Nok Yin Ma MSc Global Sustainability Solutions

Dear Norman, I hope you and your family are well in these difficult times. Despite the latest COVID-19 lockdown, I am still making considerable progress and I am pleased to share my latest update with you. I was honoured and appreciative to be selected as the recipient of The Ho Tim Foundation Scholarship. Under the tough situation of the global pandemic, you have lightened my financial burden which allows me to fully focus on my studies. My ambition is to create a climate change consultancy in Hong Kong, as I mentioned when we met. My goal is to establish a charitable organisation with the aim of providing a professional advisory service that supports religious institutions in identifying, preparing, and developing strategies to tackle climate change. Compared with Western countries, like the US and the UK, there is a neglect regarding the growing ecological crisis in most Asian countries, including Hong Kong. Therefore, there is an urgent need to raise public awareness and through the advisory service I would hope it would allow more engagement from religious institutions and individuals with climate change. Since our meeting in Hong Kong, I’ve made great progress despite this year being very challenging due to the arrangement of online learning. Although most of the face-to-face teaching is suspended, the University has given me the biggest support and has created a wide range of platforms for us to interact with our professors and fellow students. I believe that this challenging time will not affect my study negatively but rather enhance my learning experience as I have much more time to undertake my independent learning outside the lectures. Without your donation, I would never have gained this opportunity. I hope one day I will be able to support other people to achieve their goals just as you have done for me.

Recent Advances Although all the lectures and seminars have been undertaken remotely, I have built up good relationships with my peers and lecturers. Not needing to travel to campus, has actually afforded me more time to concentrate on my academic work and has given me more time for revision. So far the course has helped me to gain a comprehensive understanding of a number of global environmental issues and explore potential solutions to those challenges. For the last semester, I have taken a range of modules which were related to various aspects of the current environmental challenges: Blue Planet (which is about marine issues), Global Challenges (which is about real-world sustainability challenges), Climate Change Science and Solutions, and Global Systems Thinking (which provide a new perspective and approach to different global issues). I enjoyed and worked quite hard on all the modules and received 72% average marks overall. For one of the essays, I conducted a policy proposal based on how to encourage pro-environmental behaviour in Hong Kong and received an excellent score, 82 out of 100!

Future development My future goal, as mentioned above, has slowly turned into a reality as I have started to brainstorm the idea of a project which seeks to educate environmental issues across Christian churches in Hong Kong. Websites have gradually been set up and more details will be updated in the following months. I am hoping to launch the project in October once I complete my masters’ programme. I am aiming to allow for a 12 month period to further develop this project, meanwhile I will be applying for a PhD programme in Hong Kong for September 2022. I have contacted two professors, one from the University of Hong Kong and one from HKUST. They have agreed to supervise my research, and the topic will be surrounding the theme of "religion and climate change". At the moment, I just need to wait to apply for the HK PhD fellowship scheme for 2022/23 this coming December. All of this is possible because of your support, without the Ho Tim Foundation Scholarship I would not be in a position to further my studies. I am also looking forward to starting my Masters project this month as it will also be beneficial for my continued research. Thank you again for your generosity. It is because of the scholarship I have been able to place all my time and focus on my studies and achieve so much to date. The Ho Tim Foundation Scholarship has given me an immense opportunity to pursue my ambitions related to environmental protection. I look forward to sharing my progress and details of my final project with you in the coming months. Sincerely, Nok Nok Yin Ma The Ho Tim Foundation Scholar