【College Assembly】 “VolTra” in Tokushima – Sharing on Service Learning Internship Programme
When we are talking about Japan, Hong Kong people always think of tourist attractions like Tokyo, Osaka, Hokkaido, Okinawa, etc. The first image that comes to mind must be blossoms and hot spring. It is certainly not the case for four students who participated in College Service Learning Internship Programme (SLIP) and visited Tokushima, Japan. They had a different travel experience and had the chance to share it with fellow students in the College Assembly this term.
Tokushima is a city located in the northeast of Tokushima Prefecture, a prefecture of Japan located on the island of Shikoku. It does not have many tourists like other cities in Japan, and it faces social problems such as aging, low birth rate and labour migration. College students visited Tokushima from 23 December 2019 to 1 January 2020. Apart from environmental enhancement work and visits to international nurseries, students had the chance to co-organise Christmas and countdown events. and participated in Cultural Night. They also broadcasted on local radio and organised a booth for Hatsumode in the local shrine, adding vitality to the community. Through the voluntary services at local level and cultural exchange activities, students were able to learn more about cultural diversity and broaden their horizons by interacting and cooperating with local people and international volunteers. The programme had a positive impact on students’ personal growth, value and attitude towards life.
The 9-day journey was a rewarding experience to our students.
On the same occasion, Mr David Au from the local organisation VolTra gave a sharing on “What is VolTra?”. According to Mr Au, travelling is not only about sightseeing and knowing about the local cuisine and culture, it is a precious process to let us connect with the local community, and at the same time introduce Hong Kong to the world. It is hoped that we can soon wear our backpacks to travel after the COVID pandemic, and search for a different meaning of travelling.