Joint Voices and Actions for Water and Sanitation:
The Third Amity “Living Water Townhall”
On July 12th, the Amity Foundation (HK) and NLSI Lui Kwok Pat Fong College jointly organized the third Amity “Living Water Townhall”. About 140 Secondary Three students and six guests from the UK, Indonesia, and the Philippines had an online dialogue to share young people’s understanding of water and sanitation and discuss how to take action on saving water and helping others.
The activity was mainly divided into three parts. First, participants watched short video clips and learned that people in poor areas of Myanmar and Sri Lanka still face daily shortages of safe water nowadays. Ms. Debbie McGowan from the UK shared her experience raising money for a water-scarce village in Myanmar by a quest of hikes around the country to totaling 250,000 steps a month. Ms. Brigita Sekar from YEU, a Christian relief and development organization in Indonesia, talked about the key roles women in poor areas play in addressing water shortages. Mr. Almond Rasario from the National Council of Churches in the Philippines shared the importance of water and sanitation in natural disaster relief and rehabilitation. Next, in the breakout rooms, student groups were randomly selected to have in-depth discussion with the guests. Then, group representatives summarized the ideas and presented action plans to the whole Townhall, while the guests gave complimentary comments on their performances.
This event was held online and offline simultaneously. Through Zoom, students could connect with the overseas guests in real-time. It was also the first time that the breakout room format was adopted so a large number of students could take an active part in voicing their opinions. The random selection of groups allowed students and guests to break through geographic barriers and the limitations of the one-way communication of listeners and speakers, allowing them to interact and communicate freely, thus generating inspiring ideas and actions more spontaneously. It is the first time for Amity Foundation Hong Kong to engage representatives from regional member organizations of the ACT Youth Community of Practice (CoP) for any Amity youth development activity in Hong Kong. It is Amity’s hope to enhance understanding and promote partnership among more member organizations of ACT Youth CoP in the joint endeavor to harness the power of youth across the world for sustainable development work.
All participants achieved gains in various ways. Many students who participated in the breakout room discussion said they had never thought that the water crisis was so severe before, but now they have a more comprehensive understanding of the water and sanitation problems in developing countries. Some groups came up with good ways to save water through discussion, such as developing rainwater collection systems, raising people’s awareness on water conservation through social media, donating money to charities, etc. By participating in the rehearsal and on-site coordination, the student MCs realized the importance of careful preparations in advance and accumulated experience in arousing fellow students’ enthusiasm. The six guest speakers praised the students for their curiosity, willingness to explore, and enthusiasm. They also expressed their hope for the students to help others in the future with “Love in Action” in mind.
The Amity Foundation (HK) welcomes schools and organizations with the same vision for experimental learning to promote sustainable development, to contact us and organize such educational activities jointly. Together we shall achieve “Save a drop, change a life”. For more information, please visit www.amityfoundation.org or follow FaceBook @AmityWalk4LivingWater.
Check out the Townhall highlights ↓↓