Outstanding Young Person prize has not gone to Red Cross official's head Trouble, big or small, does not scare Bonnie So Yuen-han, because she has seen so much of it. The head of Hong Kong Red Cross's international and relief service department has left her mark on numerous devastated areas such as tsunami-hit Aceh in Indonesia and war-torn Afghanistan during her 16 years of service. 'I love my job, which is a perfect combination: I can earn money to make a living, and also find passion in it. How many people have such a perfect job like mine?' Her contribution and commitment to relief work have seen her rewarded with one of the Ten Outstanding Young Persons' honours this year. But the award has not gone to her head. 'I don't think I am the most outstanding person among the city's seven million people,' Ms So says. 'The unpaid social workers deserve more respect and honour.' But there is no denying she has had a lot more international exposure. 'My first field trip was in Jiangsu , on the mainland in 1991, for the China flood relief when we raised HK$140 million,' Ms So says. 'It was such a big amount that I thought it would be a record for the Red Cross, but we had a new record for the tsunami - HK$620 million. I am proud of Hong Kong people's generosity. 'However, in my heart, I don't really want to raise such a big amount again because it means another mega disaster.' Despite the distress she has encountered around the world, Ms So says the smiles on aid recipients' faces - not their tears - have left the deepest impression. 'Contrary to many people's thinking, people living in such situations are quite optimistic and strong. Take the tsunami, for example. When Hong Kong people were still shedding tears for the victims, they had stopped crying and were getting ready to face the future and rebuild their lives. 'There were smiling faces everywhere, especially the kids.' This has made her meditate on the meaning of life. Ms So says her experience has taught her that 'there is no big deal in life, no matter whether troubles are caused by family matters or personal relationships'. 'The most important thing is to face them and fix the trouble. I think I am lucky because I don't need to have any painful personal experience to get this message.' In her eyes, people in more affluent societies, like Hong Kong, don't know how to make themselves happier and more satisfied. 'People are trapping themselves with so many problems and everything is a big deal. Kids may be pessimistic about a poor score in one test, but they never know how a boy in Afghanistan often derided for being from an ethnic minority and who has been hurt by a landmine can still smile.' She admits that her parents frequently worry about her personal safety when she goes to dangerous countries like Sri Lanka or Iran. 'They respect me and my choice,' she explains. 'In return, I will try my best to protect myself in dangerous places.'