A group of 20 young people from Hong Kong, all aged 20, arrived yesterday in Belgium with just a few hours’ delay caused by typhoon Hato. They are in Belgium at the invitation of the Hong Hong Economic and Trade Office in Brussels to participate in a week-long exchange programme. At their arrival at they were greeted by a food truck serving Belgian “frites”.
During their visit in Belgium, the young people will learn more about Belgium and the European Union through a series of briefings by the European Commission, chambers of commerce, business associations and non-government organisations on topics ranging from youth policies to climate change.
They will also be given guided tours to major sites around the country, including the European quarter, World War I locations in the area of Ieper and the battlefield of Waterloo.In one of the highlights of the programme, they will take on the daunting Oxfam Trailwalker challenge on the weekend of 26-27 August. Due to Hong Kong’s 20th anniversary, this year this Special Administrative Region is deeply involved in the organisation of Oxam Trailwalker.
Although it is now a worldwide event that takes place in nine countries over four continents, the first Trailwalker was held in Hong Kong in 1981 as a Gurkha training exercise, before it was taken over by Oxfam in 1997.
For the 100-kilometre trek through the Hautes Fagnes around Eupen, one of the most beautiful regions of Belgium, the 20 young people from Hong Kong will be divided into five teams to walk up to 30 hours, some continuing their trek through the night to the finish, grabbing a hot drink and a snack as they pass through checkpoints along the route. They will be among over 260 teams, each made up of four walkers, taking part in the event to raise money for charity.
Good to know: The Belgian team that raises the most funds will be invited to Hong Kong to take part in the Oxfam Trailwalker 2017 scheduled for 17-19 November 2017.