(Hong Kong, 17 March 2023) United World College believes in educating young people to build a more peaceful and sustainable world. Facing the devastating Türkiye-Syria earthquake which has claimed over 50,000 lives, Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong (LPCUWC) invited the Urban Search And Rescue (USAR) team members from the Hong Kong Fire Services Department to share their rescue mission in the 2023 Türkiye–Syria earthquake. Two Turkish and Syrian students from LPCUWC joined and shared how they contributed to their homelands by initiating a fundraising campaign. Across national, religious, social and geographical boundaries, LPWUWC students and the USAR team joined together to support the affected regions, echoing the vision of UWC education for peace and sustainability.
During the sharing session, the USAR team inspired the audience with their arduous rescue experience from a foreigner’s perspective and discussed how the canine heroes acted as the vanguards of the team. Currently studying abroad in Hong Kong, Eren Barlas, Hanan Jannoud and Hayan Saab, three LPCUWC students from Türkiye and Syria, provided a local perspective on the disaster with united efforts from the school, teachers and fellow students. This valuable cultural exchange opportunity for people from different backgrounds demonstrated UWC’s vision to celebrate diversity and promote the theme “One Earth, One Family”.
As a token of appreciation, the students wrote a thank you card in Turkish and Arabic for the USAR team members who put their lives on the line to save people, and the for heroic dog, Twix in recognition of his bravery and outstanding service at the sharing session.
Eren and Hanan initiated a college-wide fundraiser with help from Amity Foundation and school teachers. They engaged the Consulate General of Türkiye to arrange donations such as winter clothing and blankets, tents, sleeping bags and temporary dwellings for people impacted. The joint effort showcases the UWC spirit to unite peoples, nations and cultures for peace and a sustainable future.
Mr. Anthony Tong, Board Chairman of Li Po Chun United World College of Hong Kong, said, “The untold suffering of the people of Türkiye and Syria after the recent Earthquake has brought on the instant surge of compassion across the Hong Kong community, resulting in many spontaneous donations of cash and kind, and the instant sending of our USAR team to the quake zone. Li Po Chun UWC is proud to see its students promptly initiating a humanitarian campaign to help the victims on the other side of the world. Today, the ‘One Earth, One Family’ sharing session is uniting these very different efforts to invite the public to play a role to offer earthquake victims direly needed support. Together we can hope for peace and a sustainable future.”
For more information about the relief campaign, please scan the QR codes below:
Donation for Syria Donation for Turkey
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