Interview with JCI Peninsula President Elect Kenny Lok
Visiting South America
Kenny has been loving the South American culture since he was a secondary school student. He was enthusiastic to the ancient civilisations from Latin America, such as Mayan civilisation.
Kenny has ever thought that would be amazing if he could visit the South America before he was reaching 30.
Of course, being a secondary school student, that was just an unconscious thought. Until Kenny entered into his working life, he had worked for several years. Once, he realised that if he didn’t still go to South America, maybe he had no chance to go anymore. Especially, he preferred an attitude of playing hard when he was travelling.
As well known, going to South America from Hong Kong requires around twenty hours airtime. It is quite not reasonable to travel a few South American countries in a week and then return to Hong Kong.
At that time, Kenny thought he has a good economic condition. Also, he was not afraid of resigning his job, as he was confident that he would find another job after he returned to Hong Kong. So that it was worth to try for him to visit the South America.
As a consequence, he achieved his own South American trip in 2016.
Starting from mid-South America, the first stop of Kenny’s trip was Mexico. Then, he consequently went to Cuba, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, Bolivia, Chile, Brazil, Uruguay, and finally reached Argentina as destination.
From the point of view of Kenny, if the distance of the borders is short, the people from the two countries have a similar culture. But when you go to every country which you feel that their culture is similar, you find that the first stop and the last stop have a huge difference.
Expectations before travelling to South America
Travelling to South America is not dangerous as Kenny imagined. For example, Colombia is seen a crime city. But he found that people from Colombia were very friendly. All South American people were very enthusiastic to visitors during his trip.
One of the remarkable memories of visiting South America
Salar de Uyuni from Bolivia - the largest mirror on Earth is one of the remarkable memories for Kenny.
Going to Salar de Uyuni from Bolivia was quite difficult as the traffics in Bolivia were not good. Kenny went there by entering Bolivia from Peru. Then, he needed to take a local bus from the largest Bolivian city La Paz which took him around 10 hours.
Kenny got on the local bus at night and arrived town of Salar de Uyuni at dawn. Then, he had to join some trips for sunsets and sunrises for seeking the largest mirror on Earth.
For Kenny, the whole process of travelling to Salar de Uyuni is a remarkable memory.
Inspiration for Kenny’s JC life
Our JCs are mostly facing some difficulties in the process of achieving their projects. For people from other counties, maybe these difficulties are just so common. This challenging but rewarding journey gave Kenny courage to take up the role as a president of his mother chapter.
Sometimes the things which our JCs think may be complicated. But we haven’t still yet faced many things outside indeed.
Leading members to connect and achieve
If Kenny leads every member to expand their strengths, he has to firstly know where their strengths are from, such as from themselves or from the team.
Knowing the sources of strengths of each member can be easier for Kenny to assign the work to members in order to make members lead this work. Then, the members connect their strengths with the works. Finally, the member achieves.
Interview with JCI Lion Rock Member VIP Li
1. Why did you join the JCI Global Partnership Summit?
I joined the JCI Global Partnership Summit (GPS) in 2018 because it was a rare opportunity for me to see how the United Nations (UN) and JCI, the two well-known international organizations, work with each other to make positive impacts on the world. Moreover, I am interested in traveling to the countries in the Americas like the USA and Canada.
2. What was included in the summit?
I attended numerous formal meetings and seminars hosted by JCI and the UN, some hot topics or social issues were discussed and the main theme in the GPS 2018 was gender equality (SDG 5). I got the chance to communicate with so many experienced leaders of JCI and talked about the hot topics and the 17 Global Goals (SDGs). One of the most unforgettable experiences was visiting the headquarters of the UN which was amazing with strict security regulations and wonderful facilities.
3. What did you achieve from it?
I gained so much knowledge about the UN and JCI. It was wonderful to have meetings and seminars with 2017 JCI President Dawn Hetzel, and I was so excited that I could even talk to her and express my opinions. From the conversation with the seasoned JC members, I sensed that I still had so much room for improvement which motivated me to be a better person. Moreover, I made a lot of friends there and built up my global social network. Besides, I could practice my English listening and speaking skills during the events.
4. How could the participants put the discussion into action in home communities?
JC members from different countries had shared about their own experiences of taking actions of SDGs and organizing different projects. We learned different approaches to run projects under different cultures and conditions. With proper adjustments and modifications, we could apply those ideas and skills to our local projects and societies. Many JC members had great promotion and marketing skills which are essential to creating an impact on the world. For example, a fundraising campaign held by JCI Japan had successfully raised funds during the summit by asking JC members there for generous donations.
5. During the summit, the participants joined together to explore how young people can work with partners in government, business and civil society to achieve the SDGs, working with which part do you think is the most important or the most difficult?
Dealing with the government is quite difficult as they have so many departments and the mechanism for decision making is too complicated. However, we can flexibly collaborate with other stakeholders such as the NGOs and corporations to create a larger impact on the community.
6. Do you recommend others to join the summit?
I strongly recommend all JC members attend international events such as the JCI Global Partnership Summit, the World Congress and all the area conferences. We can broaden our horizons and build up our international vision by communicating and making friends with people from all over the world. Unlike personal traveling, with the common language (JC culture), we can easily have in-depth connections with JC members and guests from different backgrounds. As a young entrepreneur, it’s so great that I can build my global business network and create business opportunities with people from all around the world.