The Awardee of 2022 Hong Kong Humanity Award - Ms Leung Shun-wah
Offering warm-heartedness that heals people’s pain and emotions
Ms Leung Shun-wah lived in Tai O and visited the elderly living alone with her father when she was young. “My father taught me that giving is more blessed than receiving with his acts. It is most rewarding to bring happiness to people around.”
In 2008, Ms Leung joined the medical team of the Hong Kong Red Cross to Sichuan. It was her first humanitarian mission to support people affected by an earthquake. While providing medical services at the site, she noticed the importance of emotional support. “A girl could not sleep for nights after witnessing her classmate died in the earthquake. We taught her the appropriate ways to mourn the affected people and helped her calm down.” In the following years, she was deployed to Zimbabwe and Nepal. During the emergency operations, she was particularly keen on joining outreach services in remote areas, “we walked to remote villages with medications, reaching the villagers in need and sharing love and care for them. We wish to bring warm-heartedness to people no matter where they are living in.”
Being a resident of an outlying island, Ms Leung experienced the lack of support for the people living in rural areas during the pandemic. She took the initiative and organised a volunteer team to help the elderly in Tai O. Besides providing anti-pandemic information and relief items to the elderly, she cares about their emotional needs. “Tai O is an aged community. The elderly living there cannot get timely support. Caring words can soothe their emotions and matter more than any relief items.”
As a nurse, Ms Leung cares about both physical and mental health of patients. Knowing that people have suffered varying degrees of emotional distress because of the pandemic, she hopes she can do more about trauma healing and emotional support. “Most of the people living in city are having well-provided lives, but not all of them are happy. If more of us are willing to be more empathic and care about others, it is worthy for me to carry on no matter how small the change I could make.”
Humanity is to act, to care about those in plight and stand by them in difficult times.