Helping Hands – Vikram Krishna (16YRS.), Pratham Jain (17 YRS.)
Vikram Krishna (16yrs.) and Pratham Jain (17 yrs.) have been friends for over 6 years. Students of Hong Kong International School, doing service projects in the community isn’t new for either of them. Vikram is an Eagle Scout and both boys through the years have observed their families, especially their mothers run fundraisers and collect goods for various charities in Hong Kong and India.
During the school lockdown in Hong Kong, Vikram and Pratham observed how the coronavirus pandemic affected the lifestyles of almost everyone. They noticed almost immediately how quickly supplies ran out in the city. The people from the Hong Kong community who came most to their minds were the low income elderly.
The realization that it wasn’t safe for the elderly to step outside and buy supplies inspired the idea to donate care bags to them. Initially, these care bags included masks, hand sanitizers, and different ingredients to make simple and healthy food. As Pratham tells us “the week before these care bags needed to be delivered, I would go with my family to different stores, carrying out boxes full of various products. Occasionally, we had to make multiple trips because it was difficult to fit everything into our car at once. Come packing day, I would usually carry out the packed care bags and arrange them into the cars.”
The boys invited some of their friends to help them out, and of course, they had the help and support of their families. As Vikram says “the entire experience was logistically challenging, but also extremely satisfying.” “I remember leaning over to an elderly lady to hand her the care bag with the rice, noodles, masks, and other essentials they would need during the pandemic. The smile on her face was priceless. It was a proud moment, and I realized the fruits of all our hard work” adds Pratham.
Over the course of 5 months, the team managed to collect over HKD 300,000 and donated almost 2,500 bags. These were donated to elderly centers across Hong Kong Island, Kowloon and the New territories. They saw adults and children rallying and coming together to pack the care packages. “We learnt from our experiences and adapted to make the process more efficient by converting into a ‘conveyor-belt’ type of process. We started as a group of people with a desire to help those in need, and we left with memories that will last for a lifetime” the boys proudly tell us.
“When looking back at the memories of COVID-19, I’m sure many people will remember the bitter aspects of it: the closure of schools, the cancellations of summer plans, the lockdown, etc. However, for us, we will always remember it as the time where we got an opportunity to give back to our community during the time of need.”