“Living in the modern city of Hong Kong where wealth and consumerism is so intoxicatingly obvious and on display, it is easy to develop a materialistic mindset.
I joined the QI Group in 2011 and started getting involved in the employee volunteering projects helping local communities. I had such meaningful experiences that it made me realise there is more to life than rushing 24/7, glued to the cellphone hardly looking up and engaging with the world.
It was such an incredibly grounding experience – a great reminder to be grateful for what I have as there are so many less fortunate individuals out there who are deprived of the most basic needs such as access to clean water, daily meals, and a safe shelter.
Sometime back my colleagues and I volunteered at a Famine 30 event. It’s a global movement where participants fast for 30 hours while being involved in an activity to raise awareness about refugees feeling war and conflict while experiencing hunger. This particular activity involved a group of people who had been fasting for 24 hours already and were participating in a hike to raise funds for refugees. We were tasked with guiding the hikers on their trail. To see the passion and determination of these participants to complete the hiking course whilst experiencing extreme hunger was inspiring. More importantly, it was a reminder that the hardships endured by the participants was simply a 30 hour “simulation” of the every-day reality for countless innocent civilians in war torn countries.
Volunteering has helped me make some important life choices as well. When my wife and I are invited to weddings, we now make donations to various causes in the name of the couple instead of buying them gifts.
It is our moral duty to help those in need because we have been blessed with privilege. I strongly believe that if one person can help make a difference to one life, why wait, just do it. A simple act of kindness can truly make this world a better place.”
*Benjamin Wong has contributed 20 hours so far this year serving underprivileged communities in Hong Kong