Know your volunteer – Sze Yeen
Tell us something about yourself…
I came to HK June 2003, right after SARS. The streets were quiet and the entire neighbouhood felt gloomy. I remember sharing my observation with my hubby “There are hardly any kids in our neighbourhood. Where do I find a playdate for our daughter?”
Once I settled down, I went into the internet and saw a post in Geobaby looking for parents with kids with similar ages to start a playgroup. After a few messages with a few like minded moms, we decided to meet in one of their home. On a hindsight, I took a big risk showing up in a stranger’s home with my toddler. We were lucky to meet real moms and kiddos. We started weekend outings and had some amazing time together. These moms are now my now the longest known friends I have had in Hong Kong. Our kids do not even hang out with each other anymore but some of us moms still do.
In Pic: one of the many fun outings with the playgroup initiated from a Geobaby forum.
When my daughter was older, I went back to work. I quit corporate 2 years ago and decided to prioritise my own health and wellbeing. Am currently a leadership trainer, certified health coach and a community volunteer.
How did you join Localhood?
While serving my 3 months notice at work, I started researching for possible options to keep me productive post corporate. Googled for volunteering opportunities and found Localhood. I love its mission to connect neighbours and submitted my interest right away.
How are you involved with Local Hood?
I wasn’t sure how I could contribute to Local Hood at first. Pooja suggested I joined both event and content team meetings and take it from there. I have been in both teams since then.
Local Hood gave me the platform to share my passion in a meaningful way. I love hiking. I lead hikes and contribute some articles with hiking trail suggestions.
In Pic: hike in Lamma Island
Image: night hike at The Peak
Another passion of mine is cooking. For 2020 Father’s Day article, I decided to interview 3 dads who cook regularly and shared their recipes in a 3 series article about “Dad who cooks”. When we were not able to organise any event due to social distancing rule, we decided to go online and offered a virtual cooking class.
Image: virtual cooking class
How has it impacted you on a personal/ family/ social level?
I am very grateful for the friendship and support I get from Local hood volunteers. When I was working my way to be a certified health coach, Local hood provided me the platform to put my knowledge into practise. Local hood brings out the best in me as I am surrounded by highly positive like minded people.
Being able to give a little of my time to the local community keeps me feeling positive about my post corporate life. I feel positive and forward looking to each day as this is what I enjoy doing. Best of all, I make new friends from varied background. Whenever we meet, I learn something new about them or their culture.
What would you say to others wanting to join Localhood?
Do not worry about not having enough time to volunteer. Just take the first step and join us in our meetings. Localhood provides a highly positive and supportive environment. See you!
Image: Localhood volunteer party: Me (front line far left) and my friends from the LocalHood website content team