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March 2021

Volume #18

FUNG SCHOLARS & FELLOWS

N u r t u r i n g Fu t u r e Le a d e r s Fund ed by Vi c to r a n d Wi l l i a m Fu n g Fo u n dat i o n

Fung Scholars Network Newsletter

e N wS e L tt er


02 | FS Network Newsletter #18

Message from Editor-in-Chief D e a r R e a d e r s, I h o p e t h e d a y s h a ve b e e n g o o d fo r yo u ! L i ve s u n d e r Co v i d - 1 9 a re c e r t a i n l y o f a n u n e a s e fo r m a ny o f u s. M a ny o f u s m a y fe e l wo r r i e d, m a y h a ve s e l f d o u b t s a n d m a y n o t d a re t o v i s i o n t h e f u t u re. We d o s h a re t h e s a m e fe e l i n g ! I n t h i s i s s u e, o u r s c h o l a r s c a re a b o u t o u r l i v i n g wo r l d a s a l w a y s, a b o u t g e n d e r e q u a l i t y, education, fo o d s e c u r i t y, language-learning and the new normal l i v i n g s t y l e. We h o p e we c a n b r i n g s o m e i n s i g h t s t o yo u d u r i n g t h e e x t r a m e - t i m e. M o re i m p o r t a n t l y, we w a n t t o i n s p i re yo u t o c a re a b o u t t h e wo r l d we a re l i v i n g r i g h t n o w ; we m a y n o t b e c o n n e c t i n g t o t h e o t h e r p a r t s o f t h e wo r l d p hy s i c a l l y n o w b u t l e t u s n o t s t o p t h e c u r i o s i t y, m e n t a l a n d s p i r i t u a l c o n n e c t i o n s n e i t h e r. A f t e r a l l, we a re o n e ! U n t i l t h e n , s t a y h e a l t hy, s t a y s a fe a n d s t a y s a n e ! R e g a rd s, Heidi


Global Affairs - Women in Informal Economy in Bangladesh: Worst Sufferer, Least Focused - Freshwater in Security and Health Crises

Inspiring Fung Scholars Stories - Gaining and Giving a Global Perspective Through Education - Building a Passion Project Outside of Work: Crafting + Combining It with Social Impact Conversations - Graphic Novel as a Medium to Integrate Teaching Reading and Speaking in English

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Book Sharing - The Body Keeps the Score - The Diving Bell and the Butterfly - The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime

Photo Sharing - The New Normal and Coronavirus

Editorial Board and Writers Bio

The Editorial Board would like to thank all the writers who have contributed to the diverse topics and opinions included in this newsletter. We would also like to add that the Editorial Board and the Victor and William Fung Foundation take no responsibility for the views expressed in this publication.

CONTENTS

10

Message from Editor-in-Chief

TABLE OF

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GLOBAL AFFAIRS


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Women in informal Economy in Bangladesh: Worst sufferer, least focused

Tahira Tazreen

While countries around the world have b e e n t r y i n g t o c o n t i n u e w i t h e ve r yd a y l i fe u n d e r t h e “n e w n o r m a l ”, i n B a n g l a d e s h , some segments of the population have struggled to tackle economic collapses. In an overpopulated developing country like Bangladesh, women involved in the informal form of economy suffer the most from the pandemic – something we need to shed light on.

working in high-risk environments with minimal appropriate health safety m e a s u r e s . Fu r t h e r m o r e , i n a d d i t i o n t o economic hardship under Covid-19, working women would have to spend their income for health care purposes (be it for themselves or their children). This may force them to sell their property - implying more families living u n d e r p o v e r t y.

Ever y single stakeholder got affected a s t h e p a n d e m i c h i t t h e e c o n o m y. H o w e v e r, t h e i n f l u e n c e o n w o m e n i n Bangladesh is more severe given their existing economic disadvantage in the c o u n t r y. A c c o r d i n g t o t h e A p r i l 2 0 2 0 report by UNWOMEN, 60 percent of women around the world are involved in t h e i n f o r m a l s e c t o r. I n f o r m a l e c o n o m y refers to the form of economic activities w h i c h a r e n o t u n d e r s t a t e’s r e g u l a t i o n / protection. In Bangladesh, a large proportion of working women from the informal sector lives in slum areas in the cities. In most cases, they are the sole breadwinners in their families and s u p p o r t e r s o f t h e i r c h i l d r e n’s e d u c a t i o n . The report projects that, under Covid-19, the economic impact on women from the informal sector would draw to an immediate increase in children school d r o p - o u t a n d c h i l d l a b o r.

Wo m e n a r e m a j o r s t a k e h o l d e r s o f t h e informal economy in Bangladesh. There are different forms of informal works where women are employed throughout the countr y - as housemaids, day laborers, or small tea shop owners b e s i d e t h e r o a d . Wo m e n i n v o l v e d i n the informal economy have suffered much under Covid-19. Over the past few months, many have left megacities (e.g. Dhaka, Chattogram) because of job loss and inability to support their city living expenses. Some have shifted into new forms of jobs. According to a local newspaper repor t, many parlor workers who used to work in beauty parlors in the capital returned back to villages and started growing crops on their own.

The Covid-19 also overwhelming number

implies an of females

In this sense, many women in the informal economy are faced with challenges. Many are losing their market, or are forced to go back to villages doing nothing (or in some cases trying to create new sources of


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i n c o m e ) . T h e l a c k o f s t a t e’s r e g u l a t i o n / protection featured in the informal economy also means women in this sector have limited access to support for alternative livelihood (e.g. receipt of special grant from the government for star ting new small businesses). A recent research by SANEM predicts that the poverty rate may rise to 40.9% at the end of the pandemic. As the Covid-19 persist destroying the harmony of daily lives, the dilemma of hunger and virus becomes the basic question i n t h e s o c i e t y, e s p e c i a l l y f o r t h o s e w h o do not have stable financial ground. Fo r w o m e n i n v o l v e d i n t h e i n f o r m a l e c o n o m y, t h e s i t u a t i o n w o u l d b e m u c h more challenging. Think about an extremely poor family shifted suddenly to a village. The mother who used to sell fruits, or work in the household, will probably start working in the farm. H e r d r e a m o f f i n a n c i n g h e r c h i l d r e n’s e d u c a t i o n w i l l b e s h a t t e r e d . Fo r t h e children, instead of going to schools organized by local university students,

t h e y w i l l s t a r t h e l p i n g t h e i r f a m i l y, n o t knowing when the struggle will end. Keeping the current situation in mind, on macro-level, timely policy actions should be in place with specific focus on women. Up-to-date databases should also be built so that influences on the t a r g e t g r o u p c a n b e t r a c k e d a c c o r d i n g l y. Community NGOs can be a useful source of primar y information in this regard. On micro-level, cash suppor t for these individuals would also be helpful to temporarily relieve their economic s t r e s s a n d i n s t a b i l i t y. Ensuring suppor t for women involved in informal economy will not only save them from indulging into deeper form o f p o v e r t y a n d i n e q u a l i t y, b u t a l s o h e l p the country to avoid sharp rise in child l a b o r a n d f u r t h e r i n e q u a l i t y. L e a v i n g a huge part of the population behind, this would only leave us an even longer road towards the achievement of sustainable development goals.


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Freshwater in Security and Health Crises Kathleen Schwind

Fr e s h w a t e r i s o n e o f t h e m o s t v a l u a b l e r e s o u r c e s o n t h e p l a n e t . S o m e c a l l i t ‘ b l u e g o l d ’ a n d ‘ t h e n e x t o i l .’ Wa t e r i s e s s e n t i a l f o r h u m a n l i f e , b u t i t i s a l s o a t o o l that can be used to control and influence others. One of the best ways to explain the huge strategic impor tance freshwater could have is through the central plot point of the movie Quantum of Solace, the 22nd installment of the James Bond f i l m f r a n c h i s e . T h e v i l l a i n , M r. G r e e n e , c l a i m s h e h a s s e c u r e d t h e r e s o u r c e t h a t w i l l e n s u r e h i m ‘ w o r l d d o m i n a t i o n .’ H e i s k n o w n t o h a v e b o u g h t u p a l l t h e l a n d i n a par ticular area, but ever yone is puzzled—this land is historically known for having n o o i l , w h i c h e v e r y o n e a s s u m e s i s t h e r e s o u r c e h e i s a l l u d i n g t o. W h a t i s G r e e n e p l a y i n g a t ? T h e a n s w e r, a s J a m e s B o n d d i s c o v e r s , i s f r e s h w a t e r — b y c o n t r o l l i n g t h e f r e s h w a t e r s o u r c e s a n d c u t t i n g o f f w a t e r s u p p l y, G r e e n e w i l l c o n t r o l t h e v e r y necessity required for human life. He now has power over migration patterns, food p r o d u c t i o n , t h e e c o n o m y, a n d p e o p l e’s l i v e s . T h i s i n t e r e s t i n g p l o t t w i s t o f t h e 2 0 0 8 m o v i e h i g h l i g h t s t h e v a l u e o f w a t e r. I n d e e d , w a t e r c o n t i n u e s t o p l a y a r o l e i n conflicts around the globe, and also has profound implications on health crises like the current pandemic.

A Thirsty Neighbor In places like the Middle East, we see water disputes exacerbating already strained relations between countries and states. In Africa we see dam construction sparking conflicts and threatening agricultural activities in downstream countries. In California we see disputes between farmers and residents over who have the right to water during a drought. Local wars and international conflicts have roots in transboundar y water disputes, and the problem of freshwater scarcity is not disappearing anytime soon as demand increases and supply dwindles. While no wars have been star ted exclusively over w a t e r, w a t e r h a s a n d w i l l c o n t i n u e t o strain relationships between countries

a n d s t a t e s . H o w e v e r, b e c a u s e o f w a t e r ’s i m p o r t a n c e i n e v e r y p a r t o f s o c i e t y, water may also be the one thing that governments, who were historically at o d d s w i t h e a c h o t h e r, c a n a g r e e o n . A country that relies on the same water source as another cannot be water secure unless their neighbors are, and partnering on water retention, conser vation, and sanitization effor ts can lead to better livelihoods and stronger economies for all those involved.

W a s h Yo u r H a n d s … W i t h o u t W a t e r ? Po p u l a t i o n growth and the changing climate have often brought freshwater access issues into the l i m e l i g h t . Wa t e r p l a y s a m a j o r r o l e i n


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h e a l t h c r i s e s t o o, i n c l u d i n g t h e o n g o i n g pandemic. While it has not been r e f e r e n c e d a s o f t e n a s , s a y, p e r s o n a l protective equipment or the transition to Zoom, the lack of clean water for hand washing and sanitizing has presented major challenges as communities around the world struggle to keep the virus at b a y. I t h a s b e e n e n c o u r a g e d a n d e v e n demanded that we wash our hands to p r e v e n t t h e s p r e a d i n g o f t h e v i r u s . Fo r many of us, that means we simply go a n d t u r n o n t h e t a p. B u t i n c o m m u n i t i e s w h e r e t h e r e i s n o r u n n i n g w a t e r, a n d there are no proper sanitation systems, how can they keep their hands clean? This is a topic that has been explored i n t h e WA S H ( w a t e r, s a n i t a t i o n a n d h y g i e n e ) s e c t o r, b u t s h o u l d b e m o r e closely looked at through the lens of t h e c u r r e n t p a n d e m i c . Wo r l d w i d e , p r e covid, the UN estimated that two out of five people did not have basic handwashing facilities. UN experts write that without safe water for hand washing, especially for those in vulnerable areas, Covid-19 will not be stopped (UN.org). Even without the pandemic, individuals did not have the water necessar y for hand washing, especially in the developing parts of the world. With the simple act of washing hands becoming increasingly difficult in the most vulnerable areas, effor ts should continue to focus on ensuring that all people have access to clean, reliable, freshwater resources.

Not a Zero Sum Game In both security and health matters, water can become a solution if we aim for mutually beneficial solutions rather than solutions that benefit o n e s i d e a t t h e e x p e n s e o f t h e o t h e r. D r. V i c t o r Fu n g , f o r t h e 2 0 2 0 V i r t u a l Fu n g S c h o l a r s L e a d e r s h i p C o n f e r e n c e , titled his address “Geopolitical Shifts a t t h e T h r e s h o l d o f a N e w E r a”, s p o k e about the increasing impact that the pandemic, alongside digitization and the shift from a unimodal to a multimodal world, will have today and in the future. As we witness these shifts, I b e l i e v e t h a t a r e a s l i k e w a t e r s e c u r i t y, that are vital to human survival, health, and well-being, cannot become zero sum games. As in regional conflicts, freshwater can be par t of the solution in curbing Covid-19. By governing f r e s h w a t e r p r o p e r l y, a n d b u i l d i n g regional cooperation over shared transboundar y water resources, regions can reduce water stress. Innovation and e n t r e p r e n e u r s h i p i n t h e t e c h n o l o g y, science, and urban planning sectors can help mitigate the challenges associated w i t h w a t e r s c a r c i t y, a s c a n e m p o w e r i n g local leaders and communities at the grassroots level. M u l t i d i s c i p l i n a r y, cross-cultural solutions are needed if water is to become a solution to security and health issues both in our communities and around the world.


INSPIRING STORIES


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Gaining and Giving a Global Perspective Through Education

Kathleen Schwind

I have always been interested in the international. Growing up in a multicultural household, I was exposed early to different cultures and new ways of thinking. But i t w a s n’ t u n t i l I b e g a n m y u n d e r g r a d u a t e a t M I T t h a t I h a d t h e c h a n c e t o v i s i t t h e p l a c e s I h a d , u p u n t i l t h a t p o i n t , o n l y h e a r d a b o u t . Fo r a m a j o r i t y o f t h e t w o d o z e n c o u n t r i e s I t r a v e l e d t o t h r o u g h M I T, I w a s n’ t a t o u r i s t – I w a s a r e s e a r c h e r, a s t u d e n t , o r a S c h o l a r. B e c o m i n g a Fu n g S c h o l a r i n m y s o p h o m o r e y e a r h e l p e d m e b u i l d t h i s i n t e r n a t i o n a l p e r s p e c t i v e , a n d j u s t a s i m p o r t a n t l y, c o n n e c t e d m e w i t h l i k e - m i n d e d students and young professionals doing incredible, globally focused work.

Gaining a Global Perspec tive Fr o m m y t i m e a b r o a d a s a Fu n g S c h o l a r, I r e a l i z e d t h e i m p o r t a n c e o f gaining a global perspective, and the importance of empowering students by giving them practical skills to succeed in a global working environment. Areas like science, t e c h n o l o g y, engineering and math, known as STEM, are rapidly growing fields, as is the entrepreneurship space at both the domestic and international level. Inspired and humbled by the experience I had to learn from international c o u n t e r p a r t s a s a Fu n g S c h o l a r, o n e o f my focuses and passions while at MIT was providing younger students with similar experiences, no matter their background.

UAVs, STEM Education and 21st Centur y Skill Building in El Salvador In 2017, I worked with a special interest group at MIT to partner with a

non-profit and a local school, located i n a r a i n f o r e s t v i l l a g e i n E l S a l v a d o r, to develop a two-week-long workshop focused on STEM and using unmanned a e r i a l v e h i c l e s ( UAVs ) f o r u r b a n p l a n n i n g and community development. The v i s i o n w a s t o e x p o s e t h e s e e l e m e n t a r y, middle, and high students to the STEM fields, empower them to become stewards of their community by using i n n o v a t i v e t e c h n o l o g i e s l i k e UAVs , a n d teach them tangible ‘21st Centur y Sk ills’ like teamwork, creativity and problemsolving. S T E M p l ays a p a r t i c u l a r l y i m p o r t a nt r o l e i n t h e L a t i n A m e r i c a n e c o n o m y, a n d being able to keep up with these rapidly changing technologies is essential for young people to gain employment a n d h e l p t h e i r c o m m u n i t i e s . Va r i o u s reports published by organizations like the United Nations and General Electric mention the importance of ‘ t r a n s m i t t i n g e n t h u s i a s m’ f o r t h e f i e l d of STEM. Through hands-on projects


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and real-world applications, our team was able to transmit that enthusiasm to o u r s t u d e n t s . We e x e c u t e d t h e f i r s t t w o parts of our vision (exposure to STEM and community empowerment) through our UAV - c e n t e r e d w o r k s h o p. I n t h e w o r k s h o p we focused on different aspects of small drones (like the Phantom 4) and their use, touching on both the technical and planning elements. These included safety mechanisms, aerodynamics and UAV d e s i g n , f l y i n g s k i l l s , a n d f i x i n g a n d r e p a i r i n g UAVs . E a c h d a y w e c r e a t e d an open environment with hands-on activities and class engagement, in addition to the brief teaching dialogue presented by our team members. Near the end of the workshop we let the students use their recently acquired skills to sur vey their village, using the drone and various mapping programs to capture aerial and 3D images. During t h e s t u d y, t h e y w e r e p a y i n g a t t e n t i o n to the desirable and undesirable

characteristics in their community (streets being well lit, a part of the r o a d c o l l e c t i n g t o o m u c h r a i n w a t e r, etc.). Back in the classroom, they took these notes and layered them on top of the drone images to mark patterns and draw conclusions on what parts of the village needed improvement. The final step was to brainstorm how they could work with the village leaderships and their schools to address these newly identified issues. Through this exercise, the students had the chance to interact with and become integral members of t h e c o m m u n i t y, a s t h e y t o o k o w n e r s h i p of how they could improve their village and actually help make these changes h a p p e n . Fu n , h a n d s - o n , S T E M - b a s e d workshops, like this one, expose students early on in their academic careers to the accessibility of STEM, while also exposing them to the future of the planning field.


2D aerial image taken by our team’s Phantom 4 drone.


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After surveying their village, and comparing their hand drawn maps to the aerial footage taken by the drone, students identified ‘good’ and ‘bad’ characteristics in their community, later brainstorming how to address those issues.

To f u l f i l l t h e t h i r d p a r t o f o u r vision (teaching tangible ‘21st century sk ills’), I produced a miniature version o f t h e G i f t e d a n d Ta l e n t e d E d u c a t i o n ( G AT E ) O l y m p i c s , a n e v e n t t h a t I f o u n d e d f o r s t u d e n t s i n C a l i f o r n i a . T h e G AT E Olympics is a fun, team-based academic competition made up of giant life size mazes and puzzles, which are called ‘c h a l l e n g e s ’, t h a t f o c u s o n t e a m w o r k , problem-solving, and creativity rather than prior knowledge. The event was born in 2010 out of my vision of increasing enthusiasm for learning and education. I believe motivation is 80% of education, and while having fun, students get to actually practice the

skills that employers rank among the most valuable today in the workplace. These positive experiences have a profound effect on their interest in education at large. One of the unique a s p e c t s o f t h e G AT E O l y m p i c s i s t h a t it does not test prior knowledge. This makes the event adaptable to any age g r o u p, w i t h a ny n a t i v e l a n g u a g e ( a s w e’ v e demonstrated by holding it in English and Spanish). I was incredibly impressed with the problem-solving skills and resourcefulness of the students in El S a l v a d o r e s p e c i a l l y, a n d i n a m a j o r i t y o f the challenges they outper formed their American counterparts. This continues to prove one of my theories surrounding


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education: while education systems around the world are far from uniform, t h e i n d i v i d u a l ’s q u e s t t o l e a r n i s something that transcends cultures and languages. The question then becomes: how can we cater to communities and s t u d e n t s g l o b a l l y, w h i l e e f f e c t i v e l y adapting our teaching structure to m i r r o r t h e l o c a l c o m m u n i t i e s ? We b e l i e v e t h a t t h e G AT E O l y m p i c s m a y b e a p i e c e t o t h a t a n s w e r, a n d a v e h i c l e t o i n s p i r e o u r y o u t h t o l e a r n , g r o w, s o l v e problems, and come up with creative solutions to the biggest challenges in their community and the world at large.

Giving a Global Perspec tive I’ve taught workshops and ran G AT E O l y m p i c s e v e n t s / a c t i v i t i e s i n countries from El Salvador to Israel, for schools located in rainforests to agricultural communities. In each place, the response and feedback is overwhelmingly positive. A key factor

to this success is the cross-cultural nature of the programs. My students learn not only about the topic of the workshop (STEM, entrepreneurship, etc.) but also a new culture and world view and at the same time, I get to learn about their culture and perspectives. T h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p g a v e m e a n invaluable international education experience early in my college years. This, in addition to the access to an international network, has shaped my worldview and career interests, while giving me valuable skills to succeed in my fields (international relations, n a t i o n a l s e c u r i t y, d e f e n s e i n n o v a t i o n , w a t e r s e c u r i t y, a n d i n t e r n a t i o n a l development). But it has made me equally passionate about passing along my experiences to other students and young people around the world, as they begin their careers in a world m o r e c o n n e c t e d t h a n e v e r.


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Building a Passion Project Outside of Work: Crafting + Combining It with Social Impact Conversations Jamie Ko

My first memory of a craft workshop that I signed up for was back in 2012, in Hong Kong, to make a leather wallet. I still keep t h a t w a l l e t t o d a y, b u t m y r e l a t i o n s h i p with craft has evolved significantly since.

Made my own wooden table at a workshop

A f t e r t h a t f i r s t w o r k s h o p, I r e a l i s e d I w a s drawn to creating things with my hands, a n d “c re a t i o n” g a ve m e a l o t o f s a t i s f a c t i o n . I think this is because I create a lot of less “ t a n g i b l e” t h i n g s a t w o r k ( I m a d e l o t s o f slide decks as a consultant at the start of m y c a r e e r ) . To e n s u r e I c o n t i n u e d t o d o this consistently even while I got busy with work, I set myself a goal to post a project every month, and that marked the bir th of my website, mademyown. co back in 2016. This made me actively seek craft workshops/ projects to try wherever I went.


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Made a concrete vase and planter


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Made resin and wood jewellery


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Over time, I realized it changed my life in other ways: - I now appreciate the resources and effor t behind every object produced: I have become more conscious in my purchase decisions, and have better appreciation of things I own - I realise how imper fections make objects special and give them character (a feature of handcrafted items, which I have unintentionally incorporated in my many p r o j e c t s : p ) , a n d i t ’s w o r t h i n v e s t i n g i n fixing objects that effor t has already been spent to create (do not need to discard an item just because it is not per fect) - I do not need to own many items to be happy - I feel a lot more attached to items I create, and want to use / wear / take care of them more, and feel less of an urge to shop for more things

Upcycled my husband’s old shirt into a new top


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In 2020, when Covid-19 hit, and many people were confined at home due to movement restriction controls, I felt really lucky to have a hobby that I could continue to find satisfaction from. At the same time, there were many public conversations on issues relating to Covid-19. In Singapore, the widespread migrant worker infections in their dormitories were thrown into the spotlight. I had just completed a craft project using concrete, and that reminded me of the issue (as many migrant workers in Singapore work in the construction industry). As I have always been keen on social impact work, I started to think about how to integrate i t i n t o m y h o b b y. T h a t m a r k e d t h e b i r t h of Craft for Conversations - a way for me to tr y to marr y craft to social issues, and help star t conversations on them. I use different materials / crafting methods to represent an issue, and reflect on how the crafting process has parallels with the real world situation, as well as other ways the craft represents facets of the topic. I sell these limited pieces of conversational craft and donate the proceeds to an organisation working on the same issue. I have worked on three project topics so far: S u s t a i n a b i l i t y / Wa s t e , M i g r a n t Wo r k e r I n c l u s i o n , I n e q u a l i t y, a n d h a v e r a i s e d more than a thousand dollars in the process.


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More important to me than the money was the engagement people had on the topics and issues. I was particularly inspired whenever people responded to share their perspectives. As more platforms and content creators fight for our attention, and the wave of consumerism continues, I hope to be able to inject a new perspective, and philosophy towards objects and issues. I am not sure how these passion projects will evolve, and whether this is the best way I can make a difference to the world, but I think it is important to continue to experiment and be willing to engage. Ye a r s a g o, w h e n I u s e d t o t h i n k t h a t I w a n t e d t o b e a s o c i a l e n t r e p r e n e u r, I

never could quite nail down something I w a n t e d t o d e v o t e m y l i f e t o, a n d t o b e confident enough to have a proper plan t o c o m m i t m y s e l f t o. A f r i e n d o f m i n e a d v i s e d m e n o t t o o v e r l y s t r e s s m y s e l f, and perhaps to think of all my ideas a s p r o j e c t s . J u s t g i v e i t a t r y, a n d i f i t works, can see how to expand it, but if not, just drop it - it makes the process less intimidating, and something that seems feasible to at least begin, even w h i l e h a v i n g a j o b a t t h e s a m e t i m e . I t ’s a philosophy I have been holding onto since, and I am excited to see what the future holds for mademyown.co and Craft for Conversations, or perhaps, something else new?

M a d e m y o w n . c o : w w w. m a d e m y o w n . c o / w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / m a d e m y o w n c o / w w w. instagram.com/mademyownco C r a f t f o r C o n v e r s a t i o n s : w w w. f a c e b o o k . c o m / c r a f t f o r c o n v e r s a t i o n s / w w w. i n s t a g r a m . c o m / c r a f t f o r c o n v e r s a t i o n s


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Graphic novel as a medium to integrate teaching reading and speaking in English Yong Xin (Alexandrovna) Mo

R e c e n t l y, L i n g n a n U n i v e r s i t y i n H o n g Kong and Heidelberg University in Germany would like to hold an online conference on 24-25 March 2021 for papers in the theme, “ Then and Now : Collecting Ar t and Exhibiting Cultures” in Asia Conference. It is interesting to notice that the panel has encouraged a discussion on the role of university collections of art, artifacts and manuscripts in Hong Kong and other Asian regions to support teaching and research on related subjects. As such, it reminds me of one of the successful stories in my teaching-research e x p e r i e n c e s i n t h e Tr o m s ø - A r k h a n g e l s k Master program of English Linguistics i n ‘ Te a c h i n g M e t h o d s a n d P r i n c i p l e s i n Fo r e i g n L a n g u a g e A c q u i s i t i o n a n d L e a r n i n g’ i n t h e A r c t i c U n i v e r s i t y o f Nor way and the Northern (Arctic) Fe d e r a l U n i v e r s i t y i n t h e p o s t - S o v i e t Nordic-Asian region in 2017. The period of my teaching practice has lasted for four weeks in total, f r o m 3 1 J a n 2 0 1 7 t o 2 5 Fe b 2 0 1 7 . My teaching-research practice took place in the institute of Philology and International Communication in the N o r t h e r n ( A r c t i c ) Fe d e r a l U n i v e r s i t y i n Arkhangelsk in Arctic Russia. The target group of my teaching practice was 10 third-year undergraduate students,

who were studying English Linguistics and to be trained to become English teachers in schools upon graduation. Their English was B1 level and they just passed the exam of stylistics. All of them were females. The course was English for Communication. As the name put it, the goal of the course was to maximize the oppor tunities for students to communicate in English. My hypothesis was that graphic novels could be a medium integrating teaching reading and speaking, because the explicit teaching of reading strategy on interpreting comics elements could help to develop speaking activities for students in task-based approach. Ta s k - b a s e d a p p r o a c h Then what does the task-based approach involve specifically? It is noted that it is a sequence of communicative tasks to be carried out in the target language (Nunan, 1996). It aims to provide learners with a natural context for language learning by doing things with language (Bradford, 1973: 15-29), because they are given abundant opportunities to interact during the tasks by working t o g e t h e r, u n d e r s t a n d i n g e a c h o t h e r a n d expressing their own meanings (Candlin & M u r p h y, 1 9 8 7 : c i t e d i n B y g a t e , 1999). Prabhu (1987: cited in Rod Ellis)


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distinguishes three general types of tasks based on the kind of cognitive activity involved A) information gap tasks, when students exchange pieces of information to complete a task, B) opinion gap task in which learners think about and state their personal preferences, attitudes, or feelings in order to complete a task C) reasoning gap tasks when students derive some new information by inferring it from information they have been given. Literacy and Oracy Then how to understand the relationship between reading and speaking of human b e i n g s ? I n E n g l i s h Te a c h e r ’s H a n d b o o k , S t e p h e n a n d S u s a n J u d y ( Tc h u d i ) recommend ranking instructional priorities to aid sound course planning (1979) of which the first priority s h o u l d b e t o d i r e c t a t t e n t i o n t o “o r a c y ” (listening and speaking) along with “literacy ” (reading and writing) in course planning. Thus, the logical flow is that reading as the starting point in literacy and speaking as the final extended a c t i v i t y i n o r a c y, p r o m o t i n g t h e o v e r a l l development of language of a student. S u c h t h e o r y i s a l s o f o u n d i n K r a s h e n’s ( 1 9 8 5 ) i n p u t t h e o r y, w h i c h s u g g e s t e d meaningful comprehensible input as an important source of language learning that reading, which is a receptive skill or meaningful input, can benefit students

in enhancing elicitation of meaningful output and fluency development. (Nation and Newton, 2009). Graphic novels and Intermedial theor y As my lesson was adopting a taskbased approach, the main objective was about meaningful communication amongst the teachers-students in the g r o u p. I n t e r m e d i a l t h e o r y e x p l a i n s the key feature of the medium of comics to suppor t its role in executing meaningful communicative activities in task-based approach. Graphic novel is an intermedial ar t form (medium) because juxtaposition of images and words in deliberate sequence become into one stor ytelling apparatus. They can be transmedial because they have non-media-specific elements which are shared by other forms of media like heroic characters and serial stor ytelling. They are also intermedial as they often refer to other media by importing specific techniques such as camera perspectives from film or verbal forms of narration from literature. Therefore, graphic novels do not restrict only semiotic analysis of comics’ visual elements but get us involved in the p r o d u c t i o n o f n a r r a t i v e m e a n i n g” ( R i p p l a n d E t t e r 2 0 1 3 , 1 9 3 ; H o p p e l e r, E t t e r, and Rippl 2009; Rippl 2004, McCloud, 1993: 30-33).


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Then what are the proposed activities to support negotiation of meanings with graphic novels? Zhang (2009: 3234) has suggested teacher-researchers three kinds of activities that could serve the purpose of reading to speaking: they are namely read to act, read to debate(discuss) and read to interview for both intensive and extensive reading classes. On top of this, Scrivener (2009) also made similar variants to post-text communicative activities, like role playing, debating, and personalization. Then what are the assumptions behind? I n v i s u a l a n t h r o p o l o g y, c a r t o o n i s t Scott McCloud has stated, comics is a medium like a vessel which can hold any number of ideas of images (1993, p. 6 ) I n t e a c h i n g , a n e x p l i c i t i n s t r u c t i o n of reading strategy in visual elements i n g r a p h i c n o v e l s s u c h a s c o l o r, shading, panel, layout, perspective and even the lettering style (Schwarz, 2 0 0 6 , p. 5 8 - 6 4 ) h a s h i g h p o t e n t i a l t o p r o v o k e “p r o d u c t i v e t h i n k i n g” i n o r d e r to provoke the need of speaking or w r i t i n g ( A r n h e i m , 1 9 8 6 , p. 1 3 8 ) . T h e y

are classroom communicative activities like drama extension, presentation, g r o u p w o r k s ( B r e n n a , U K L A 2 0 1 2 , p. 8 8 94) and even meaningful discussions about visual perception, drawing and d e s i g n i n g , a r t h i s t o r y, a n d c o n t e n t o n m u l t i p l e l e v e l s ( B e r k o w i t z & Pa c k e r, 2001). Therefore, I was interested to observe an understanding of visual elements in graphic novels as a reading strategy in my lesson plan and see how it works to turn strategic reading to productive thinking, and then provoke speaking at the final task. Marjane S a t r a p i ’s m e m o i r a b o u t C h i l d h o o d i n I r a n - Pe r s e p o l i s : T h e S t o r y o f a Childhood (2003) was the educational graphic novel in English Literature for p o s t - c o n f l i c t d i s c o u r s e s t u d y, a n d I have selected it for my obser vation and practice. The results were compelling. It is because the anticipated problem expected from previous observation experiences since 2015 was that the students would interact with each other in Russian, rather than in English.


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Intrinsic motivation to perform Fi r s t , s t u d e n t s w e r e m o s t l y v e r y engaged in doing information gap inter viewing tasks. In the first task – information gap interviewing activity – I could see that the students are very wellprepared for the presentation after reading the graphic novels and the supplementary reading of Understanding Comics by ScottMcCloud (1993). I did not require them to make any presentation material in my instruction, but just simply told them to interview each other a t c l a s s a n d s u m m a r i z e o r a l l y. They were very engaged to use chalk and board as well as even Po w e r Po i n t presentations. I could conclude that application of reading strategies in visual elements to do the information exchange brought them intrinsic motivation to per form extended activities as speaking tasks, such as summarization and paraphrasing.


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Reasoning and opinion expression S e c o n d l y, t h e s t u d e n t s w e r e q u i t e interactive during the process of doing the reasoning-gap task and opinion-gap task. The outcome was very communicative not only amongst the students, but also between me and them. They even attempted to clarify their reasoning and opinions in English

even though they did not know how to express the exact meaning in English. Other groups actively explained to me in English only when I mistakenly understood some points of them. I could conclude that the comics elements were interesting for them to read and became interactive. The skills of negotiation for meaning and clarifying were noticed.


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Hope for visual studies of history and literatures in the future T h i r d l y, t h e f e e d b a c k f r o m t h e s t u d e n t s was so positive that they have started to be interested in teaching reading strategy in reading class. Some of them hoped for continuing such kind of instructions in university courses. Here are some reflections from the students at the last session of my lesson: Vika: I love comics. I read a lot of comic books, but I have never thought about the structure of the comics. Why not (to teach comics ar t in university in English)?! Sandman is a piece of ar t. Comics can teach about ar t and it could be in the reading courses not only in Russia but also in the whole world. Alexandra: I used to learn about the histor y of superheros on the internet only through a Russian website called Kursera. There we only

learn about the history of the superheros and it is quite boring. It is interesting to learn a new kind of history and comics art in English in this course. Alyona: I have learnt something about the structure of graphic novels. It is ver y interesting to learn how comics are created. Anya: I used to learn about only the stories of Disneyland comics in English but have never learnt about the art of comics in English reading and have never thought about it. I think I will read more about comics and pay attention to the structure. Dasha: I think in school children would not like learning about the gutters, panels…I think learning reading about the comics art in English is better for those who are interested in drawing and ar ts. Anya: I think comics should be in additional c o u r s e s i n t h e u n i v e r s i t y.


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Reflec tion on the field of Peace Studies A d a m C u r l e , a s o n e o f t h e f i r s t Pe a c e Studies programs in Britain, redefines t h e f u n c t i o n o f Pe a c e S t u d i e s a s a n a l y z i n g ‘u n p e a c e f u l r e l a t i o n s h i p s ’ t o ‘d e v i s e m e a n s o f c h a n g i n g u n p e a c e f u l into peaceful relationships. The trend in most of the programs in universities is about the emergence of horrifying military technologies such as chemical and biological weapons. Thus, there is a need to investigate new methods in highly volatile situations: peacebuilding or peacekeeping roles which do not multiply the violence of the people in conflict by traditional military methods of intervention (Brunk, 2012: 15). Based on my teaching experiences

on the graphic novels about Iran in We s t e r n A s i a w i t h t h e g i r l s i n t h e post-Soviet Nordic region, I propose that a hybrid form of private -public collection of ar tifacts for thematic analysis or secondary analysis could be for local civil society enhancement ( Va y d a , 1 9 7 6 : 4 , c i t e d b y G i n t y, 2 0 0 8 : 141-142) in museum exhibition, waste management, the method of visual anthropology for peace education. Here I hope that graphic novels with autobiography could also be one of the interesting media to pursue sustainable entrepreneurship in Asian History with Nor wegian-Helsinki Committee, Russia and Hong Kong. .


BOOK SHARING


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《心靈的傷,身體會記住》

The Body Keeps The Score Karlie Chen

I was so attracted by this book name “ The Body Keeps The S c o r e” w h e n I f i r s t s a w i t i n m y s c h o o l l i b r a r y. T h i s b o o k i s mainly about traumatic stress. The body is triggered to even a situation which is just slightly similar to what had caused the trauma. It results in sequelae such as insomnia, drug a n d a l c o h o l a d d i c t i o n a n d s e l f - d e s t r u c t i v e b e h a v i o r. W i t h D r. B e s s e l v a n d e r K o l k ’s p r o f o u n d m e d i c a l k n o w l e d g e , he reveals trauma via a number of interesting experiments and explains from the changes of brain substances. After many years of his clinical practices, he has also brought for th a controversial discussion about the medicine usage of psychiatric patients. Currently there are about 500,000 children in the USA taking psychiatric medication; however t h i s h i n d e r s t h e i r m o t i v a t i o n , r e c r e a t i o n a b i l i t y a n d c u r i o s i t y, w h i c h a r e c r u c i a l a s a c o n t r i b u t i n g m e m b e r o f a s o c i e t y. These chemicals may be able to suppress symptoms but not curing from deep within. It means their right of thorough recovery is also deprived.


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D r. B e s s e l v a n d e r K o l k m e n t i o n s s o m e a l t e r n a t i v e s w h i c h b r i n g h o p e t o t h e e n t i r e p s y c h i a t r y. U s i n g i m a g i n a t i o n r e v i s i t i n g traumatic scenes and re -creating them to a much desirable o u t c o m e e x e r t a t r e m e n d o u s e f f e c t o n a p a t i e n t . Pa t i e n t s a r e relieved from the feeling of incapability of the time of harm. Drama therapy is another option. Through drama some often s u p p r e s s e d f e e l i n g s a r e a b l e t o b e e x p r e s s e d . Pa t i e n t s t a k e u p roles which are brave and full of faith which also motivates them to face their actual situation. Although this book mainly talks about post-traumatic stress, there are lots of practical ways, like group suppor t and care, that could be applied to emotions of all degrees.


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Review in traditional Chinese: 近幾年無論在教會、工作地方、朋友同儕之間都

國有五十萬兒童在服用抗精神病藥物,通常是為

發現不少在人生某個階段遇到某些心靈傷害,而

了讓被虐待和被忽視的孩子比較好管教。然而這

此後的生活就一直被影響,困在自己熟悉的恐懼

樣也阻礙了他們的動機、遊戲能力和好奇心,這

中,就像書中所形容「卡」住了一樣。

些都是要成為一個在社會上健全又有貢獻的一員 所需的元素,同時服用這些藥物的兒童也有罹患

我有一次在學校圖書館看了這本書,就被它的書

病態肥胖及糖尿病的風險。可是,由於藥物利潤

名吸引了﹕《心靈的傷,身體會記住》。這本書

驚人,如執業醫師探究其他治療方法,通常會被

主 要 是 探 討 創 傷 後 壓 力 症 Po s t Tr a u m a t i c S t r e s s

邊緣化為「非主流」。非藥物治療的研究也很少

Disorder。 很 多 身 心 受 傷 的 經 歷 , 就 算 事 情 過 了

得到經費。主流醫學堅決透過化學追求更好的生

多麼久,以為會慢慢的淡忘,身體卻誠實的反映

活,卻沒有想過我們其實可以採取藥物以外的途

著那影響還沒有過去,嚴重的例如失眠、藥物上

徑,改變人體的生理機能和內在平衡。當我們忽

癮、酗酒、自殘。

視病患最核心的源頭而只是藉藥物抑制表面的症 狀,我們就奪走了人類癒合創傷、恢復自主的能

這些狀況都清楚地說明人類大腦的結構與運作系

力。其實香港也是一個重用精神科藥物的地方,

統,以及當傷痛發生時,大腦某些區域的變化應

看過作者不偏不倚的分析後,實在也為目前香港

對,讓人驚嘆創傷與身體的連鎖反應,就例如皮

的治療手法感到失望。雖然藥物的確能有效地抑

質醇(一種壓力賀爾蒙),皮質醇會釋放安全信號

制精神病病患的病癥而減低對社會的危險,只是

來結束身體的壓力反應,但創傷後壓力症者體內

一直的抑制,但卻奪去了他們痊癒的權利。

的壓力賀爾蒙卻並不會在威脅消失後回復到原本 的基準值,以致患者長期在驚恐之下,一遇到相

最後作者提出了一些仍在試行的治療方法,新穎

似的場景就有「戰、逃、僵呆」的反應,而引致

且滿有盼望。例如想像力對於療癒有意想不到的

各種身體的反應。

效果,作者記下了一個親身見證的經歷︰他朋友 的兒子在目睹九一一恐怖襲擊後當晚畫了一幅圖

作者具豐富的專業知識,由淺入深剖析創傷後壓

畫。他畫下了當時慘痛可怕的一幕,就是人們從

力症。書中提到一些實驗讓人更容易理解,其

熊熊烈焰的大樓往下跳,但他還多畫了救生設

中提及一個動物研究﹕當研究者播放很吵的噪音

備,在即將崩塌的建築物底部加了一個彈簧墊。

時,在溫暖又食物充足的環境中長大的小鼠會立

他運用了想像力來處理看到的景象。那一夜小孩

刻逃回巢穴,另一群在吵雜且缺乏食物的巢穴中

子安然進睡了。

長大的小鼠,即使已經身處在比較愉快的環境, 也願意逗留一會兒,但最後還是會跑回自己的巢

有時我也會在想,如果生活太艱苦,想像力不是

穴。不論家的環境舒適還是惡劣,受到驚嚇的動

給人快樂和生存下去的動力嗎? 作者分享他如何

物都會跑回家。人似乎也是一樣。病患就算是在

把想像力帶進治療的領域裡,帶患者重訪過去並

家中受虐,即使有機會再度受傷,是否也是身不

賦予慘痛經歷一個新的結局。作者提及其中一個

由己地回到熟悉的地方?

重訪過去的方法,有點像現時輔導學裡所用的空 椅子技巧:讓受創者回到生命中一些關鍵時刻,

作者亦透過分享這幾十年在精神醫學的經歷,坦

把當時沒有說到的話說出來,把沒有做的事完

誠地探討精神科藥物的利與弊。成效快而明顯

成。讓人去創造新的、補充性的記憶。這樣做並

的背後又有否真正帶病人走出陰霾?

還是只是

沒有抹除負面記憶,但卻賦予人力量,提供了一

抑制情緒,結果病人卻一輩子依賴著藥物?在美

個新的選項,從受傷害時那種無助感出來,重寫


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自己的人生劇本,滿足基本的人性需求,實現被

裡擔任重要的角色重拾信心,勇敢面對疾病與治

愛和被保護的渴望。

療。

又例如其中的劇場治療實在令人眼前一亮。從前

雖然這本書主要是談及創傷後遺症,不過很多裡

我一直思索戲劇的意義。除了娛樂觀眾,戲劇甚

面所探討或可實行的方法卻能用於不同程度的情

至能助演出者在團體裡自由的體驗深刻的情緒。

緒問題。就像關心與群體的支持,或一些身體接

愛與恨、攻擊與屈從、忠誠與背叛,這些都是劇

觸以安撫對方情緒,都能用於身邊的人。

場的要素,也是創傷的元素。可惜的是,文化對 我們的訓練是跟自己真實的感受切割,而戲劇卻

我很久也沒有完成過一本有點厚的書,但內容實

帶人深切去感受,甚至傳達給觀眾。書裡作者

在引人入勝。我非常推薦大家看看這本書,特別

也有提及自己的兒子在患重病時如何透過在戲劇

是對精緒健康有興趣的人。

Review in simplified Chinese: 近几年无论在教会、工作地方、朋友同侪之间都

压力症。书中提到一些实验让人更容易理解,其

发现不少在人生某个阶段遇到某些心灵伤害,而

中提及一个动物研究﹕当研究者播放很吵的噪音

此后的生活就一直被影响,困在自己熟悉的恐惧

时,在温暖又食物充足的环境中长大的小鼠会立

中,就像书中所形容「卡」住了一样。

刻逃回巢穴,另一群在吵杂且缺乏食物的巢穴中 长大的小鼠,即使已经身处在比较愉快的环境,

我有一次在学校图书馆看了这本书,就被它的书

也愿意逗留一会儿,但最後还是会跑回自己的巢

名吸引了﹕《心灵的伤,身体会记住》。这本书

穴。不论家的环境舒适还是恶劣,受到惊吓的动

主 要 是 探 讨 创 伤 后 压 力 症 Po s t Tr a u m a t i c S t r e s s

物都会跑回家。人似乎也是一样。病患就算是在

Disorder。很 多 身 心 受 伤 的 经 历 , 就 算 事 情 过 了

家中受虐,即使有机会再度受伤,是否也是身不

多么久,以为会慢慢的淡忘,身体却诚实的反映

由己地回到熟悉的地方?

着那影响还没有过去,严重的例如失眠、药物上 瘾、酗酒、自残。

作者亦透过分享这几十年在精神医学的经历,坦 诚地探讨精神科药物的利与弊。成效快而明显

这些状况都清楚地说明人类大脑的结构与运作系

的背後又有否真正带病人走出阴霾?

还是只是

统,以及当伤痛发生时,大脑某些区域的变化应

抑制情绪,结果病人却一辈子依赖著药物?在美

对,让人惊叹创伤与身体的连锁反应,就例如皮

国有五十万儿童在服用抗精神病药物,通常是为

质醇(一种压力贺尔蒙)

,皮质醇会释放安全信

了让被虐待和被忽视的孩子比较好管教。然而这

号来结束身体的压力反应,但创伤后压力症者体

样也阻碍了他们的动机、遊戏能力和好奇心,这

内的压力贺尔蒙却并不会在威胁消失后回复到原

些都是要成为一个在社会上健全又有贡献的一员

本的基准值,以致患者长期在惊恐之下,一遇到

所需的元素,同时服用这些药物的儿童也有罹患

相似的场景就有「战、逃、僵呆」的反应,而引

病态肥胖及糖尿病的风险。可是,由於药物利润

致各种身体的反应。

惊人,如执业医师探究其他治疗方法,通常会被 边缘化为「非主流」。非药物治疗的研究也很少

作者具丰富的专业知识,由浅入深剖析创伤後

得到经费。主流医学坚决透过化学追求更好的生


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活,却没有想过我们其实可以采取药物以外的途

个新的选项,从受伤害时那种无助感出来,重写

径,改变人体的生理机能和内在平衡。当我们忽

自己的人生剧本,满足基本的人性需求,实现被

视病患最核心的源头而只是藉药物抑制表面的症

爱和被保护的渴望。

状,我们就夺走了人类癒合创伤、恢复自主的能 力。其实香港也是一个重用精神科药物的地方,

又例如其中的剧场治疗实在令人眼前一亮。从前

看过作者不偏不倚的分析後,实在也为目前香港

我一直思索戏剧的意义。除了娱乐观众,戏剧甚

的治疗手法感到失望。虽然药物的确能有效地抑

至能助演出者在团体里自由的体验深刻的情绪。

制精神病病患的病癥而减低对社会的危险,只是

爱与恨、攻击与屈从、忠诚与背叛,这些都是剧

一直的抑制,但却夺去了他们痊癒的权利。

场的要素,也是创伤的元素。可惜的是,文化对 我们的训练是跟自己真实的感受切割,而戏剧

最後作者提出了一些仍在试行的治疗方法,新颖

却带人深切去感受,甚至传达给观众。书里作者

且满有盼望。例如想像力对於疗癒有意想不到的

也有提及自己的儿子在患重病时如何透过在戏剧

效果,作者记下了一个亲身见證的经历︰他朋友

里担任重要的角色重拾信心,勇敢面对疾病与治

的儿子在目睹九一一恐怖袭击後当晚画了一幅图

疗。

画。他画下了当时惨痛可怕的一幕,就是人们从 熊熊烈焰的大楼往下跳,但他还多画了救生设

虽然这本书主要是谈及创伤後遗症,不过很多里

备,在即将崩塌的建築物底部加了一个弹簧垫。

面所探讨或可实行的方法却能用於不同程度的情

他运用了想像力来处理看到的景象。那一夜小孩

绪问题。就像关心与群体的支持,或一些身体接

子安然进睡了。

触以安抚对方情绪,都能用於身边的人。

有时我也会在想,如果生活太艰苦,想像力不是

我很久也没有完成过一本有点厚的书,但内容实

给人快乐和生存下去的动力吗? 作者分享他如何

在引人入胜。我非常推荐大家看看这本书,特别

把想像力带进治疗的领域里,带患者重访过去并

是对精绪健康有兴趣的人。

赋予惨痛经历一个新的结局。作者提及其中一个 重访过去的方法,有点像现时辅导学里所用的空 椅子技巧:让受创者回到生命中一些关键时刻, 把当时没有说到的话说出来,把没有做的事完 成。让人去创造新的、补充性的记忆。这样做并 没有抹除负面记忆,但却赋予人力量,提供了一


40 | FS Network Newsletter #18

The Diving Bell and the Butterfly (original French title Le Scaphandre et le Papillon) Nikita Hayward

The Diving Bell and the Butter fly is one of the most compelling books ever written about communication. The book e x p l o r e s w h a t h a p p e n s w h e n s o m e o n e’s ability to communicate is suddenly t a k e n a w a y, a n d t h e r e s u l t i n g i s o l a t i o n – a poignant metaphor for what the world has had to come to terms with d u e t o t h e CO V I D - 1 9 p a n d e m i c . This book has had a profound impact on the way that I think about human communication and made me more interested in the fields of psychology a n d s p e e c h a n d l a n g u a g e t h e r a p y. T h e a u t h o r, J e a n - D o m i n i q u e B a u b y, w a s a famous writer and editor of ELLE, a p r e s t i g i o u s Fr e n c h f a s h i o n m a g a z i n e . Although affluent, an unfor tunate stroke left him completely paralysed and unable to speak. Even after the stroke, Bauby could still understand those around him and remember the past, but it took a very long period of time until people realised that he could still comprehend them by

blinking his eyelids to signify this and even respond. How did Bauby move on from what had happened to him without being able to physically move? How did he come to t e r m s w i t h h i s a l t e r e d r e a l i t y, w h e r e h i s body was no longer subservient to his mind? This is a book about loneliness, isolation, and the integral role of communication in survival. Above all, this is a book about hope. Bauby eventually learnt to discover his o w n “n e w n o r m a l ” ( w h i c h m i g h t v e r y w e l l become one of the most popular phrases of 2020!). He learnt that communication came from empathy and patience, not p h y s i c a l s o u n d o r p r o x i m i t y. W h e n Bauby had to learn to blink as his primary means of communication, he even described himself as feeling “like a caveman discovering language for the f i r s t t i m e”. I n t h e i r o w n w a y, I i m a g i n e most people have reached a similar conclusion while living under varying f o r m s o f l o c k d o w n t h i s p a s t y e a r.


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At one point, Bauby drew a parallel b e t w e e n h i m fe e l i n g t r a p p e d i n h i s o w n body and his elderly father who lived a l o n e. B a u b y s a w h i m s e l f a s o n e o f m a ny “c a s t a w a y s o n t h e s h o r e s o f l o n e l i n e s s .” H o w e v e r, t h e i r o ny h e r e i s t h a t h e k n o w s h i s fe e l i n g o f l o n e l i n e s s i s n o t u n i q u e t o h i m . T h e w o r d “c a s t a w a y ” h e r e i s particularly telling - it implies someone l o s t , a d r i f t f r o m a s h i p w r e c k , o r e q u a l l y, s o m e t h i n g t h a t h a s b e e n “c a s t a w a y ”, fo r g o t t e n , a n d p e r h a p s d e l i b e r a t e l y t h r o w n a s i d e, a s B a u b y i s s e g r e g a t e d f r o m m a i n s t r e a m s o c i e t y. B a u b y e v e n t u a l l y fo u n d s o l a c e i n his imagination and memor y and re i m a g i n e d h i m s e l f a s t h e e p o ny m o u s b u t t e r f l y. I n t h i s w a y, h e t a k e s b a c k c o n t r o l o v e r h i s “d i v i n g b e l l ” ( h i s immobile body), which then “becomes l e s s o p p r e s s i v e”. H e t r a n s c e n d s h i s individual struggle and meditates on t h e v a s t n e s s o f t h e u n i v e r s e. H e b e l i e v e s that optimism is an imperative par t of collective human sur vival and ponders; “d o e s t h e c o s m o s c o n t a i n k e y s fo r o p e n i n g my d i v i n g b e l l ? … A c u r r e n c y s t r o n g e n o u g h t o b u y my f r e e d o m b a c k ? We m u s t k e e p h o p i n g”. U l t i m a t e l y, i f t h e r e i s o n e l e s s o n t o b e learned from The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, it is that communication is both the tool used to build communities, and t h e b r i d g e w h i c h h o l d s t h e m t o g e t h e r.


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The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime The Curious Incident Of The Dog In The Nighttime is a story of a boy n a m e d C h r i s t o p h e r w h o h a s A s p e r g e r ’s syndrome and is trying to solve the m u r d e r o f h i s n e i g h b o u r ’s d o g . D u r i n g his investigation, he finds out a number of uncomfor table truths that lead him to lose all trust in his father who lies a b o u t h i s m o t h e r ’s d e a t h a n d h i s k i l l i n g of the dog. The stor y ends with his d e c i s i o n t o r e c o n c i l e w i t h h i s f a t h e r. “A n d w h e n I w a s a s l e e p I h a d o n e o f m y favourite dreams… And in the dream n e a r l y e v e r y o n e o n t h e e a r t h i s d e a d …” T h i s i s a q u o t e f r o m C h r i s t o p h e r. A quote that reveals his subtle disdain of people in the world. A quote that describes the social exclusion that an a u t i s t i c c h i l d e x p e r i e n c e s e v e r y d a y. A quote that reminds us of how much misunderstanding we have about w h a t s e e m s ‘a b n o r m a l ’ i n o u r e y e s but is normal in the autism spectrum. S o m e t i m e s i t ’s n o t t h e c h i l d ’s p r o b l e m . Sometimes, we are the problem. D u e t o h i s A s p e r g e r ’s s y n d r o m e , Christopher lives on rules, patterns, equations, and is incapable of normal social interaction. Even his everyday social skills have to be trained and taught by special educators. It is frustrating to see that people know v e r y l i t t l e a b o u t A s p e r g e r ’s s y n d r o m e o r autism, and because of such ignorance, t h e y u s u a l l y s t a r e a t , r u d e l y s p e a k t o, o r e v e n v i c i o u s l y t e a s e C h r i s t o p h e r. Instead of tr ying to understand why

Ken Fung

he is behaving in certain ways, they discriminate against him. Are we one of these people? Do we understand what i t m e a n s t o h a v e A s p e r g e r ’s s y n d r o m e ? I n t h e b o o k , C h r i s t o p h e r ’s m o t h e r h a s an affair with a neighbour and chooses t o l e a v e h e r s o n f o r a n e w p a r t n e r. Exasperated about this and convinced that it is best Christopher not know the divorce, the father chooses to deceive his son into believing that his mother dies of sickness. When she finds out that her ex-husband fabricates her death to completely isolate Christopher from h e r s e l f, s h e r e a l i s e s s h e c o u l d n o l o n g e r afford to be selfish or choose romance over her dear son. What surprised me the most was how Christopher reacted to all of this. He emotionally breaks down and literally v o m i t s a t h i s f a t h e r ’s l i e . R u n n i n g a w a y f r o m h i s f a t h e r, h e t r a v e l s m i l e s t o L o n d o n i n s e a r c h o f h i s m o t h e r. I t broke my hear t to see that Christopher was hurt so much while his parents understood so little about him. I believe this story is a wake -up call for all of us. It is imperative we care about children - children who often get treated differently just because they do not talk like us or live like us. They h a v e a d i f f e r e n t b a c k s t o r y, a s m u c h a s we have our own backstories. Are we willing to listen to those backstories? Are we ready to listen? Let us hear before we judge.


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PHOTO SHARING


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The New Normal and Coronavirus Aileen Kearney

Adapting Grassroots Athletics to the New Normal The UK first went into lockdown at the end of March 2020 which led to the cancellation of all athletic competitions, the closure of gyms and running tracks, and restrictions on the number of p e o p l e w h o c a n t r a i n t o g e t h e r. A l t h o u g h the restrictions on group training were r e l a x e d o v e r t h e s u m m e r, t h e y w e r e l a t e r reintroduced and will remain in place until the end of March 2021.

Our Take on the Elbow Bump

Fa c e d w i t h t h e s e c h a l l e n g e s , A i l e e n ( Fu n g S c h o l a r 2 0 1 8 ) j o i n e d u p w i t h fellow volunteers at Wirral AC to come up with ways to keep children and young people active and motivated through the Wirral Endurance Programme ( WEP). WEP now has a team of sixteen volunteer coaches and youth run leaders who help plan socially distanced sessions, zoom training classes, virtual races, and online suppor t groups. While many run groups and athletics clubs have struggled to adapt to the new conditions resulting in many young athletes dropping out o f t h e s p o r t , W E P ’s t e a m h a s c o n t i n u e d to successfully support the training of a hundred athletes, 75 of whom attend 3-4 times a week, and enabled them to achieve their sporting goals. As a result


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of all the hard work put in by the volunteers to meet the challenges p o s e d b y CO V I D - 1 9 , i n Fe b r u a r y a t e a m of eight WEP athletes won the 2020/21 National Vir tual Mixed-Gender 5-Mile Road Relay Competition, beating all other clubs in the country – an amazing and unprecedented achievement for such a young team. WEP attributes this success to the t e a m’s e f f o r t s t o a d a p t t o t h e d e m a n d s of socially distanced and virtual training as well as the work put in behind the scenes to keep athletes motivated throughout the pandemic. The team leverages social media to keep in touch, plan sessions, and review progress whilst taking advantage of the online running platform Strava t o t r a c k a t h l e t e’s s e s s i o n s , m i l e a g e and progress. Instead of allocating athletes to individual coaches, the team assumes collective responsibility for all the young athletes and rotates them between coaches. This ensures that there is minimal disruption if a coach or group of coaches have to take time off -- either to self isolate because o f a CO V I D - 1 9 o u t b r e a k o r f o r o t h e r personal reasons -- and contributes to the creation of a supportive team culture.

As well as the hours put in organizing training, the volunteers also work to create a suppor tive environment and provide athletes and their parents with a valuable support network. Through this network, the group has organised food deliveries for athletes and their families quarantining at home, provided advice and suppor t for athletes suffering from physical injuries, created a buddying system to help athletes cope with the mental stress of the pandemic, and donated sports shoes and running clothes to asylum seekers who wanted to keep active. T h r o u g h o u t t h i s d i f f i c u l t y e a r, W E P ’s young athletes have really benefited from keeping active and socially engaged in the programme, especially seen as many have been unable to attend t h e i r u s u a l P. E c l a s s e s o r s o c i a l g r o u p s d u e t o n a t i o n a l s c h o o l c l o s u r e s . W E P ’s team of volunteers have also received local and national recognition for the way they have risen to the challenges of the pandemic, with several clubs getting in touch to ask for guidance on how to implement similar programmes of their own.


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Socially distanced start line for a 5km training time trial


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Socially distanced start line for a cross country time trial


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Taking the opportunity to meet up and run wild and free during a period of relaxed lockdown restriction s


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Embracing the freedom of the outdoors


Buddying up for motivation when meeting up in groups for training is restricted


EDITORIAL&WRITERS


EDITORIAL


Editor in-chief

Editor

Heidi is a Business Analyst working in the financial services industry to carry out agile IT projects. She is also studying MSc A d v a n c e d Cy b e r S e c u r i t y a t K i n g’s C o l l e g e L o n d o n . To h e r s u r p r i s e , I T h a s c o m e t o h e r way in career as well as hobby when she studied politics as an undergraduate and had a taste of International Relations in t h e U n i v e r s i t y o f Wa r w i c k i n t h e e x c h a n g e programme.

M a v i s r e c e i v e d t h e L i & Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p for a one -year exchange at The University of Liverpool during which she had the oppor tunity to study different subjects, explore towns in Britain and work at a Chinese restaurant to enrich her overseas e x p e r i e n c e . S h e s t u d i e d Ps y c h o l o g y a n d i s now a current Master candidate in Social Service Management.

Outside work, she was the Business Affairs Director of JCI Hong Kong Jayceettes to advocate female entrepreneurship and empowerment. She was honoured to inter view celebrities including Stephy Ta n g , L o u i s C h e u n g , S t e p h a n i e A u , Fa J e h ( 花 姐 ) etc. With her devotion to community ser vices, she also contributed articles to JESSICA Magazine and her marketing proposal was adopted by HKSAR. Heidi is a sports-lover and can often be found on the mountains, in the sea or in t h e a i r.

Mavis is now working as an administrator in the Hong Kong higher education/nonp r o f i t s e c t o r. I n h e r o w n t i m e , s h e t e a c h e s young pupils, provides writing guidance for job seekers, and provides volunteering ser vices. Mavis loves distance running, breadmaking and has an unknowing passion for burgers. She looks for ward to meeting new FS buddies — to join hands for the social good and share happiness in food and sports missions.

In 2021, she hopes to aspire people to ser ve for the greater good. The world cannot be liveable if we are all egoistic. Be nice. Be kind. These are her living philosophy as nothing can be taken g r a n t e d f o r. S t a y t u n e d ! : ) We b s i t e : h t t p s : / / w w w. l i n k e d i n . c o m / i n / h a n g y u w o n g /

H e i d i Wo n g FS15/16, The Chinese University of Hong Kong

M a v i s Fa n FS13/14, The University of Hong Kong


Editor

Editor

Jing is now an undergraduate at Xiamen U n i v e r s i t y m a j o r i n g i n A n t h r o p o l o g y, a n d will pursue her master degree in Higher Education at Renmin University from 2021 t o 2 0 2 3 . S h e r e c e i v e d Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p in the fall of 2019 during her exchange at the University of Hong Kong. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, writing, traveling and communicating with people from different backgrounds. Her i n t e r e s t e d i s s u e s i n c l u d e g e n d e r e q u a l i t y, s o c i a l s t r a t i f i c a t i o n i n e d u c a t i o n , i d e n t i t y, etc. As an outgoing and energetic girl, she hopes to obtain a PhD degree overseas a n d g r o w i n t o a n e x c e l l e n t p r o f e s s o r, r e s e a r c h e r a n d w r i t e r.

J a s o n r e c e i v e d t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p a s an exchange student in computer science a t U n i v e r s i t y o f H o n g K o n g f r o m Pe k i n g U n i v e r s i t y. H e i s c u r r e n t l y d o i n g d o c t o r a l research in machine learning and reinforcement learning at University of P i t t s b u r g h , U. S . A . H e h a s d o n e a v a r i e t y of research including e -government, healthcare, digital finance. He has also worked in tech start-up companies in b o t h B e i j i n g a n d N e w Yo r k . H e h a s b e e n i n v o l v e d w i t h t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r B e i j i n g C h a p t e r.

Jing Zhang FS19/20, Xiamen University

Jason Dou FS12/13, Peking University

During free time, he enjoys swimming, f i t n e s s , a n d c o o k i n g . Fo r m o r e i n f o r m a t i o n , please visit his website jasondou.org.


FS Network Newsletter #18 | 61

Editor

Designer

C r y s t a l s t u d i e d Po l i t i c a l S c i e n c e a n d Strategic Management at the Singapore Management University and graduated i n J u l y 2 0 1 9 . S h e r e c e i v e d t h e Fu n g Scholarship in 2017 to support her exchange in the University of British C o l u m b i a i n Va n c o u v e r, C a n a d a .

Naomi is a fresh graduate from the University of Hong Kong and is currently w o r k i n g a s a l a n d s c a p e d e s i g n e r.

She is now managing international sales at a manufacturing company with a geographical focus on Nor th America and Europe. Crystal enjoys both staying at home a n d p h y s i c a l o u t d o o r a c t i v i t i e s . To h e r, catching up on Netflix is as enjoyable as heading out for a run. In 2021, she hopes to be able to complete a half-marathon and become a more well-rounded and holistic individual. Speak to her any time on personal fitness, tech, and political theory :)

S h e r e c e i v e d Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p d u r i n g 2019/20 for a semester exchange at the University of Illinois at UrbanaChampaign. Her discipline, landscape architecture, has its academic origin in the States and many contemporar y scholars and projects that she has been studying a r e f r o m t h i s c o u n t r y. T h e e x c h a n g e experience is indeed an invaluable one for her to have a personal touch with all the projects that she has heard about, read about but had never laid eyes on. As an individual, she loves discovering beautiful things around her; natural sceneries, exquisite architectures, and artwork are what attract her the most. She also enjoys designing anything visually appealing which always catches her attention. We b s i t e : h t t p s : / / c h a n s z e w a h n a o m i . w e b f l o w. i o /

Crystal Ang FS17/18, Singapore Management University

Naomi Chan FS19/20, The University of Hong Kong


WRITERS

Ta h i r a i s c u r r e n t l y d o i n g h e r p o s t g r a d u a t e in Development Studies at University o f D h a k a . E a r l i e r, s h e g r a d u a t e d w i t h a Bachelor degree in Economics from A s i a n U n i v e r s i t y f o r Wo m e n ( AU W ) , Chittagong, Bangladesh. Before star ting h e r p o s t g r a d u a t e , Ta h i r a w o r k e d a s a program officer under a special project n a m e d “ Pa t h w a y s f o r P r o m i s e” i n AU W. While working, she got the oppor tunity to interact with students from diverse backgrounds (tea garden workers, garment workers etc.) She was born and brought up in the same city where she is s t u d y i n g n o w. Ta h i r a h a s b e e n a c t i v e l y participating in various volunteer activities from the very beginning of her school life since she joined Girls’ Guide Association Bangladesh, and has continued doing that throughout her university life. She has been teaching children in community school as a m e m b e r o f t h e C o m m u n i t y Te a c h e r ’s C l u b o f h e r u n i v e r s i t y. B e s i d e s , s h e h a s a l s o worked with visually impaired children of Chittagong while working as a member o f a v o l u n t e e r o r g a n i z a t i o n . Ta h i r a i s trying to make herself occupied with reading various books in this Covid-19 p e r i o d . A p a r t f r o m h e r w o r k , Ta h i r a l o v e s travelling and singing a lot!

K a t h l e e n h o l d s a b a c h e l o r ’s a n d m a s t e r ’s f r o m M I T, a n d a n M P h i l f r o m t h e U n i v e r s i t y of Cambridge in International Relations a n d Po l i t i c s . H e r p r i m a r y r e s e a r c h f o c u s e s on water security in the Middle East and Nor th Africa, and the role of freshwater i n t h e I s r a e l i - Pa l e s t i n i a n c o n f l i c t . S h e h a s worked, studied, and conducted research in 12 countries on 5 continents on issues r e l a t e d t o w a t e r s e c u r i t y, i n t e r n a t i o n a l development, and the intersection b e t w e e n u r b a n p l a n n i n g a n d t e c h n o l o g y. S h e i s t h e f o u n d e r o f t h e G AT E O l y m p i c s , the Central Coast and MIT Science Bowls, and has worked for the US Depar tment of E n e r g y, t h e U S D e p a r t m e n t o f S t a t e , a n d with a variety of academic institutions, special interest groups, NGOs, industries and local governments on topics ranging from STEM education, international r e l a t i o n s , e n v i r o n m e n t a l p o l i c y, d e f e n s e innovation and conflict resolution. In the fall, Kathleen will be beginning her MBA at the Stanford Graduate School of Business.

Ta h i r a Ta z r e e n FS14/15, Asian University for Women

Kathleen Schwind FS17/18, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


FS Network Newsletter #18 | 63

Jamie spent more than 5 years as a management consultant with the Boston C o n s u l t i n g G r o u p, s o l v i n g b u s i n e s s challenges with large companies and global social organisations. She spent some time as the Director of Strategy and Business Development at Pulsifi, a H R - t e c h s t a r t - u p, b e f o r e m o v i n g t o G r a b, a super app platform in Southeast Asia. A t G r a b’s R e g i o n a l P u b l i c A f f a i r s t e a m a t G r a b, s h e p a r t n e r s w i t h d i f f e r e n t t e a m s and organizations to empower Southeast Asia, and to make everyday lives better in the region. O u t s i d e w o r k , s h e f o u n d e d t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r s S i n g a p o r e C h a p t e r, a n d a l s o s t a r t e d w w w. m a d e m y o w n . c o, a s p a c e dedicated to making things with her own hands, and Craft for Conversations, to explore how craft can be used as conversation star ters for social issues: https://www.instagram.com/ craftforconversations/

Jamie Ko FS09/10, Singapore Management University

Karlie is currently serving at a local Christian secondary school. She realized the necessity of counselling and instilling intrinsic humanity values to nourish those little seedlings at a school setting which makes her fond of Counselling & Ps y c h o l o g y r e l a t e d b o o k s . B e s i d e s teaching, she aspires to incorporate a r t e l e m e n t s i n t o c o u n s e l l i n g t h e r a p y, raising more awareness and practice on mental health. S h e r e c e i v e d Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p i n 2 0 1 1 f o r her exchange in Germany which she had explored not only the core subject Art & Design, but also got to know German and some intangible treasures like culture a l o n g t h e j o u r n e y.

Karlie Chen FS11/12, Hong Kong Baptist University


64 | FS Network Newsletter #18

Nikita participated in Beijing Normal U n i v e r s i t y ’s International Yo u t h Leadership Programme in 2014, funded b y a Fu n g s c h o l a r s h i p. T h e a m a z i n g experience of collaborating with university students from around the world led her to return to China to study at Shandong Normal University (Jinan) in 2016. Mostly recently Nikita has returned to the UK from Nanjing, where she spent almost a year and a half working as an editor for a major Chinese telecommunications c o m p a n y. S h e h a s p a s s e d H S K 3 a n d looks for ward to improving her Chinese language skills, as well as learning to bake pineapple buns (菠萝包)!

Nikita Hayward FS14/15, University of Oxford

Ken graduated from the Chinese University of Hong Kong in 2019. During his studies h e w a s s u p p o r t e d b y t h e Fu n g S c h o l a r programme to complete an exchange programme at University of Sheffield. He is currently teaching English language at S t . M a r k ’s S c h o o l . H e i s p a s s i o n a t e a b o u t education and music. Ken is also a co-head in FS Hong Kong C h a p t e r. H e i s c o m m i t t e d t o o r g a n i s i n g and participating in FS events. In 2018, he served as an emcee at FS leadership conference and the co-chair of Christmas Pa r t y.

Ken Fung FS16/17, The Chinese University of Hong Kong


FS Network Newsletter #18 | 65

Yo n g X i n o b t a i n e d a B . A ( H o n s ) i n H i s t o r y at Lingnan University in 2010 and M.A i n L i n g u i s t i c s i n Tr o m s ø - A r k h a n g e l s k program in 2017. She was awarded the Li & Fu n g S c h o l a r s h i p f o r e x c h a n g e s t u d y in Austria in 2009 and Quota Scholarship f o r t h e Tr o m s ø - A r k h a n g e l s k p r o g r a m i n R u s s i a i n t h e N o r t h e r n ( A r c t i c ) Fe d e r a l University and Norway in the Arctic U n i v e r s i t y o f N o r w a y i n Tr o m s ø f r o m 2 0 1 5 t o 2 0 1 7 . Fo r f o u r y e a r s i n S c a n d i n a v i a , s h e w o r k e d o n i m p r o v i n g c i v i l s o c i e t y, s u c h a s Tr o m s ø I n t e r n a t i o n a l Fi l m Fe s t i v a l , International Student Union and SAIH N o r w a y. I n t h e N o r d i c I n s t i t u t e o f A s i a n Studies (NiAS) in Denmark in 2019, she held a talk on peacebuilding for the displaced settlements since the Second Wo r l d Wa r.

Aileen recently graduated from the University of Oxford with a first in Chinese. During her studies, she was supported by t h e Fu n g s c h o l a r p r o g r a m t o c o m p l e t e h e r year abroad at PKU where she advanced her language skills and volunteered as an English and Science teacher through the B e i j i n g M i g r a n t C h i l d r e n’s Fo u n d a t i o n .

C u r r e n t l y, S h e i s v o l u n t e e r i n g i n E S N Tr o m s ø a n d f i n i s h i n g a c o l l a b o r a t i v e research paper with the faculty of Visual A n t h r o p o l o g y i n U i T f o r Pa x e t B e l l u m J o u r n a l i n t h e f i e l d o f Pe a c e a n d C o n f l i c t Research at the University of Uppsala.

A i l e e n w a s a l s o a w i n n e r o f t h e 2 0 1 8 Fu n g Conference social innovation competition, securing funding to help support the growth of her social enterprise “ The British Mile Relays” which aims to encourage women to participate in grassroots sport with their male friends or relatives on equal terms. Unable to organize the relays this year due to the pandemic, Aileen has focused instead on suppor ting her f a m i l y, f r i e n d s a n d f e l l o w r u n n e r s a t t h e grassroots athletics club Wirral AC to help keep young people active throughout the pandemic by organising virtual events, socially distanced training sessions and online strength and conditioning through Zoom.

Yo n g X i n M o FS08/09, Lingnan University

Aileen Kearney FS18/19, University of Oxford


- Fu n g S c h o l a r s Ne t wo r k New s l e t te r M a r 2 0 2 1 -

Profile for FungScholars

Fung Scholars Network Newsletter #18  

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