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Education has a ripple effect

HONG KONG (Mabuhay) : Over 90 people donned the academic gowns of the University of Hong Kong to receive their graduation certificates at the Rayson Huang Theatre on September 27, after attending a series of talks on various aspects of health care.

The new graduates said that the course has boosted their self-confidence, as well as helping them to improve their performance in the workplace.

The series of talks was sponsored by the Service 100: Domestic Workers Empowerment Project, which operates under the auspices of the Centre of Student Development and Resources for Students at the University of Hong Kong.

The consul general from The Philippines to Hong Kong, Bernadita Catalla, said the six health talks not only have benefits for the participants, but also the people around them, especially their employers and their own families, as they can share their new-found knowledge with others.

She also reminded those present that as they work hard for their loved ones, they also need to take good care of themselves, as the greatest asset that anyone has in life is their own health.

A number of employers of the graduates attended the award presentation ceremony and congratulated them on what they have achieved. 

Amy Wong Yin-ping, the employer of Rosario Cugay, said the series of talks has helped Cugay choose more healthy ingredients to use in her cooking.

She supported the incentive that her employee has for learning and said that everyone needs to upgrade themselves so as to have a positive aim in life.

Josephine Tabugoc-Cajada, who spoke on behalf of the graduates, thanked the empowerment project and the student ambassadors from the university for embracing the migrant workers and making their Sundays meaningful.

Nenette Bermudas picked up the same theme, saying that the project has created a second home for migrants with various activities like parties and talks, which helped her to look forward to its activities every Sunday.

She said the project has made her realise that dreams can come true, as she had never imagined that she would have the opportunity to give a speech in one of the best universities in Hong Kong.

Scott Hughes, an educational consultant and employer, share a perspective of an employer on the empowerment project, said that education has a ripple effect.

He pointed out that education is the responsibility of all individuals in society, as it can improve not only the life of the individual, but also the lives of the people around them and create better interpersonal relationships.

He said he observed that his employee, Jesusa Teodoro, was really excited after attending each talk in the health series and shared what she learned when she came home.

“She has become wiser and more informed,” Hughes said.

He recalled that years ago, Teodoro was suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome. As an employer, he referred her to a top specialist in Hong Kong and gave her time to rest, so that she could recover.

He explained that he considers her to be part of the family and giving attention to her health is a normal thing to do.

He encouraged workers to speak up about what they need, which he said he believes can facilitate better relationships between employers and employees.

Mordecai Yau Ka-chun, a nursing student, said he was particularly impressed by the honesty and openness of the foreign domestic workers when sharing about their personal lives during the series of talks, as well as their joyfulness in the various social events accompanying the project.

As one of the input speakers, he said that his topic was gout and he is happy to have gained some experience on how to put together a talk on health promotion.

Since the project officially started in December last year, talks covering six topics, hypertension and varicose veins, diabetes, menopause, gout, breast cancer and sexually-transmitted diseases were presented.