YWCA has been serving Tai O community for years and organises local tours to promote the area. We received a team of volunteers from Hung Fook Tong last month and guided them to learn about Tai O with first-hand experience.
Tai O has abundant natural resources. The old salt farm has turned into mangrove forest, which is now habitat for wetland species. On the way to the mangrove stand, volunteers encountered mudskippers, fiddler crabs, egrets etc. The kids were excited to meet them. However, they were immediately shocked by how devastated the mangrove forest had become. There were plastic bottles and food packages on the wetland, and strings and strips of cloth on the mangroves. The rubbish do not only destroy the scenery, but also kill the mangrove trees. Animals will also die if they mistake litter for food. The volunteers spent the morning cleaning the mangrove stand, and gathered 20 bags of trash. Although it was tiring, it was also satisfying.
The volunteers visited elderly living in Tai O in the afternoon. They chitchatted with the elderly and gave away healthy products, soup, herbal drinks and masks. They also joined a tour led by Tai O resident and immersed themselves in the interesting stories of the community.