An old Chinese proverb says, “It is better to walk 10,000 miles of the world than to read 10,000 scrolls of books”.
We asked Good Reads for Good Deeds donors to share a book that really touched their lives, and inspired them to do good, on our Facebook page. The author of the best entry would be awarded return tickets to visit the Gutenberg Museum in Mainz, Germany. So reading one book might allow you to travel ten thousand miles! Or rather, 9142 km to be precise.
We sat down with our sharing competition winner Holly Leung for a brief chat.
“[…]For song lingers where there is no longer any hope[…]”
~Les Misérables Volume 4, Book 7, Chapter 2
It was just these words from Hugo’s world of sadness that gave me the wings of hope at a time when . Under his pen, the gloom of 19th century France carries a sliver of hope. That hope comes from the love between people, and from the grace given by others. It is this hope that allows the characters in the story to persist and embrace redemption when it arrives. I remember that this story brought me both shock and encouragement — at a low point in my life, I was reminded that, instead of hanging my head in defeat, I should give thanks for all that I had in my life. It can truly be said that this book vastly changed my attitude towards life. May all who are in adverse circumstances experience the hope that can be found in this book.
Interview — Holly Leung
Juven: Could you introduce yourself please?
Holly: My name is Holly Leung. I am a year 2 Industrial Engineering and General Business Management Undergraduate at the University of Science and Technology.
Juven: What are some of your interests and hobbies?
Holly: I like to watch movies, or stream television series. I also like to play sports. I’m part also a part of a few university clubs, mostly to do with sports. I’m in the Film society and Softball club at university.
Juven: Well, you participated in our book sharing competition, so clearly you like to read. What kinds of books do you like? Why do you like reading those kinds of books?
Holly: I like novels mostly and also books about popular science. Well I like reading since I was a child. I like entering into the world depicted by the book. I don’t think readings needs to for a particular purpose at all times, it could simply just be about enjoyment. The book I shared about was something I read during a low point in my life in high school, when I was under tremendous pressure. I could really put myself in the main character’s shoes and empathize with him.
Juven: What did you think of the Good Reads for Good Deeds Charity Campaign?
Holly: At first I didn’t really understand it or see too much in it, but afterwards I participated in the donation process and I understood it better.
Juven: How did you hear about Good Reads for Good Deeds?
Holly: I follow Simon Shen on Facebook and I saw it being promoted on his Simon’s Glocal world.
Juven: Since Good Reads for Good Deeds is a campaign to drive donations for charities, let’s talk about that. What do you think of the NGO and charity sphere in HK?
Holly: I don’t really have a lot of opinions about it. I think there has been a shift from large international charities to more local charities
Juven: Do you participate in local charities?
Holly: Well, buying stamps and volunteering is easier. I volunteer at some organizations at the university. Because I am a student, I guess I care more about what’s more relevant to me. For example I volunteer in teaching mathematics to underprivileged children. I was part of a mentoring scheme conducted by volunteers from local universities myself when I was younger. That helped me in school and it really opened my eyes to the value of volunteering and how it can change lives.
Juven: Are you aware of any platforms that promotes charities or is it usually through a celebrity? What do you think are ways to increase awareness of charities?
Holly: Not really, I don’t think I’m familiar with any platforms. I think it is really about proper targeting of groups. I think it is difficult to raise more awareness really, because there is a saturation of charities on every channel. People can see them everywhere, but they don’t always have the ability to hook someone in or attract people. Even when they use social media, it might not be so effective.
Juven: Do you often travel overseas? Will this be your first time in Germany?
Holly: Yes, this will be my first time in Germany. I’m hoping to go visit Italy during my trip as well. Actually I just came back from an Exchange trip to China at PKU, and also I spent a few days in North Korea as well! Also I’ve been to Harbin, Tianjin and other more northern places.
Juven: Wow, that’s a lot of travelling! Be sure to write something about your experiences!
We want to thank all those who participated in the book sharing, and all who made donations for the Good Reads for Good Deeds Charity Campaign. Once again congratulations, Holly! Thank you for your sharing and for the insightful conversation. We hope you enjoy your trip to Germany!
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