How children in Hong Kong and Cambodia combined and helped put a school together

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 04 October, 2011, 12:00am


About a year ago, a group of underprivileged minority children in Hong Kong, working alongside local architects, designed a school for their peers in Cambodia. Three months ago the school went up in Kampot, with the town's children helping in its construction.

It was all part of a project for Involve in Design, Empower with Action (IDEA), a non-profit organisation formed by a group of young students, volunteers and architects that aims to build schools in developing countries. Last weekend, the NGO displayed photos, design sketches and a scale model of the school at the Jockey Club Creative Arts Centre in Shek Kip Mei. Lawrence Lui Wai-ching, co-organiser of IDEA, said the exhibition was a celebration of the finished work, as well as a call for more Hong Kong volunteers and sponsors.

'We were able to make this project happen due to a HK$100,000 donation from the Hong Kong Institute of Architects,' said Lui, a 26-year-old public relations officer. 'We hope to raise more funds and gather more sponsors.'

Lui came up with the idea for the organisation when he visited Cambodia with three friends, all architects, several years ago.

Lui and his friends gathered more than 60 local volunteers for the project. Most of the HK$100,000 went to contractors in Cambodia to build the school's foundations. Then Lui, his team and Cambodian children spent several days putting the finishing touches to it.