The Asia-Pacific Development Council is an organization hoping to achieve sound, rapid and healthy growth of JC movement for the targeted National Organizations who are facing difficulties or lacking of resources in the Asia-Pacific region.
Sharing and Learning
APDC has a very diverse ethnic mix; including members from Taiwan, Japan, Mongolia, Malaysia, Korea, Hong Kong and more. This not only means we really get to embody the element of “International” in Junior Chamber International, we also get to experience first hand how people from different cultures have a different approach and style to work. The target National Orgainzation assigned to my team is JCI Myanmar. One of the inspirations to me was how JCI Myanmars made good use of their limited resources, i.e. they can achieve A LOT with just couple hundred to a thousand USD per year. Looking back to how resourceful we are in Hong Kong, I wonder if we could sometimes make better use of our ideas or our network here in the Junior Chamber. I was struck with the realisation that oftentimes, we tend to achieve our targets with money instead of thinking of other solutions. I think it is essential for us not to take resources for granted and refine our reliance on our monetary resources.
APDC aspires to our own slogan “Together Future Forward” this year, which echoes to JCI Hong Kong’s “Lead, Connect, Achieve” this year. In a sense, every members under APDC shares the role of a“leader” providing aids to the assigned NOMs. “Connecting” is a core part of what we do, to let our clientele know that we are sincere in trying to help them grow instead of forcing them to comply with what we have in mind. We hope to help them to “achieve” their goals through proper training or advice and resources we could offer. In the case of JCI Myanmar, we are overjoyed to report an overall growth in number of members from around forty to almost sixty in spite of the pandemic crisis.
There are points to learn in all the different roles I have been in. Working as the National Convention Director (NCD), the main issue was the understanding of the different needs of the NOM, LOMs & Local Presidents and the cooperation between the many of them. Facilitating everyone’s cooperation and trying to assist with the LOMs in the progress was one of the biggest challenges instead of running the 3-days programme itself. My role as the NCD was definitely a preparation for my next role as a LOM president. While as a LOM president, my vision is more for a long-term assignment of the work(a year to lead) and coalition between people instead of focusing just a single project. The essence to becoming a good leader is to successfully bond and cater to the needs, wants
and growth of all the executive committees. Not to mention that the responsibility as a LOM president is also a lot more significant than the former role providing positive change to my beloved mother chapter and fellow
members, not just to achieve a single event.
This year has proved to be both a challenge and an opportunity for us all. A lot of the things we had planned was affected by the pandemic this year; but where a door closes another opens, online training sessions proved to be a lot more pleasantly spread throughout the period in comparison to the intensive training sessions we had planned to cramp in the three-day visit to Myanmar everytime. This is just again another proof to how there is always more than one way to the goal if we think and plan from multiple perspectives.
Interview with JCI Harbour Member Hob Lau
Hob Lau's JC Life
No one can deny that Hob is a typical Japanophilia with appreciation and proficiency in Japanese language. With such talent, in 2014 Hob was invited by his friend to join JCI Harbour and became an OC member in Hong Kong - Japan Bridging Camp, in which Hob took a role as a translator for Hong Kong children going to Japan and Japanese teenagers coming to Hong Kong for cultural exchange and mutual understanding. Afterwards, Hob started his amazing journey in this inspirational organization and took the role as the Executive Committee in his chapter from 2017-2020, during which he was delighted to make friendship with young people with different backgrounds all over the world. It was true that there were five sister chapters with JCI Harbour including Japan, Korea, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, where Hob needed to visit them with other JCI Harbour members every year. What was more, Hob was enthusiastic in participating other international affairs, such as JCI President Reception, Asia-Pacific Conference, and JCI World Congress. Hob was glad to get exposed to overseas JCI members and realize the cultures in other regions.
Tips to make friend overseas
In the interview, Hob had shared some valuable tips with us for turning strangers into friends overseas. Hob genuinely believed that foreign friends were nice and willing to talk to you, and he needed not to create topics. For instance, Hob suffered from culture shock when he began studying in the USA. He found himself exploring unfamiliar territory, meeting new people, and trying different new things. However, many international students were willing to start conversations with Hob since they were outgoing and sociable. Therefore, He began to establish connections with them to overcome his culture shock and created a huge social network overseas.
IA Exploration In JC
In addition, Hob encouraged new JC members to join a variety of JC activities at the international level, like JC official courses. it is a great chance to meet a variety of JCI members from all over the world in a same class. At the beginning, they may be afraid of being exposed to people in other races, cultures, and religions. However, it is well noted that “JCI” is always the topic with others. People in JC can resonate through common topics regarding JCI activities whenever he
meets JC members in diverse countries.
New Business through JCI international Networking
Hob’s JCI experience can help him reinforce his international perspective in business. In the coming future, Hob would like to do business with the JCI members in Japan. On the one hand, most of the JCI members in Japan were successful entrepreneurs with enough power or money. On the other hand, with extreme faithfulness and loyalty, they never cheat on each other. Hob can keep his business running smoothly and efficiently.
Interview with JCI Sha Tin Member Tom Chan
Tom was born in Hong Kong but has been raised in a family full of Myanmar culture. Tom’s family was overseas Chinese citizens in Myanmar but they came to HK due to anti-Chinese incidents. Although he cannot read the Myanmar language, he can listen and speak plus having good culture understanding of Myanmar. He used to go back to Myanmar once a year when he was 4. As he grows up, he visits Myanmar more often to travel and catch up with friends or even explore business opportunities e.g. souvenir trading in Myanmar.
Having traveled and living in both HK and Myanmar, Tom could spot some cultural differences between two places. Generally, people in Hong Kong have higher education level than those in Myanmar. Only people in big cities like Yangon of Myanmar have good educational level which allow them to communicate
with foreigners. However, he found that Myanmar people are mostly happier than HK people do. They are used to enjoy living and relax compared to the stressed lives in HK. They are usually more ready to sing on the street or at the qathering with friends. He even joined them to sing Myanmar songs twice at the event held in HKU campus.
Embracing a multi-cultural background, Tom is keen on international affairs. He was the IA officer of JCI Sha Tin in 2019. Doing the reception for sister chapters and participating in Jeju ASPAC 2019 were memorable to Tom. He met an oversea friend in Jeju who is the National President of Myanmar this year. Tom appreciates her for doing a meaningful project in response to COVID-19. Meanwhile, Tom also keeps contributing
to the flagship project of JCI Sha Tin.
Being a devoted member of JCIHK, Tom believes that Active Citizen Framework is a good way for people to review and create solutions to lead other people with similar visions to solve the problems of the society. He thinks that International affairs is a big treasure of JCI which enables us to connect the world, to communicate and exchange ideas through the platform of JCI e.g. Tom has joined the “SDG Pioneers” program this year which enables him to meet JC members from other countries and exchange ideas about the sustainable development issues in local countries and the whole world. Tom is also keen on community works apart from those of JC. He introduced us to a NGO- Connecting Myanmar which aims to inspire youth to think critically with an empathetic lens through connecting Myanmar and HK youth. It provides scholarship and programmes to encourage exchange of skills and knowledge.