專心致志15年

本文作者(右一)與一戶尼泊爾家庭合照

本文作者(右一)與一戶尼泊爾家庭合照

撰文: 蕭美娟

我每年都會走訪樂施會世界各地的項目點,親身了解我們的工作對受助社群帶來甚麼影響。每次探訪都不輕鬆,有時更充滿挑戰。緃然這樣,每次旅程我都甘之如飴,因為我可以和世界各地的項目同事以及夥伴組織見面、與受助社群交流。我視每一次出差為學習。

我於1998年加入樂施會,此前在私營機構任職多年。1999年,我第一次以樂施會同事身分,到河北省的貧困村落,考察當地的地震重建工作及探訪受災村民。此次並有每月捐款者同行。我們乘坐的越野車吃力地跑過崎嶇不平的狹小山路,花了六個小時才抵達項目點。參加過我們海外考察的朋友,必定深深體會何謂「長途跋涉」、「舟車勞頓」。樂施會的扶貧項目,選點大部分在偏遠及支援較少的貧困地區。

甫下車,我便看見一群人蹲在一起討論,包括負責當地項目的樂施會同事及村民,還有我們項目夥伴即當地政府扶貧辦公室的人員。原來他們在設計供水及灌溉項目。我還記得,當日天氣很冷,在戶外待了一會,我感到身體快要變僵了。

為了順利推行項目,項目同事每每要克服惡劣天氣、舟車勞頓及其他挑戰;為了推動村民向政府爭取更多發展資源,又要扭盡六壬跟政府夥伴協商、討論不同方案,更要隨機應變。當日有一幕至今清楚印在我腦海中。項目同事藉著香港捐款者到訪的難得機會,與夥伴人員再三討論,要求他們全力協助村民修建供水設施,改善生活。這件事令我體會到「牛記人」鍥而不捨的耐性及以弱勢社群為本的精神。只要有助扶貧工作,建立更公義的社會,我們都盡力而為。村民亦眾志成城、熱心投入,以行動實踐樂施會強調的「參與式」精神。當下,不管天氣寒冷,我的心是暖洋洋的。那次考察之行,激勵了我全情投入樂施會的工作。

今年一月,美娟探訪樂施會在尼泊爾的項目點。她分享道︰「我要向尼泊爾副項目總監Rakesh Mohan致敬,因為他是一個專心致志的發展工作者,其扶貧策略真的能夠協助村民改善生活,邁向持續發展。」

加入樂施會早期,我獲派發一份形像使用守則,闡明樂施會是一間發展及人道救援組織而非慈善機構,在選用圖片時,亦有不同取態。我最欣賞機構與貧窮人結成平等的夥伴關係,透過賦權及動員受助社區互相合作,達至永續發展的理念。我既是全職婦女,也是育有兩名兒子的全職母親,對弱勢婦女的境況尤其關注,因此十分認同樂施會以婦女及弱勢群體為主要扶助對象的宗旨。

事實上,參與式的工作手法不單在受助民眾身上體現。多年來,我遇到很多扶貧同路人,包括捐款者、義工、大眾市民、香港和世各地的同事以及樂施會董事局的成員,能夠和大家並肩同行,我深感是自己的一份福氣。

工作上,我享受團隊的合作無間。今年三月,雲南省發生地震,樂施會迅速展開救災工作。前線同事馬不停蹄向災民提供緊急援助。我在香港總部統籌有關的籌款及傳訊事宜直到深夜。雖然工作崗位不同,各人專心致志為同一目標而努力。

香港及澳門市民無私的捐獻及長期支持,一直鞭策著我做好每個工作。記得有一年,我在街頭售賣樂施米,驀地,一位婦女長者蹣跚地推著載著紙皮盒的手推車停在我們的義賣攤位前,然後二話不說從口袋掏出五元放入捐款箱。這些錢可能是她勞動一天的報酬,但她願意捐予樂施會。那一刻,我除了感激之外,亦欣喜婆婆對我們工作的信任。

義工朋友全情投入樂施米義賣大行動,令美娟感動萬分。

此外,有賴義工朋友的支持,協助日常的辦公室工作、樂施商店義賣、每年的大型籌款活動,我們才能夠減省行政開支。我在每年的樂施米義賣大行動以及樂施毅行者活動,見盡感人場面。例如,樂施毅行者舉行期間,來自各界的義工朋友在各個山頭冒著風吹雨打,甚至不眠不休,為的是確保活動順利舉行、參加者的安全,並向毅行者噓寒問暖。我衷心感謝他們默默的支持和付出。

最後不得不提的是樂施會董事局成員,因為這些日理萬機的行政要員,就算忙得不可開交,亦獻出寶貴時間,參與樂施會的管治工作。舉幾個例子︰我試過晚上九時收到梁愛詩的電郵,詢問機構的工作情況;同一時間,陳智思正代表樂施會出席一個樂施毅行者的頒獎活動。盧子健及謝錦強等往往在周末以電郵處理我們的工作;他們熟悉機構的運作及工作,我想這是因為他們花了很多精神和時間細閱樂施會的文件。義務工作的朋友都如此盡心盡力,試問我這位全職人員又怎能不加倍努力呢﹗

15年歲月倏忽即逝,我非常慶幸加入樂施會。我享受工作,透過工作助人自助,這份滿足感是無法形容的。

作者: 蕭美娟,樂施會籌款及傳訊部總監

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Enthusiasm, Motivation and Commitment

By Kanie Siu

Every year, I visit our projects in different countries to see how our projects have helped improve people’s lives. Every trip is tiring and tough. However, every trip is fruitful and full of fond memories.

I joined Oxfam Hong Kong in 1998. Prior to that, I had worked in the commercial sector for many years. In 1999, I went to Hebei Province, China to visit earthquake-affected villagers with some monthly donors. That was my first work trip with Oxfam. It took us nearly six hours through narrow and bumpy roads in a four-wheeled vehicle to get to the communities. If you have ever joined our overseas trips, you would understand how tough they can be! Oxfam works in remote areas that receive less assistance.

When we arrived, I saw our field colleague, community members and local partners from the government poverty alleviation department squatting on the floor, designing water and irrigation projects together. It was a chilly day; the cold winds were making me shiver.

In January 2013, Kanie visited Oxfam’s project sites in Nepal. “I salute Rakesh Mohan, our Associate Country Director in Nepal, for his hard work and development strategies in helping poor Nepalese people strive for a better future.“

As the Chinese saying goes, “It is better to travel more than to read books alone”. Had I not been in the community, I would not have been able to witness how our programme colleague had overcome so many challenges and difficulties, including extreme weathers, long and tiring journey, to visit his project site. I would not have known that he had to go through endless negotiations with different parties to ensure smooth implementation of the programme. I was particularly impressed by our programme colleague’s effort to make use of the donors’ visit to exert pressure on the authorities to enhance the water pump system for the community.

I also realised the power of solidarity and determination. It was the first time that I witnessed how Oxfam engages project participants to demand for positive changes. It was Oxfam’s participatory approach at work! The projects have enabled villagers to have access to running water for drinking and livelihood development. The active participation and enthusiasm of the community members made me feel warm and touched. This greatly reinforced my commitment to Oxfam Hong Kong and motivated me to work hard at my job.

When I joined Oxfam, I was given an image guideline stating that Oxfam is an independent development and humanitarian agency rather than a charity organisation. I truly appreciate this “Working with Poor People against Poverty” principle which aims to empower and mobilise communities to work together for their development and positive structural changes. We consider poor people as equal partners rather than passive takers. As a working mother of two children, I particularly admire Oxfam’s keen efforts to empower marginalised and disadvantaged women.

"My job has made my life happier and more fulfilled," says Kanie.

I have always been grateful for being one of the members of the big Oxfam poverty alleviation team. Being able to join hands with many committed and wholehearted stakeholders including donors, projects participants, local partners, government officials, volunteers, colleagues at Oxfam as well as Oxfam Council members to work on the same goal – fight against poverty and injustice – is truly a blessing for me!

When an earthquake hit Yunnan in early March this year, my colleagues in China worked around the clock to provide relief to affected people, I supported the humanitarian effort in the head office by steering the fundraising and communications work until very late at night. Throughout the years, I have had the chance to be involved in this kind of team work many times. The exemplary team spirit demonstrated at times like this inspires and motivates me to continue exploring more financial support for our programmes around the world.

The trust and continuous support of our monthly donors and the general public in Hong Kong and Macau are another driving force for me. When I was selling Oxfam Rice some years ago, an elderly woman pushing a trolley of used paper boxes stopped in front of my rice stall. She took out HK$5 from her pocket and put it into the donation box. That must be a lot of money to her but she still contributed to Oxfam. I was deeply touched and this incident keeps reminding me to be accountable to our supporters.

Our volunteers contributed their time to support our daily office work, the annual Oxfam Rice Sale and Oxfam Trailwalker. For the latter, some work on a 24-hour shift during the three-day event, enduring tiredness and sleeplessness so as to ensure a successful fundraiser and a memorable time for all. I could never thank them enough for their unconditional support to Oxfam.

Our Council members are mostly busy executives but they contribute their off-hours volunteering in Oxfam’s work. For example, Elsie once sent us emails at 9 pm asking questions regarding governance issues of Oxfam; at the same time of the same day, Bernard was presenting awards to at the Oxfam Trailwalker Prize Presentation Ceremony. CK Lo, Bernard and KK always reply our emails on weekends. It seems to me that they do not have rest time at all. I also find that they are very familiar with the issues of the agency. I believe they have spent much time reading thoroughly our documents before they attend each Council meeting. They really care about the work of Oxfam. How can a full time employee like me not work as hard as they do?

Fifteen years have gone by in the blink of an eye. My job has made my life happier and more fulfilled. I see this as a sustainable personal development.

Kanie Siu is Director of Fundraising and Communications at Oxfam Hong Kong.

2 thoughts on “專心致志15年

  1. 嘩, 原來轉眼已經十五年. 當年河北之旅我也有份參與. 完成整個艱苦旅程時, 我也不得不深受感動, 但覺自己的工作意義非常.
    雖然已離開樂施會不少日子. 人亦長大了, 仍然非常執信你們的工作手法和模式.
    因此, 我的長子早於出生不久便已成為小小樂施之友; 而每每有災害發生而又有你們的落腳點時, 我們都會捐出微毫, 以祈災民因著你們的出現而重獲希望

  2. Didn’t realize your Chinese writing skill is so good and touching. Love to see the contribution Oxfam and everyone including yourself to the communities. Be proud of you.

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