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In this issue, we chose social enterprises and education as the two main themes for three featured interviews. With the proliferation of various start-ups as well as an increasing emphasis on the quality of education around the world, we would like to use these themes as starting points to stimulate you to reflect upon current social, economic, and political affairs in Hong Kong and China.
It is my earnest belief that, as the main publication of the Cambridge University of Hong Kong and China Affairs Society (CUHKCAS), Our Time not only epitomises the core values of the Society, but also provides a multilateral platform to raise the political awareness of young minds and readers. I genuinely hope that the contributions of Cambridge-HK students in this publication will be a thought-provoking read to you all. Hereunder, allow me to briefly walk you through the contents encapsulated in this issue of Our Time.
Our first featured interview, ‘Wayne To Go – A Path Beyond Ambition’, stars Mr. Wayne Chau, founder and CEO of Agent of Change. We probe into the inspiring story of how he founded such a successful social enterprise – successful not just in terms of the scale of impact Agent of Change has been able to effect in Hong Kong, but also the sheer amount of challenges he had to overcome along the way. In this interview, Mr. Chau also airs views on the power and different forms of education, from the lens of his own education background, as well as his unique experience on education in Finland, where he was appointed the first Honorary Ambassador of the University of Lapland.
In the second featured interview ‘言語治療師之語 —— 香港社企的「童話」故事’, we look into the story of Mr. Raymond Wong and Mrs. Viola Wong, who founded Confiserie Benji Ltd. in 2002 in memory of their son who used to suffer from speech delay. Through setting up this speech therapy centre, Mr. and Mrs. Wong aim to help children in Hong Kong with speech disorders by providing them with speech therapy at a very low price, since support to these groups is scarce in Hong Kong. To turn this social enterprise into a financially sustainable one, during the past decade, the Wongs’ transformed it from the distributor for a brand of Belgian chocolates, to an operator of multiple chocolate shops, a French restaurant, a Japanese restaurant, and bakery workshops under their own brand Benji’s.
For the third featured interview, ‘Who Am I? Where Did I Come From? Where Am I Going?’, we are delighted to have Cambridge freshers who studied secondary school in Hong Kong share their stories with us. In particular, the series of short interviews feature interesting stories about their education backgrounds, aspirations, as well as thoughts on contemporary political themes and different education systems available in Hong Kong. We hope that these short stories will strike a chord with you, especially in how we and our thoughts were moulded by our unique experiences and identities, as well as show you how we plan to put our talents to good use in light of the opportunities that we were granted with.
In addition to the featured interviews, we are pleased to publish submissions from Cambridge-HK students as well, which cover a wide range of topics from Cantonese culture to the housing problem in Hong Kong; from the Chinese Social Credit System to governance relations between Hong Kong and China. Moreover, we feature six award-winning essays of the Cambridge Hong Kong Affairs Essay Competition, from both the Chinese and English section, where Hong Kong secondary school students shed light on contemporary political themes in Hong Kong and China.
Last but not least, I would like to take this opportunity to offer my heartfelt gratitude to the Our Time sub-committee and my fellow CUHKCAS committee members for their unfailing support from the initial brainstorming stage back in September 2018, to the interview process from October to December, all the way to the final editing and publication stage in January 2019. This publication would not have been possible without their tremendous input.
Without further ado, on behalf of CUHKCAS, I am proud to present to you this year’s Lent issue of Our Time. I hope you find it enjoyable and rejuvenating.
CUHKCAS Publicity Officer 2018-19