Updated: Oct 31, 2020
17-year-old youth designs free online educational courses
October 24th 2020
Reporter Xu Xiaohui reports:
Affected by the pandemic, schools worldwide closed in-person learning for the first half of the year, which prompted many students studying abroad to return to Hong Kong and study online. 17-year-old Clara Lu (photo above) was one of them. Born into a musical family, Clara is the youngest daughter of renowned violinist Yao Jue. Because her parents were both busy with their careers, Clara was very independent at a young age. During the first half of 2020, Clara began writing a novel, completed a script for a theatre play, and created a set of free online educational kits to share with underserved communities in Hong Kong.
On the day of the interview, Clara wore a rather formal red dress with leather shoes, with slight makeup, and presented a pure smile. When she was 8 years old, Clara already served as the Master of Ceremonies for a festival in Shanghai, filmed an advertisement, and played a character in the movie “The Allure of Tears”, which was directed by Huang Zhenzhen; she has quite the substantial stage experience. “I am stricter with my eldest daughter, but when it comes to Clara I decided to let her do whatever she wants so she had more freedom to explore various areas.” Yao Jue said with a smile.
When Clara saw that many students in Hong Kong lacked resources and internet access, she created a free academic enrichment program through her non-profit organization Read For All, which she established in 2016 (www.readforallhk.com). With the pandemic affecting countries across the globe, Clara stayed in Hong Kong to continue her studies. Due to time difference, Clara would attend online classes in the evenings while using her knowledge gained from school to create free educational kits (with the help of other students) during the day to provide for those students in Hong Kong whose classes are temporarily suspended.
More than 2,000 students participated in this free program
The program includes courses in ‘English Writing’, ‘Mathematics’, ‘Physics’, ‘Film’, and ‘Screenwriting’. Among them, the ‘Film’ and ‘Screenwriting’ educational kits were created by Clara herself. “Growing up, I loved movies and also shot a film before. While studying in the United States, I also participated in many film-related courses and activities and so this time around I want to share what I learned from these classes with others.” Ever since the program’s launch, over 2,000 students from 20 local subsidized schools have participated. Extremely happy, Clara said “while correcting the students’ homework, I realized that many are good writers, they just need more depth in their content.” The program also attracted the attention of actress Sandra Ng, “currently planning to invite Ms. Ng to share her experiences at the certificate presentation ceremony.” Ms. Yao commented.
This is not the first time Clara has dedicated herself to public welfare. When Clara was studying in Hong Kong, she was bullied by her peers at school. “At that time, I was not happy, so my escape outlet was to share my post-reading thoughts on Instagram.” By conversing with her online friends, Clara slowly released her unhappiness and became aware that “many friends around me did not have the opportunity to read or access a plethora of books like me, I was quite fortunate.” This realization prompted her to initiate an activity amongst her friends and family to donate used books to charity organizations, with hopes to connect everyone through books and pass on the rich knowledge within the books to those in need.
In her free time, Clara loves to write. Her prolonged stay in Hong Kong due to the pandemic prompted her to write her debut novel “Behind the Scenes” and a play dedicated to celebrating Tung Wah Group of Hospitals' 150th anniversary. The plot of both projects is focused on promoting unity and understanding cultural differences between the East and the West. “When I first went to the United States, I was sick and remembered while taking my Chinese medicine, my classmates were making comments.” Similar experiences made her realize there was a lack of understanding between the two cultures. Her novel, “Behind the Scenes” is scheduled to be published the end of this year and Clara hopes the stories can close the gap even more on cultural misunderstanding.
Link to Article: http://www.takungpao.com/culture/237147/2020/1024/512032.html