“I was born in Afghanistan, and reborn in Hong Kong.” – LPC student at the UWC Anniversary Gala Dinner
The United World College Graduates Organization (UWCGO) hosted a successful Gala Dinner on 13 May 2023, with 240 UWC alumni, students, friends and supporters of the UWC movement attending the event at the Asia Society Hong Kong Center. The event was an opportunity for alumni to re-connect and to reflect on the impact of a UWC education in Hong Kong.
Professor Kishore Mahbubani, renowned expert in international relations, a former governor of UWC South-East Asia, and former President of the United Nations Security Council, gave the keynote speech, titled “the Future of Peace in Asia Pacific”. Professor Mahbubani commended the idealism of UWC graduates, while emphasizing the necessity of pragmatism to confront the three demons that have led to war for millennia: the quest for power, money and greed. Peacebuilders should possess the pessimism of the intellect, but optimism of the will.
Honourable Bernard Charnwut Chan and Ms Teresa Ma (Founder of Peace Generation) joined a thought-provoking panel discussion with Professor Mahbubani, moderated by Ms. Elizabeth Fung (Chair, UWCGO). During the discussion, Mr Chan suggested that pragmatism can be as straightforward as maintaining people-to-people bonds. In business and beyond, Hong Kong must continue to engage with the rest of the world to foster cultural and idea exchange. Ms Ma added that we need to build capacity for conflict resolution amongst this generation of students, starting from resolving conflicts that are often hidden in neighbourhoods nearby and resolving conflicts before they escalate.
It was an evening full of rich conversations and reflections. Two current LPC students from Afghanistan also told their experience of war and how they found a new life in Hong Kong.
“I was born in Afghanistan, and reborn in Hong Kong,” said one of them.
It is for students like them that UWC Hong Kong is now launching the “Talent for Hong Kong Programme”, a new UWC Hong Kong initiative to diversify Hong Kong’s international talent pipeline. It supports a scholarship for an overseas student for 2 years at LPCUWC as well as 4 years of undergraduate studies at a local university. The launch announcement was made by Board Chairman of Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong, Mr. Anthony Tong.
We would like to thank the Financial Secretary of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region, the Honourable Paul Mo-po Chan, for joining us; Mr Ken Yeung, Chair of UWC Hong Kong for his staunch support to the college and this event; Mr Dowson Tong, Senior Executive Vice President of Tencent and CEO of the Cloud & Smart Industries Group for sharing why Tencent Foundation continues to partner with the College in growing the UWC education and movement in Hong Kong; and last but not least, Dr. Arnett Edwards, Principal of LPCUWC for making it possible for current students to take part in this meaningful event.
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