Twenty secondary and four university students will brave an expedition to Mount Everest, the world's highest mountain with a peak at 8,848 metres above sea level. Their trip to Tibet, from July 28 to August 12, is sponsored by local charity Yan Oi Tong in collaboration with the University of Hong Kong. The charity has taken students to the South and North Poles.
Joining experts from HKU, the group will conduct surveys related to environmental protection and learn about the concept of 'Leave No Trace' in mountain trekking. They will also visit local communities and school children for a look at Tibetan culture.
Karen Shum Mung-kay, 18, is one of the students joining the trip. 'It is a physical challenge for me; I want to know if I can make it,' says the HKUGA College student. She is a member of the HK Eco Schools Network and is interested in environmental issues.
So is Heidi Au Yeung Yat-ning, another young participant. 'In our school, we organise beach cleaning activities regularly. It'd be good to see how other parts of the world and different cultures protect the environment,' says the 16-year-old from Li Po Chun United World College.
Vincent Fan Ka-chun, 15, says the training has been vigorous, but that didn't stop him. 'I want to explore the world and learn more about how to conduct scientific research. I am also looking forward to meeting other students and local people.'
Chelsea Clements, 17, from Marymount Secondary School, says she is following in the footsteps of her eco-friendly mother. 'The trip will broaden my horizons of the world,' she says. 'I'd also like to explore the culture and situation in Tibet. I'm worried about altitude sickness and my endurance level. But I'll keep up with my exercise routine and try my best.'