Hong Kong kids land in Taipei after 'dream flight'
By Enru Lin, The China PostTAIPEI, Taiwan -- Fifty disabled children from low-income Hong Kong households went on their first flight yesterday to see some Taipei landmarks.
February 24, 2013, 12:03 am TWN
“These are children who aren't fully mobile even on land ... and their families have trouble paying even the visa-processing fee,” said Lee Shu-chun (李淑君), member of a Hong Kong-based nonprofit founded last September.
Last month, Lee's fledgling charity raised the travel fees for them.
On Jan. 13, the “IN Volunteer Group” (IN義工團) enlisted paying volunteers to fold paper airplanes in a bid to break a Guinness World Record. It worked: They toppled the record for most planes folded in five minutes. while raising HK$300,000 (NT$1,145,424) in the process.
With a little help from corporate sponsors, that money has paid for roundtrip airfare. Fifty children, who have a range of disabilities from Down Syndrome to physical handicaps, boarded an Eva Airways flight to Taipei early Saturday morning.
“When the plane took off, the children burst into gleeful applause. They had never taken a flight before,” said Jolie Lo, another “IN Volunteer.”
Fresh off the plane, the group stopped by Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall to meet local actor Vanness Wu, then boarded a bus for a city tour.
“We wanted the children to see Sun Yat-sen Memorial Hall and Taipei 101. But it can be hard for some kids to keep up, so we're showing them Taipei by bus,” said Lo.
The children headed back to Hong Kong late Saturday.
“We hope that by providing this experience, we can give the children some strength and encourage them to keep pursuing their dreams,” said Lee.
“IN Volunteer Group” is a Hong Kong-based charitable organization with chapters in Taiwan, Macau and Guangzhou.
“Our mission is to create a more loving, harmonious world,” said spokeswoman Elain Tung.
A boy from Hong Kong meets Taiwanese actor Vanness Wu, left, at Chiang Kai-shek Memorial Hall in Taipei, yesterday. Fifty disabled children from Hong Kong went on their first ...