Friday, February 27, 2009

PAYM Singapore – Hong Kong Youth Exchange Programme 2009 Day 6

17 February 2009

In the morning, we went on a visit to Magic Kingdom, a social enterprise. I had heard of social enterprises in Singapore but I had a deeper understanding of the concept after the presentation. The magicians performed some entertaining shows to us and also taught us a little magic trick.

We had lunch at Tao Heung Restaurant.

The Chinese has a saying that in every 10 gambles one make, one would lose 9 of them. Asia is seeing the expansion of its gambling industry. 3.1% of the population experienced problem gambling in Hong Kong (2005) while 2% of Singaporeans were affected in the same year, said Ms Elda Mei Lo Chan, Centre Supervisor & Certified Gambling Counsellor and Trainer.

Gambling is risking something valuable in an activity that has a time limit; and which one cannot use skills or intuition to know the results. In this sense, the Centre also handles problem “investors” who are addicted in warrants, accumulators, and contra trading.

With the IRs soon to be completed, measures have to be taken to ensure that problem gambling rate is minimized. There are many learning points from the approach taken by TWGHs Even Centre.

TWGHs Even Centre adopts a holistic and multi-disciplinary approach, assisting problem gamblers through hotlines, counselling and therapies. Having a dedicated counselling channel for problem gamblers is useful, considering that the waiting time for a session with a psychiatrist in public hospital is nearly 2 years. Problem gamblers are given financial and debt counselling, emergency relief and temporary refuge as well as psychological treatment.

Group therapies aim to create a holistic person, developing new lifestyle holistically to rid off the addiction of gambling.

TWGHs Even Centre also actively engage in community education. Advertisements targets at the importance of family and how gambling could destroy it. It has also created a board game specifically to educate about the low chances of winning in gambling.

The Centre’s social workers are professionally trained and participate in research and conferences. Accredited training is also provided to teachers and police.

Next, we went to The Peak via the Peak tram. The weather was breezy and cooling. I kept my sweater to enjoy the chilling effect, something I could never enjoy in Singapore.

We were given free time to browse the shopping malls. Shopping at a tourist attraction spot didn't seem appealing, so we went to take pictures instead.

At night, we had our Farewell dinner at the Crystal Ballroom, YMCA The Cityview Hotel. Time had passed so quickly that not too long ago, we were in the same room enjoying our welcoming lunch.

The emcee struck a chord with all of us by saying that there is no longer "Hong Kong delegate" and "Singapore delegate" because we are all friends. Indeed, the friendship fostered during this stay had been a deep one.

There were stage games and I was glad to be able to participate in one of them. The objective of the game was to transmit a message (in Cantonese) across 4 people, 2 of whom were Singaporean.

The whole long of mouth twisters turned out to be a list of food items. I guess Shirley must have had a hard time understanding my Cantonese.

After the dinner, Hock Rong, George, Jonathan, Karen and I went to Mong Kok to do some shopping for souvenirs. Jonathan was a very powerful bargainer. Hock Rong also wielded his power with his limited Cantonese phrases. Karen shared how her Mum managed to buy a big travel luggage at around HK$50. Amazing.

George and Karen had to return home early. Jonathan brought us to meet up with the others at the Big Tree Pub. At the MTR station, Hock Rong wanted to go to the toilet but there weren't any in the station. Jonathan then told us that there were secret toilets that the staff would bring us to if we (tourists) asked. True enough, one of the staff guided us all the way into the staff toilet. Good service!

At the Big Tree Pub, we played some games until some of us began to doze off.

Back at the hotel, we assembled at Alex's room and chatted about the happenings of the day. Hock Rong and I managed to smuggle Jonathan into our room until the next morning! While waiting for Hock Rong to return, I had a candid chat with Vivian at the freezing cold hotel lobby.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Please share your feedback and comments.