Brave Youngsters Building a Brighter Tomorrow

▲ Joe (first from left, front row) and Kyle (second from left, front row) act as mentors in the Brighter Future Buddy Programme to provide guidance to young people.

CLP started to team up with the Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in the CLP Energy for Better Tomorrows award last year to commend brave youngsters from challenging backgrounds who have used their positive energy to overcome adversities in life.

As part of CLP’s support, its employees participated in the Brighter Future Buddy Programme as mentors to provide guidance to the award-winning youngsters.

Kyle Yip, Engineer I with Power Systems, and Joe Lo, Digital and Technology Support Manager, were among the CLP mentors. They shared their life experience with the young people, giving them advice on career choice and life planning. In return, they were inspired by the courageous youngsters working to succeed against the odds.

“The stories of these young people are a big motivation for us,” says Joe.

▲(From left) Joe, Yumi, Ivan and Kyle attend the CLP Energy for Better Tomorrows award presentation ceremony and share their experiences with the audience.

One of them, Yumi Wai, is from a broken home. She had to start working in convenience stores while still a Form 3 secondary school student three years ago to support her family after her divorced mother ran into debt.

She still works part-time while continuing her studies to help pay off the debts but never complains about not being able to enjoy the more carefree life of her classmates. “Everyone should help shoulder the family burden,” Yumi says. “I just started a little earlier than other people.”

Yumi says willpower and a sense of perspective has helped her cope with working and then studying into the night to keep up with her schoolwork. “Why should I complain about being less fortunate?” she says. “There is always someone more unfortunate than me.”

This year, Yumi completed her Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education and hopes to become a Chinese medical practitioner. Her mentors have given her career advice and put her in touch with people in the trade.

“I have learnt a lot from these young people,” says Kyle. “I think they are probably better at coping with adversities than some adults.”

Joe observes: “Compared with the straightforward paths in life and the careers of many of our colleagues, these youngsters have walked difficult paths. It has taught me we really shouldn’t take a lot of things in life for granted.”

▲Kyle (right) enjoys a cappella concert with the youngsters.

As well as offering mentorship, Kyle and Joe bonded with the youngsters through activities including a cappella concert, poon choi feast, and by working together to distribute rice to people in need.

Kyle feels a special empathy for a teenager called Ivan Chan who suffers from the rare brain condition known as cerebral arteriovenous malformation and reminds Kyle of a poorly sick family member of his own.

Ivan has faced up to his illness with stoicism and a positive attitude. “I have learned not to worry about tomorrow,” Ivan says.