“This is my first NGO job and I’ve been working at Golden Age Foundation for 2 years. We are working to change the perception of the older generation in Hong Kong by empowering them through social innovation projects and lifelong learning opportunities. Many retirees experience a sense of emptiness and loss as they step into retirement. My mother served as a public servant for decades and retired at age 55 - she went from full, active days to leisurely days with no direction. What new retirees need most to propel them forwards is the encouragement and support to find their next life goals. I really believe that retirees have so much to contribute to society with their life experience and vast networks; as long as we are open to breaking down inter-generational barriers. I’m only 33 years old and am learning to use compassion to connect with people who are much older than myself. Sometimes due to upbringing and culture, people from the older generations find it difficult to open up. Compassion is about being patient and caring, and listening intently to allow the other person to fully express how they feel and what they need.”
"My previous career was in commerce, but I quickly realised that there is a lot more to life than just finance and numbers. I wanted to serve the community and do something more meaningful. So I went on to do a Masters in Nonprofit Management and came across this opportunity to help build a smart aging city. Hong Kong tops the world chart in terms of life expectancy and our aging population is a priority issue that needs to be tackled in the coming years. I lived in the UK for 9 years, and saw that the elderly population would often get together with their neighbours to play bingo, go to the pub and watch football. There was a great community vibe there with people creating their own support networks and I think this is something that we need more of in Hong Kong. What I enjoy most about my work is that we get to bridge people from diverse social groups - we have ex-CEOs from multinational corporations working together with people from the grassroots community. Different life perspectives and experiences means new synergies! "
“Back in school and university days, I worked as a lifeguard for several years. I didn’t like to sit still growing up and had been training as a swimmer since I was a little kid. I used to participate in open water swim races regularly. I also play quite an unusual instrument - the suona, or Chinese trumpet. We each had to learn an instrument in school, and because I was a strong swimmer, my teacher said that I would have good lungs to play the trumpet. So here I am now one of the few people in Hong Kong who can play the suona! I’m happy with the work that I’m doig now as I have the chance to help people achieve their dreams in the second half of their lives. We are at an age where life is no longer linear - we can have multiple jobs, multiple careers, multiple dreams - the possibilities are endless. Sometimes I wonder what I would be like as an elderly person. I want to be someone who keeps up with the times, continues to experience new things and uses his time to help more people!”
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