Jonathan Yu, Volunteer

Working with refugees always causes me to reflect…What is the meaning of a sustainable happiness?

“Working with refugees always causes me to reflect, especially when volunteering for refugee kids.  Kids are very fragile, pure and emotional, especially those who have lost their loved ones.  They will share with you every single detail of their happy moments and upsetting stories.  Every time I talked to the kids, I would repeatedly ask myself a series of questions, for instance, why do I waste my money and time over whether I should buy the latest gadgets or clothes? What’s the meaning of a sustainable happiness? Being on top of fashion trends or seeing people with smiles after you have given a hand to them?  These questions do not mess up my mind but give me strength to work closer with refugees and hopefully someday I can find the answers.

I realised one thing that our world is lacking, that is the BASIC HUMANITY, especially when people nowadays are more distant from each other.  I would say one way of experiencing our basic humanity once again is to work with and care for people who only ask for the bare necessities, then you will realise how simple our lives can be when basic needs are satisfied.   Volunteering is more than what you think, it helps people but also yourself.

The calling of reaching out to people is what I get after my experiences with refugees and this is what I would like to do for my future.  Let me share a story from one of the encounters.

There was one time I met a teen from the learning centre in Malaysia and she shared a little story of her past and her future plan. She told me how devastating it was when she and her family needed to keep hiding and running.  Because of this, they never had a good night’s sleep, were scared to walk in the daytime and lived in fear and uncertainty.  At that moment, she teared up and her story indeed hit me emotionally. Things have gone better ever since she moved to Malaysia.  After seeing volunteers helping them selflessly, she is now able to envision her future and she wants to be a teacher to reach out to kids with similar experiences and to use education to change their lives.”


Name: Jonathan YU, Volunteer

Nationality: Hong Kong

1 family torn apart by war is too many

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