(From left) Dr Lam
Miu-ling, Professor Matthew Lee Kwok-on, Professor Horace Ip Ho-shing, and Dr
City University of Hong Kong (CityU) has received over HK$15
million in funding from The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust (the Trust)
for programmes that can develop students into more empathic social innovators.
Students on the programmes will be encouraged to create
novel solutions that meet social needs and create social values that help build
a more inclusive, sustainable and prosperous society.
The donation from the Trust will fund a three-year CityU
project titled “Jockey Club Enhancing Youth Empathy Project through Immersive
Visualisation” (the Project).
The Project aims to enhance student skills and capabilities
and develop innovative solutions for real-life problems through visualisation
technology. In addition, students will develop their empathy for the nature and
environment, the elderly and disabled, and ethnic minority groups.
Led by the Office of the Vice-President (Development and
External Relations) at CityU, the project, which is coordinated by
cross-disciplinary teams, comprises three related programmes – Companions of
Social Inclusion (COSI); Technologies for the Elderly and Disabled People by
Youths (TEDY); and Walking with Omura’s Whale Project (WOW).
Professor Matthew Lee
Kwok-on, Vice-President (Development and External Relations), said he
appreciated the support of the Trust in nurturing young people as empathic
“Both CityU and the Trust share the same mission in youth
development. Thanks to their support, the Project can utilise CityU’s strengths
in immersive visualisation technology and cultivate greater empathy among young
people in Hong Kong on various social issues,” he said.
“The students will make use of what they have learned on the
programmes to create something beneficial for society, such as educational apps
that promote nature conservation, rehabilitation aids for the elderly or the
disabled, and virtual reality-based scenarios that boost social inclusion,”
Professor Lee added.
Ms Winnie Ying,
Executive Manager, Charities (Grant Making – Youth, Education & Training,
Poverty) of The Hong Kong Jockey Club, said the Project would bring manifold
benefits to society in line with the Trust’s youth strategies for capacity
building, promoting multiple pathways, social connectedness and youth–adult partnerships,
as well as empowering today’s young people as change-makers.
“The Project will help cultivate positive values and helping
behaviours, improve technical and soft skills, and promote social connectedness
and a change-making spirit among the younger generation,” Ms Ying added.
Students custom-design the
lifting system for wheelchair users at the first Makeathon.
TEDY, led by Dr Lam
, Assistant Professor of the School of Creative Media, aims at
cultivating in students a stronger sense of social responsibility and empathic
understanding for the elderly and people living with disabilities. The students
will work closely with NGOs to create custom-designed rehabilitation aids for
the elderly or people with disabilities to help them solve daily problems,
improve physical and emotional well-being, and assist in living more independently.
For example, at the first TEDY Makeathon which was held at
Run Run Shaw Creative Media Centre between 9 and 11 June, participating
students created a lifting system within 72 hours for a person to self-transfer
to or from a wheelchair more easily. The equipment will help wheelchair users
with limited mobility to move more independently and with greater convenience.
Students participating in COSI learn and experience “Henna Tattoo” with
ethnic minority instructors.
COSI is led by Professor
Horace Ip Ho-shing
, Vice-President (Student Affairs) and Director of the
Centre for Innovative Applications of Internet and Multimedia Technologies. The
programme aims to provide a series of workshops that can foster young people’s
cognitive understanding and empathy towards ethnic minority groups in order to
improve social inclusion. The 3D virtual reality learning environment for
minority groups that the students create will help to nurture coping skills
that can minimise difficulties faced in daily life.
Through the process of “perspective-taking”, the learning
environment cultivates among local young people greater empathy towards the
life experiences, challenges and special needs of local minority groups.
In the “Walking with
Omura’s Whale Programme Exhibition”, audiences viewed a 3D-printed Omura’s
The WOW programme, led by Dr Richard Brown
, Associate Director of the School of Veterinary
Medicine, aims to create multimedia presentations, mobile apps and games about
the oceanic life of an Omura’s whale by using a mix of virtual and augmented
reality technologies. CityU possesses the complete skeleton of an Omura’s
whale, which was obtained after the body of such a whale washed up in Hong Kong
waters in 2014.
This activity can enrich students’ knowledge
about the environment that the Omura’s Whale lives in, and draw attention to
the marine pollution, human interaction, and construction work that the whale
may face. They will also act as “Ocean Ambassadors” who promote empathy for the
environment and nature in schools and the community.