Exchange trip for peace
A local girl learned about the conflict between Israel and Palestine and the importance of peace during a cultural exchange to the United States, sponsored by the Hong Kong Union for Young Leaders.
Alice Au Yeung King-ming, 16, from Ying Wa Girls' School, was one of the top students who attended the Hugh O'Brian Youth World Leadership Congress in Washington DC, last month.
The violence in the Middle East between Israel and Palestine stems from religious and territorial conflicts. Countless attacks between the two have led to the lives of innocent civilians being sacrificed.
'One of my roommates was an Israeli girl, and we were very sad to learn about a suicide bomb attack in Israel,' said King-ming.
'We talked a lot about the tragedies in the Middle East, and wished everyone would put aside ethnic and religious differences and live peacefully together.'
Another student who took part in the six-day programme, Jonathan So Chun-kit, 15, from St Paul's Co-Educational College, found the experience valuable.
'I met representatives from 19 different countries and have made some life-long friends,' he said.
The two students were selected from among 52 top students from 27 secondary schools to attend the congress.
All the students were awarded certificates for their leadership skills at the union's 10th anniversary closing ceremony at Harbour Plaza Hong Kong recently.
In addition to sponsoring the tour to the US, the union organised a series of activities for students, which began last October. These included workshops, seminars a four-day leadership training camp.
The activities aimed to help young people set goals and develop leadership and communication skills.