- I feel good. I learnt the definition of dignity and the ways others think about dignity. Respect others.
- We have to respect others instead of just scolding. We should let others feel being loved and cared.
Grade 3 students
Beijing Dandelion Middle School
"I’m grateful for having been given the opportunity to participate in the Global Dignity Day event from which I benefited a lot. The event allowed us to explore what dignity was, its value, and we also shared our life stories with many energetic children.
During the sharing, we gained a better understanding of what dignity meant to different people and realized the importance of having a positive outlook in life. No one is perfect. Dignity could give us, the imperfect ones, the greatest motivation in both good and bad times, and also maintain our positive attitude.
Through this event, I’ve learnt that a positive attitude is something that can help us get through even the most difficult times in life."
Audit, KPMG China
It was a great time to communicate with children of migrant workers together with lovely friends from KPMG and IBM during the GDD workshop. Even though the children’s material condition may be not as good as those in the downtown Shanghai, I found they were very brilliant and full of dreams when they told me about their understanding of dignity.
I enjoy the time being with students and feel very grateful for the great efforts of CSR team.
SHW MC - Business performance services
Thank you for inviting my colleagues and me from Touchmedia to participate in the Global Dignity Day. It was a well-organized event, with the active participation of the children and volunteers with positive and open attitude.
Personally, I enjoyed the time being with the children and sharing our thoughts about dignity. When we discussed dignity, inevitably, participants were challenged and reminded about how they treat others. I found that the group facilitators spent their energy on inclusion so that everyone could have a say. Children were asked to share their ideas and even their dreams, something they may not be asked to do very often. Getting the opportunity, all children expressed some of their thoughts and opinions. Also, I found that there was a noticeable shift of their attitude – being kind to others – during the workshop. For instance, offering applause to encourage each other and being patient to motivate those who were hesitant to speak up. Photos and contact details were asked by the children. We got friendship, shared moments, and new memories from so.
For me, this day was full of love, kindness and hope as the workshop I went was a stage for encouraging and touching each other, and engaging in the simple act like sharing our ideas. This event was a great opportunity for us to extend the kindness to each other.
Global Dignity Day provided the students with a platform to explore what ‘dignity’ means to them, and a chance to unlock their hidden stories, know themselves better and strengthen their confidence by talking in front of a big audience. It was really a journey of personality reshaping. Furthermore, the workshop was not only beneficial for the students, but also brought the facilitators new perspectives and truly broadened our horizons.
Audit, KPMG China
It was definitely a valuable experience to take the role as a school leader in one of the GDD sessions. The class we held consisted of form 6 students who were mainly locals and new immigrants from China. At first, we were a bit worried about how we should engage the crowds to participate actively, especially for the sharing session. However, once we invited some of our guest speakers to do their own sharing and views about the concept of dignity, the students were then eager to come forth to the stage to do their own sharing. All of us had lots of fun participating in the discussions as well as the whole activity. I think this program is very meaningful and it allows us to think about what dignity means to all of us and to share our different point of views on this concept.
Assistant Manager, Audit
Global Dignity Day was unforgettable for me. A group of eight secondary students sat together and discussed a topic they had never talked about before but that they could all relate to – DIGNITY. The students were very engaged in the discussion and paid attention to the other participants’ speeches, and keen to share their own views on dignity. Even though their stories might not have been touching enough to be quoted in a publication or shared on Facebook, it is inspirational to witness their courage to speak up and share what they think about dignity. I realised some of them were really quiet and struggled to speak confidently in front of a group of people, especially a stranger like me – this is quite normal under the local education system in Hong Kong while I used to be the same. However, with more participants speaking confidently and peer encouragement, every students shared their experience.
I wish there had been a Global Dignity Day in my secondary school life, as I believe it would have changed my world. I do hope there can be more of these types of events held in Hong Kong in the future – it provides a favourable atmosphere for people of different ages to build a mentoring relationship and serves as a channel to share things they never discuss with their friends, like dignity or any other core values of humanity. With the rapid advancement of technology, communication is what we can easily access, but is what we tend to overlook. Despite dignity carrying different meanings for everyone, it means respect, harmony and collaboration for me, our community and our lovely Hong Kong.
Senior Manager, Audit
As a facilitator, I gain a lot of sights from joining this activity. Here are the keys of the event:
- Demonstrate CSR as the prerequisite for the leading business and build a trust relationship between local community and employees
- Encourage employees to care and actively engage in the community
- Enhance the sense of identity for employees and consolidate corporate culture
- Provide corporate with a valuable chance to meet with international young leaders, founder of GDD and other supporting partners.
Audit Partner, KPMG China
Dignity is a word rarely mentioned. Since 2012, KPMG has started to provide training to the voluntary coaches in order to prepare for the GDD programme designed to empower the disadvantaged youth. When being asked the question “what does dignity mean to you?” in the training, everyone kept quite. No one can instantly give an answer to what dignity is. Everyone, including adults with years of working experience, felt lost and the question put everyone in a silence to think. What is dignity? It can hardly be described by words. Dignity is what had never thought of.
Attempting to define dignity and looking for dignity-related stories from our daily life is a process to look into ourselves and gain positive power. From the training and the dialogue with children, we consider that: dignity is self-respect and self-care; dignity is to help people who are in adversity, including the disabled and elderly; dignity is to be respected and respect others; dignity is to listen; dignity is to be praised and recognized; dignity is to dream; dignity is to do what we want to do, and to be what we want to be. From the discussion, dignity can be concluded as an aggregate of positive power. Whoever we are, be a coach or a student, everyone want to lead a life of dignity.
Every time when leading students to discuss in the dignity programme at schools, voluntary coaches can temporarily take down their identity, status and ages, and be devoted to sharing their experience of personal growth and moving stories. Even though the students barely have any experience to communicate with adults wholeheartedly, the coaches can express themselves sincerely and earnestly. Students sobbed with sympathy and would even open their mind to share their feelings, be it sweet or bitter.
It is rare to have a voluntary activity held in school like GDD that can provide a in-depth exchange chance, enable strangers of different ages with diversified life experience to talk truthfully and touch every participant in such manner.
KPMG as a supporter of GDD, our greatest value and responsibility is to provide opportunities for employees who are willing to empower the youth to engage in the activities, and other people in the society who are willing to share. We aim to enable more youth to grow, and lead a life of dignity, which is not only for themselves but also to enhance others’ dignity through actions.
Manager, Corporate Social Responsibility
- I have learnt what is dignity and how to maintain one’s dignity. Dignity is something not allowed to be devastated. It means one’s rights and personality are being respected.
- I have to be more polite to others (Others treat you the way you treat them). Be respectful to others, especially when they having their down-turns.
- I have learnt how to respect others. To be respected, we should respect others first. Moreover, I am grateful to know some real-life stories about dignity.
- Dignity is to be respected and respect others at the same time. I hope I can gain more dignity!
Grade 2 students
Beijing Affiliated Middle School of Beijing Institute of Education
Shi Jing Shan Campus
- I have learnt the concept of dignity and we must respect others.
- I should encourage others when they are having their down-turns and provide assistance when they need it.
- I have learnt the concept of dignity and the way to enhance confidence.
- I think dignity is self-respect, self-confident, respectful and being respect by others. In next year, I want to improve my academic result and establish my reputation. Moreover, I will treat others friendly so that they will treat me in the same way.
- I think this course is very useful. I learnt that we have to respect others before we can gain respect from others. An Australian man has lost four limbs, but he is still very strong and optimistic. This really touches my soul!
- I think we should encourage others and provide assistance to others in our daily lives.
Grade 1 student
Beijing Affiliated Middle School of Beijing Institute of Education
Shi Jing Shan Campus
Realizing that the opportunity of exchanging ideas with local students in Tin Shui Wai came up, I felt anxious to this so-called City of Sadness. My main thought was, how could I possibly recognize these secondary students when I had so little in common with them? Still, I took my courage to sign up immediately, as the way I overcome challenges I am in fear of. What makes it better to step out of one’s comfort zone than by fully immersing oneself in a new environment?
We were asked to discuss with a group of around 10 students, encouraging them to describe dignity. We were told not to give comments on their stories, as it might appear that we had preference to one student over another. I could see the confusion from their faces: why is this strange man talking about this topic to them?
I must admit that I am not sure whether I did a good job when getting along with students. Thirty minutes is far from enough to build a relationship – especially when the time is split among a whole group of people. However, I do hope that I open an avenue for the teachers/facilitators at the school to explore more with the students afterwards, and enable students to realize that there are people who genuinely care them and are willing to share their ups and downs.
We are not there to solve problems faced by students. We are there to listen, to understand and be compassionate whenever needed. Teachers might help students to understand dignity and give it a deeper meaning, and hopefully those who are concerned about students will equally give them support with understanding."
Senior Manager, Audit
The experience and knowledge I gained from this meeting is totally different from any others. I had discussed a lot of social issues about dignity with many professionals and classmates. There are a lot of valuable fields of dignity that we still have not discussed. I'd like the Office of Service-Learning at Lingnan University to organize more of these meetings as participants will be inspired and interested to join.
Year 2 BBA Accounting Student
I had never thought about what dignity was before taking part into the event. Dignity is a personal view but is influenced by the social setting and culture. This talk was valuable because it helped us to consider our identities. The important gain was that I discussed some social issues with my group mates. We had different viewpoints and their opinions have widened my horizon.
Year 2 BBA Marketing Student
It is a good chance to think about the meaning of Dignity and discuss with people from different backgrounds, but I still feel abstract for the concept of dignity, even though everyone may have different understanding on this concept. I think there must be a universal meaning of dignity, just like dignity is a universal value in the world. Hope we can find out the basic meaning of dignity next time.
Year 2 Social Sciences Student
The Dignity Day event is an uplifting activity for both the participants and facilitators, as it provides an opportunity to share positive stories that encourage and inspire everyone. In my small group of international students, everyone shared the desire to improve the lives of others. They were very grateful for the help they had received in hard times and seemed determined to ‘pay it forward’. The event reminds us all that preserving another person’s dignity ultimately helps us maintain our own.
On 15 February, over 20 volunteers held a Global Dignity Day at Lingnan University. Nearly a hundred of students were invited to a conversation about what dignity means to them and how dignity can be a basic guiding principle for their choices and actions.
In the plenary session, Professor Stephen Wong has shared his vision of utilizing ones’ academic knowledge in making a social impact. In particular, he encouraged business students to consider the opportunities and recourses they can create for the community.
Following the group discussion session, tens of students lined up to tell their dignity stories to the rest of their peers, receiving warm and supporting applause. The stories touched on topics such as various forms of exclusion, difficult choices in life and that someone had faith in them and held out a helping hand.
Global Dignity Day was a deeply inspiring experience providing the opportunity for reflection on indispensible values and principles in our lives. It is also a significant step for us to build a more harmonious society. Everyone can agree on dignity, but it is still of crucial importance to sit down and discuss how our interconnectedness can help us to build a better world through respecting others’ dignity.