-the-family students at the Medical Faculty to participate in outside-classroom voluntary service or service learning projects, thus inculcate the spirit of service among young people.
Rosanna He Jia-Hui (BNursing Year 2) was one of the first students to benefit from the Fund. She went to Guizhou for volunteer teaching and Vietnam for a service trip. “I was born on the Mainland but later came to Hong Kong, and I am lucky enough to attend university. Therefore I am eager to share my luck with the less fortunate. I felt overwhelmed during the service trip to Vietnam, seeing the ongoing impact of the notorious Vietnam War. We visited orphanages that shelter disabled children dealing with the effects of landmines and chemical weapons. The impact of the conflict led me to rethink our role as global citizens and inspired me to study global politics.”
Tong Chi-Kit (BBiomedSc Year 2) also used the fund to participate in a service trip, this time to Myanmar. “Pure happiness is how I felt about the trip. We built houses for the needy and renovated a school in a local village, but eventually I realised that we were not the one to serve, but the ones to gain. We gained joy and bonding that we could never gain from sitting in front of a computer all day long. Paying forward is all about sharing the happiness within the community.”