China-Japan-Korea SERVE Initiative

The China-Japan-Korea SERVE Initiative was piloted in Summer 2017 to provide cross-cultural learning opportunities for students from the USRN and other invited universities.

The programme provides cross-disciplinary knowledge that (1) helps students understand, compare and contrast the different perspectives and issues of aging among Japan, South Korea, Mainland China and Hong Kong; and (2) ignites students with passion to get along with and serve elderly. This learning experience is expected to nurture students’ serving heart and enhance cross-cultural competence.

China-Japan-Korea SERVE Initiative 2018

Ewah Womans University, Kyoto University, Peking University, The Hong Kong Polytechnic University, Sichuan University, Sichuan Agricultural University, Yonsei University

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of Wenchuan Earthquake, China-Japan-Korea SERVE 2018 brings together students from seven universities to Sichuan to help with the reconstruction and rehabilitation work.

59 students were divided into three teams and cooperated with the local elderlies of three villages to understand the needs of Sichuan residents, and serve the local community together. Under this cross-disciplinary programme, students learnt to combine the knowledge of design and social sciences to help people tackle different problems. The new experiences and professional knowledge that students brought to the community also stimulated the development of post-disaster reconstruction work in Sichuan.

Students at Miaoxia village co-created and built a shared courtyard together with the elderlies from scratch. They gathered building materials from the area and incorporated cross-cultural designs such as snow flower (which means bonding), Chinese and Korean chessboards, Japanese “Shishi-odoshi” (a Japanese design which frightens away harmful animals to agricultures). Altogether, the whole courtyard design symbolises “Harmony and Cross-cultural Friendship” between China, Japan, and South Korea.

At Hungcao village, the students studied the oral history of “Tea” from the local elderlies. They learnt how to make tea and its factory production. To record and pass on the history and the traditional tea processing techniques, the students produced a video of the “traditional tea” to help preserve the history. They also helped local elderly to conduct health check and home environmental safety assessment.

The students at Hekan village worked with the local elderlies and created “Bamboo Weaving”, incorporated cross-cultural ideas and techniques to co-create bamboo products such as “Ya’an Fish Lamp”, “Bamboo Curtain and Shelf” etc.