LOHAS (Lifestyles of Health and Sustainability), is a recently growing trend of lifestyles that focuses on healthy and sustainable living. Being a part of the harmonious Sai Kung community, HKUST School of Science’s "LOHAS Sai Kung Community Service Program" encourages students to experience the LOHAS spirit and live out the LOHAS concept.
Co-organized by Sai Kung District Office, Sai Kung District Community Centre (SKDCC) and HKUST, the "LOHAS Sai Kung Community Service Program" revolves around serving the Sai Kung district. Through a variety of activities, students are expected to learn more about Sai Kung while having a chance to experience the LOHAS lifestyle.
The project spans across a period of 7 months from February to August 2011. Students may choose to participate in any service activities that fall under the 4 themes according to their own interests and strengths:
- Cultural heritage – through participating in Sai Kung Historical and Cultural Guided Tour Project and Dragon Boat Carnival, students will understand more about Sai Kung’s culture and help promote it.
- Ecosystem conservation – students will provide fixed point guided tour in Geopark, explaining the different landforms and geological features to tourists, while learning how to appreciate the environment and to protect the ecosystem.
- Healthy city – students will contribute to the healthy and happy living environment for Sai Kung citizens through acting as Safety Ambassadors for the Water Sports Safety Carnival, assisting youths in film production, and volunteering at the Tseung Kwan O Hospital.
- Harmony and integration – helping immigrant children from the Mainland to assimilate into local community, students will be providing English tutoring services to the children or taking them to orientation activities to explore the many sides of Hong Kong.
All students taking part in the project will attend an introductory workshop, in which they will have a clear understanding of what to expect from the project and set appropriate goals. The workshop is designed to increase students’ understanding of volunteering and encourage them to be more devoted to community services.
Using a points system, students with outstanding performances will be given recognition. Points can be accumulated in three areas: number of service hours, assessment of service performance, and self-evaluation. The event organizers will assess the students’ performance, attitude and contribution. Students will also complete a self-evaluation based on how much their knowledge of the community has increased and how well they have achieved the goals. Each student will receive a certificate upon completion of the project.
There will also be a volunteers sharing cum recognition ceremony at the end of the project period. The event provides an opportunity for students to share their experience and exchange insights on volunteering, at the same time allowing them to expand their knowledge about volunteering and building a solid foundation for future participation in community services.
LOHAS Sai Kung Community Service Program aims to increase students’ knowledge of the Sai Kung district, strengthen their communication skills, enrich their life experiences and encourage them to give back to society. Helping others not only yield great satisfaction, it also leads to a happier and healthier lifestyle, which is the essence of the LOHAS concept.