“Health in Action is all about eliminating health inequity by enabling low income workers and families to access quality health care. I’m one of the nutritionists here, providing food safety and nutrition education to street workers in the neighbourhood. My work requires me to be very active in interacting with strangers. Some of the street cleaners may not be so engaged initially but with some time and patience, they will gradually warm up. It’s all about making them feel heard, seen and respected. During COVID, these cleaners have been so integral in keeping our community safe and healthy - yet they often neglect their own health. There is a common misconception that a healthy lifestyle needs to be costly, but I want to spread the word that we can also maintain a nutritious diet that is cheap, good and quick. Through my work, I practise seeing things through the eyes of the street workers every day. Often, what we think they need is not what they really need. Compassion is not sympathy, but respect; it’s respecting the other enough to accept their point of view and to find solutions from their perspective. It’s important to listen before trying to help!”
“Street cleaners are often busy on their shifts so we usually only have 15-30 minute slots to convey our message. I’ve familiarised myself with their work schedules in order to find the best time to engage - whether it be in a local park or at the Health in Action community space, which is designed to be a second home; a space for them to rest and connect. Not only are these sessions an opportunity for us to talk about health, but also to build a bond. It takes time to develop trust, but after a while the street workers will start to share their personal worries with me; because sometimes all they want is a listening ear. I’ve lived in this neighbourhood, Kwai Tsing, for over two decades. Growing up, I never really took the time to interact with street cleaners, but my work now has really allowed me to broaden my horizons. Our street cleaners are so dedicated to their job and have such an amazing work ethic. Rather than getting the respect and gratitude that they deserve, some cleaners shared that they have been berated by the public for removing their mask just for a minute to have a sip of water or take a break in the scorching heat. This is not what they deserve and makes me even more passionate about using my knowledge of health and nutrition to help our amazing street cleaners!”
“My first job was as a bank teller, working behind a counter. It was a stable job but I found it so repetitive, and after a while I really started to question my purpose. I realised that I had a passion for healthcare, and so I decided to change course. I also really enjoy food, and wanted to spread the joy of eating well and healthily. The most satisfying part of my work at Health in Action is the opportunity to really engage with people and the community. I really believe that health is something that everyone can work on gradually, whether it be through implementing small changes in eating habits, sleep or exercise routine. A lot of people don’t know how to eat healthily or to improve their physical or mental health. For me, it’s all about finding the right balance - just like in all aspects of life. Of course I try to stay healthy too! In my down time I love to be outdoors and active - I play volleyball, go hiking and also love hip hop dancing!”
呢度做嘢，最有滿足感嘅地方就係可以同唔同嘅人同埋社群接觸。我好相信每一個人都可以逐步改善自己嘅健康，無論係喺飲食、睡眠或者係做運動嘅習慣上面都可以做少少改變。好多人都唔識點樣去食得健康或者改善佢哋嘅身心健康，對我嚟講，最緊要係搵到一個啱嘅平衡，同我哋生活好多方面一樣。當然我都會保持自己身體健康啦！放假嘅時候，我鍾意出外同埋郁吓，我會打排球，去行山，亦都鍾意跳 hip hop 舞㗎 ！」
Want to know more about Health In Action ?
Check out our field trip report and learn more about the organisation and how you can help