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Katherine Wong

(Photo by ISO staff)

Year 2, MB ChB Programme

Host Organization: AIESEC Mauritius

Devoted to environmental protection since childhood, Katherine Wong planned to use her summer vacation to participate in overseas environmental conservation activities after enrolling at the University. She said, 'I have never been involved in marine protection before. When I found out the GIP offers such an opportunity, I applied at once without giving a second thought to the fact that it's in Mauritius, an African country I knew almost nothing about.'

Back then, the Ebola outbreak had begun. Katherine was worried. Her parents objected to her trip. But after having confirmed that the epidemic was taking place in West Africa, and Mauritius is an island some distance from the continental mainland, she decided to stick to her original plan.

Katherine said, 'Upon arrival, I discovered that Mauritius is not as underdeveloped as I thought. It is like any developed city but less prosperous. What the country possesses are clear skies, white clouds and a blue sea, which are much sought after by urban dwellers.' Katherine enjoyed herself thoroughly in the beautiful environment.

Katherine's internship entailed educating young people about marine protection by conducting primary and secondary school presentations with her team, which comprised 13 students (including herself) from Canada, Greece, Hong Kong, India, Malaysia, Pakistan, Thailand, and the US. The team also participated in the local World Environment Day 2014 and activities run by NGOs. They learnt about the effects of a booming tourism industry on the country's marine ecology, as well as the remedial measures being made.

Katherine said, 'What excited me the most was seeing the colourful coral reefs and removing the damaged parts under supervision while snorkeling. We also had hands-on experience planting pieces of corals in the nursery area. What priceless experiences! They really made me contemplate the importance of marine conservation.'

The internship enhanced Katherine's dedication to environmental protection. After it ended, she continued to take part in other related activities, and sharing her experiences in Mauritius in order to encourage others to contribute to the field.


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