Rebekah Yong - Volunteer
"I chose Kids4Kids due to its youth-focused outlook of ‘youths helping youths’ and ‘youths making a change’, the principles of which I resonated with as a youth myself."
Working with Kids4Kids is an experience I’ll never forget, in the best sense possible. Towards the end of 2021, I had returned to Hong Kong from England during my gap year to apply for university. At the time I had quite a lot to prepare for interviews, but once those were over I found myself with quite a lot of spare time and not a lot to do. As I was applying to study medicine, a question that came up time and time again was “why?”, whether it was from friends or interviewers. Reflecting on this, the answer I always went back to was science and service. Justifying science was easy, I enjoyed the topics and I got good grades. Justifying service was a little trickier. I really had to reflect on my drive and motivation to serve, and how I could show it because at the end of the day, the drive to serve without the act of service is fruitless. Unfortunately this occurred when Hong Kong was in the middle of battling the fifth wave of the covid-19 pandemic, so whichever organisation I contacted was not recruiting volunteers due to health and safety reasons - which I understood. Because of this, when I came across Time-auction and saw that it was a volunteering platform offering online or remote volunteering opportunities, it really was the perfect answer.
Through time-auction, I ended up applying to volunteer with Kids4Kids which is a non-profit dedicated to enriching and empowering children and youths, in particular ethnic minorities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds, to realise their potential and really take control of their futures. I chose this organisation due to its youth-focused outlook of ‘youths helping youths’ and ‘youths making a change’, the principles of which I resonated with as a youth myself. I felt that this message was especially inspiring in a climate where individuals may feel increasingly helpless or hopeless. I also applied for this organisation as the others required a greater number of specialised skills which I had not developed yet, but Kids4Kids offered the opportunity to begin with the skills I had, and continue to build up on them.
My experience working with Kids4Kids is one that I treasure and will not regret, though that is not to say it did not come without some challenges. Some things I would highlight from my experience are having the opportunity to engage in a range of events that I wouldn’t have experienced otherwise, for example networking opportunities and participating in their programmes. The Kids4Kids office was also a great work environment where I had the pleasure to meet and work with many other talented student volunteers and interns. The values held in the office are also quite progressive with a focus on self-awareness and mindfulness which is often overlooked. Not to mention friendly staff as well of course, and the sense of community and appreciation. I was also challenged by working with Kids4Kids, as I was given different tasks where I’ve had limited prior experience, sometimes with a tight time-schedule. Going in to Kids4Kids I was also quite nervous interacting with people I didn’t know. These challenges however, helped me develop skills and attitudes which I still carry with me and have used in other areas of my life. For example, communication skills and confidence to approach those around me, particularly authority figures, to ask for help, and the tangible skills developed from the various tasks such as graphic design and event planning.
If I can attribute the growth and skills I’ve gained passively through volunteering with this organisation, then how much more can be gained by the children and youths targeted in particular through the organisation’s work and programmes? This experience reinforced why I strongly believe in the mission of Kids4Kids. I also recognise the privileged upbringing and education that I have had, and hope others can experience it too, which is why I find Kids4Kids to be particularly inspiring.