Philemon Choi: Casting a Vote of Trust Towards Our Next Generation

Apr 13, 2009 07:32 AM EDT

HONG KONG - In a seminar titled “Financial Tsunami – Christian Actions” held earlier this month, Dr. Philemon Choi, who has been deeply involved with youths affairs, said that intergenerational poverty must be reduced, trust must be given to today’s youths, and resources must be allocated fully to develop them. He said that every youth is precious, and “not even one should be missing.”

Choi said that if we don’t trust the next generation and do not put in our effort to raise them, then this city will have no future.

“I’ve been involved in youth affairs for many years now, but sometimes I feel very sorrowful. Why is it that 80% of the youth in this city look down on themselves?

Every year, over 120,000 students take examinations, but only half of them receive a passing grade; of those who did not pass, 20,000 of them completely failed. Why is it like this? Even for those who passed, only a third of them continue their education and 18% will enter university,” said the distinguished scholar.

The Chinese Christian doctor is currently involved in a professional training ministry that has trained over 180,000 people.

“When these individuals first arrived, they all could not lift up their heads. Why? Each one of the 180,000 people is precious. They are a contribution to Hong Kong. Why is it that 120,000 people do not return to school or to work? Is it because that we cannot train them or because we cannot offer them a job?”

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He expressed that the problem of cross-generational poverty is very serious, and one of the causes is that middle-age men cannot change easily.

“For a middle-age men to change is very difficult. Most of their educational levels are of only elementary school while the highest are of ninth-grade level. How can they change? A large group of middle-age men are extremely depressed, so they would stay him abuse their wives, children, and causes many cases of family violence.”

Speaking from his experience of working in Tin Shui Wai town, professional training center, and of helping youth who are lost, Choi continued, “I’ve asked a child and his wish is to receive support from the government, because his father taught him that if he stays home then he can receive $11,000 HKD but if he go out to work he will only receive $3,000 HKD. What kind of city is this? These people even look down on themselves.”

He said that we must give “hope” to the next generation,

“We should say to them, ‘I give you chance, I will train you, and every one of you will succeed, not one of you will be missing, and you will have a hopeful tomorrow’, so we shouldn’t determine their fate according to the tests.”

Choi hopes that the many Christians in Hong Kong to together “make a difference’ and with love help the youth. Quoting the phrase that Anglican Archbishop Rev. Paul Kwon always tells regular school teachers, “Education is not to enter, but it is to release the most precious thing from within.”

He then brought up the ‘Walk Partner – Children and Teen Life Direction Plan” and food bank plans that if the church can actively participate, then the people in Hong Kong can experience that “Our faith is a faith of actions. The Bible says that faith without deeds is dead; love without action is dead. Our faith is not false, but it is genuine.”

Urging everyone to use actions to care for the next generation, Choi said, “Hong Kong has hope. Let’s pray that God may bless this city to have faith, hope, and love.”