Name: LAM Hiu Hin
Master in Social Sciences in the field of Psychology
University of Hong Kong
Position: Youth Intern at United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA)
Duration: August 2017-February 2018 (6 months)
Sponsorship: United Nations Peace and Development Foundation
Supervisor: CHEN Jianzhong, PENG Jiong
Cannot believe this is my last day to be in UNFPA as an intern. I can still remember the day I submitted my application, the day I received the call from UNFPA to arrange Skype interview, the day that offer confirmation email arrived, and the day I first came to the office. All these seem to be yesterday, yet the cold weather reminded me it has been half year ago.
Under Chen’s supervision, I was first assigned with some translation and research exercises. He was a nice supervisor; given he himself was planning to leave in one month, he had tried his best to help me get involved in the whole youth strategy work plan and the country programme. I was given opportunity to participate in the comprehensive sexuality education (CSE) curriculum development project, and the national youth survey coordination. I then picked up the writing of the policy brief of Ending Unintended Pregnancies among Chinese Youth by 2030. This is one of the major tasks I completed during my internship tenure. By talking to internal and external experts in adolescents and youth health, and reading academic literature and international practices, I gathered information and recommendations regarding this topic and composed the whole policy brief. The final report will be translated and released soon, printed and distribute to policy-make when ready. I am very proud to be at a leading role in this exercise and grasped a strong sense of responsibility and appreciation upon completion.
After Chen’s departure, I worked with PJ, the Assistant Representative, closely. I went with him to National Health and Family Planning Commission (NHFPC) to discuss the commencement of the National Youth Access to Sexual and Reproductive Health Survey. The meeting was the very first meeting I had with government officials. The atmosphere was more causal than I thought, yet the two-hour meeting was very efficient. After proposing the survey and answering concerns, we obtained greenlight from NHFPC. The commission will be in a partnership relationship with UNFPA, and fund raising has been started to collect sufficient resources for the project.
Another major task I did was the Hong Kong Good Practice in Adolescents Sexual and Reproductive Health. Since Hong Kong is a comparatively developed Chinese society, PJ thought it would have lessons that Mainland China can learn from. Again I conducted a comprehensive research on Hong Kong government policies on ARSH, CSE in school, departments’ collaboration, and NGO’s efforts in this aspect, the report was finalized and will be used in internal reference. The context has been used in certain representative’s speech.
Besides policy research and assisting programme, I also supported in event planning: UN Day, Contraceptive Day, World AIDS day, etc. For example, every intern had a responsible booth at the UN Day; I developed my own quiz board, focusing on SRH facts in China at the “Good Health and Welfare” SDG booth. I felt the quiz board had successfully educated some of the visitors regarding China’s current situation and challenges, and most of the visitors hoped to see improvements guided by government together with UN.
All other UN events are cherished to me; inspired me how international NGO works with different stakeholders in China to advocate UN values. I saw UN agencies collaborated with each other to produce evocative activities, and enhanced public visibility and penetration in the society.
I contributed my profession in The Survey of Provision of Mental Health Service for Women in China. The expert panel invited experts from different province and different aspects to give front-line, academic, and hospital management perspective. The meeting was intensive and the scope of discussion was wide. We hope this very first survey could give a preliminary picture of the current service gaps, thus to further investigate. I also mentioned my own comments; on top of the provision side concerning the service quality and hardware support, I was hoping to take this opportunity as a national survey to discover women’s needs in coping mental diseases. WCH came back with amendments including cooperating most of our discussion in the meeting and through emails communication. The mental health survey will pilot in two selected sites, and the whole project will be scheduled.
I also participated in The 3rd China Youth AIDS Prevention and Control Education Symposium with PJ and another intern. The conference provided a platform for social workers, teachers, government officials and private sectors to communicate closely in sharing knowledge and successful stories/ practices during the last year. The aforementioned Hong Kong Good Practices (specifically, the CSE in school) was one of the topics discussed by PJ and other panel members. To response to the World AIDS Day, a musical performance was also arranged and UNFPA was invited. I was glad to attend the event and happy to saw Peng Liyuan, China’s first lady, was also there as a goodwill ambassador. It represents China has put HIV/AIDS issue at top priority, and strengthen social’s efforts in fighting to end HIV/AIDS.
I met a lot of friend in Beijing. UNFPA interns are all friendly and nice. We became friends and meet outside of office. We went to the Forbidden City, to Tianjin, to play Mahjong, and always dinner together. They celebrated my birthday in November; surprised me with a cake delivery. They are my Beijing family. And of cause, thanks UNPDF financial support and bridging Hong Kong students with UN in China. It was such a meaningful trip to stay with UN, learnt about NGO, CSR, human rights, and so on. Finally, thanks all my colleagues in UNFPA for taking care of me during the last six-month, and I wish them to have a bright future and happy Chinese New Year.