The Awardee of The Third Hong Kong Humanity Award - Dr Albert KO
Dr Albert Ko is a professional mechanical engineer as well as an active international humanitarian service volunteer since 2000. His belief in humanity has been widely disseminated among the younger generation as the Senior Student Advisor of the Centre of Development and Resources for Students, The University of Hong Kong (HKU).
During the emergency phase of the 5.12 Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, Dr Ko managed the emergency supply centre for the Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) and has provided continuous support in rebuilding remote villages in Mianzhu City and Shifang City by Progressive Rural Rehabilitation Project sponsored by The HKU 512 Earthquake Roundtable Fund. Dr Ko offered villagers free consultancies in engineering and technical design in rebuilding the village, which is structurally safe and most importantly affordable. Dr Ko has also actively trained student volunteers and invited professionals to participate in this project. Besides rebuilding, they have also included countryside tourism and environmental friendly elements in the design of village; so as to achieve sustainable development in the long run. The 5.12 Sichuan Earthquake in 2008 was only one of the humanitarian missions of Dr Ko, he had also facilitated relief projects in Sudan, Uzbekistan, Indonesia and Pakistan.
Not only had Dr Ko devoted himself to the field work, but he has also proactively advocated humanitarian missions and encouraged participation of Hong Kong students. Being a trained and experienced relief engineer, Dr Ko has trained future humanitarian workers in Hong Kong. Well before the devastating 5.12 Sichuan Earthquake, Dr Ko designed, organized, taught and promoted the first emergency engineering course in Hong Kong for The Hong Kong Institutions of Engineers. Emergency engineer training includes construction and camp planning like the Infectious Diseases Centre and refugee camps, logistic support, telecommunication technology, water and sanitation. Dr Ko mentioned, “I sincerely wish the emergency engineering skills would not be practised during the whole life of the students, yet ensuring a safer life of human through science and technology is the responsibility and also the privilege of engineers.” His vision in humanitarian relief work contributes greatly to the development of emergency engineering field.
Besides managing his own profession in emergency humanitarian missions, Dr Ko is also the co-founder of the Society for Harmonious Development, a non-profit organization that aims to bring up mainland college students to lead the future development of civil society in China. In addition, he had also single-handily initiated and cycled alone across the Qinghai-Tibet plateau for 2,000 kilometers. His encouraging project raised more than $200,000 in one month for MSF’s international humanitarian operations.