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Fighting SARS: A Hong Kong Volunteer's Story

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In response to the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) in Hong Kong, the Agency for Volunteer Service (AVS), along with Radio Television Hong Kong (RTHK), launched the “SARS Prevention Volunteer Campaign” to mobilize volunteer resources all over the community to join forces in the battle against SARS…Within only one month, over 6,000 volunteers were recruited from all walks of life and they contributed over 50,000 service hours during the period.

This is a first-person account of the Campaign told by Sally Chung, a computer programmer who volunteered in a variety of ways as Hong Kong battled SARS. Here’s an excerpt of her story:

In late March, I joined the first SARS Prevention Campaign organized by Agency for Volunteer Service (AVS). The first service I provided was to distribute the leaflets on SARS prevention, and I saw different kinds of responses from the public. Some of them were aware of this disease, but a larger number are not. When I stood in front of them and tried to talk to them, they passed by as if they could not see me. I felt sad. It is not because I was rejected, but due to the ignorance of those people the virus could continue to spread. We absolutely need everyone’s awareness on the disease and its preventive actions, in order to get rid of it.