On 28th February 2023, the Amity Foundation organized an online sharing event in the wake of the earthquakes that struck Türkiye and Syria earlier in the month. Speakers from Amity and ACT Alliance gave presentations concerning the emergency response in the respective countries, followed by an engaging Q&A session with students from Li Po Chun United World College (“LPC”), Hong Kong and Pearson College UWC, Canada.
Amity Project Officer Zhang Chao, who had recently returned to Nanjing following 2 weeks of carrying out disaster relief work in Türkiye, shared his experiences at the front line. The student guests learned about the stages of Amity’s operations – from gathering information from local sources and assessing the needs of the people, to purchasing supplies and coordinating with local volunteers to organize their delivery. When asked by the students about the resources most urgently needed by the locals, Mr. Zhang noted that improving access to hygiene and winterization supplies would make a significant difference.
George Majaj, Humanitarian Programme Advisor at ACT Alliance, then gave an overview of the Alliance’s structure and the humanitarian aid carried out in Syria by its member organizations. The students asked pertinent questions concerning the challenges faced by the members in their efforts, and the merits of supporting the disaster relief cause through ACT Alliance. Mr. Majaj cited the sanctions imposed upon Syria, the destruction brought on by the ongoing war and the concurrent outbreak of cholera as major hindrances to providing aid to the Syrian people. To this end, the ACT Alliance with its diversity, connections, transparency and experience is better equipped to provide a stronger coordinated approach to tackling the protracted crisis.
The students of LPC and Pearson College showed great interest and consideration in learning about the situation and finding out how they could get involved. Among those in attendance were students from Türkiye and Syria, eager to help their fellow countrymen through the ordeal. Amity HK Executive Director Anthony Tong took the opportunity to encourage the young listeners to take action, as the future of sustainable global development rests in the hands of the younger generation.