“Partnering” is the most common mode of activity in TREATS and is also the greatest feature of our services. Matching mainstream students with students of different backgrounds and abilities help them to understand that it is not as difficult to get along with each other as they have imagined before through direct personal contact.
Wing-yui and Mau-zaak, two boys from mainstream and special school respectively, are our 2016-17 Youth Ambassadors. Doubt and curiosity towards each other is the beginning of the story of the pair.
“At first I thought he was a little strange, talked very little and was very shy.” This is Mau-zaak’s first impression of his partner Wing-yui. What is Wing-yui’s first impression of Mau-zaak then? “The first time I saw him, he was very active and talked to me with a lot. Indeed, I was a bit scared by his enthusiasm.” Between calmness and passion is not a conflict. It just confirms that there are different attitudes in interacting with people. As long as there is sincere intention, friendship can in fact be established when we embrace differences.
After nine months of intensive training, workshops, social studies, press conferences, community promotions and stage performance practices, the two gradually become more familiar with and understanding of each other in daily contact. “We are becoming closer friends and we share each other’s bits of life, like our interests, in addition to the training.” They then find out that even if they have different abilities, they have lifestyles no different from the average people and they can get along naturally.
“My partner’s enthusiasm has driven my progress. I have become more talkative and active in meeting the challenge and facing unknowns in life. The most important thing is that I am able to get along with different people with a more open mind now.” Wing-yui shares with us at the end of the project. All friendships begin from unknowns. It is delightful and moving to see unknown barriers are broken through one by one and precious friendships are established in our activities.