In the event of 'No Longer Hidden: Chill Talk with Youth' held by the 'BLOG' Hidden Youth Career Life Development Service Team on 28 April, several young people who withdrew into their homes brewed specialty coffee for the guests. The Team's social worker, Sita, explained, 'In some cases, socially withdrawn youth experience anxiety tremors, so it is not easy for them to do different latte art.' The flavour of coffee mixes young people’s bitterness, tears, and courage.
The event attendees included Ms Tori CHAN, Principal Assistant Secretary (Youth Affairs) at Home and Youth Affairs Bureau, HKSAR Government, Mr Jason YIP, Chief Executive Officer at MWYO, Ms Nancy CHAN, Manager, Community Engagement at MWYO, Ms Jayla Kan, Senior CSR Officer at Hongkong Land Limited, and representatives from the business sector. The guests and young people enjoyed a warm afternoon with coffee-tasting experiences, board games, and bonsai workshop. Through the young people’s sharing of their life-transforming journeys, stakeholders from all sectors can better understand the needs of those in social withdrawal.
Benson, 27, felt lost in life after failing the DSE university entrance exam. He tried out different jobs but was still figuring out where to head. 'What am I doing, actually?' He couldn’t help but asked himself. 'I was perceived as a chav. In that case, it would be better for me to stay home.' said Benson. So, he hid at home, played game consoles, and watched anime. Benson showed us a picture of only a polar bear hiding in a snow cave, looking at the outside world with fear, saying, 'There is no food in the ice and snow, so it’s better to stay in the cave.' Benson had hidden in his 'snow cave' for five years and couldn’t find a way out. 'I saw myself as a loser and did not deserve to be seen.' Benson said.
'I was extremely dissatisfied with myself.' Benson said. Later, he suffered severe anxiety and sweated at night, so the doctor prescribed sedatives and antidepressants. One day, he saw a group of young people in a court and thought, 'Maybe I can step out if I have someone to walk with me.' He then searched for support services for hidden youths but found that many had age restrictions. He finally applied for our 'BLOG' Hidden Youth Career Life Development Service. 'After submitting the application, I felt so long when I was waiting for 14 working days. I was worried that if social workers rejected me, who else would accept me?' Benson said. He felt relieved when Sita visited him.
Benson recalled that after an event, Sita accompanied him to the MTR station and said, 'I will walk with you.' Benson reflected on himself, 'Even a social worker I didn’t know was willing to support me. Why can’t I take the first step?' Later, he actively participated in different courses and activities at the centre. In an internship programme, he overcame the handshaking problem to learn latte art skills in a coffee shop. For the future, Benson showed us another picture of a person climbing up a staircase. He further explained, ‘Not knowing what scenery lies ahead of me, I am scared and curious, but I will keep moving forward.’