Headline April 21, 2016/ ''' *PROFESSOR EDWARD NG* : MASTER MENTOR* '''



PROFESSOR EDWARD NG    -initially thought, that he would simply be helping to change the lives of schoolchildren- in the impoverished Maosi Village in China. 

Pretty soon, though his attention would turn to saving those lives 

''Then the students started to tell me stories. 'So and so got drowned or washed away the last time. This happened once every few years, we lose a friend.'  It was so normal and calm to them.'' And anything but to Ng.

PROFESSOR EDWARD NG  -after completing his PhD at the University of Cambridge, was made a full professor in 2002, at-
The Chinese University of Hong Kong  {CUHK}  where the learned professor spends his time teaching  design and lecturing on environmental studies.

Every single day he had walked daily as a child through the streets that snaked around the infamous  Kowloon Walled City in Hong Kong  -one of the most densely populated places in urban history before it was dismantled in April 1994.

That enabled him to observe life and to observe how buildings provide for life. ''That's basically what architecture should be doing,'' says Ng.
On that day in 2003, in that tiny Chinese village, that was exactly the thought that went racing through Ng's mind.

Ng had heard stories  -and more stories about the bridge, how every year it would get washed away and the villagers would have to rebuild it  -all mud, dung and pieces of timber  -and that they had been doing the same thing for hundreds of years.

''I thought even if we build the school  -a nice one-  half the children have to risk their lives crossing  [the bridge]  and you may lose one or two a year,'' says Ng.  

''I dreamed that one day maybe no-one would have to risk their life crossing a bridge like this to go to school in China''

*Ng and his  ''mission''  which now comes under the banner of the  Wu Zhi Qiao   {Bridge to China}  Charity Foundation   since its establishment in 2007  -have not only built the bridge for the people of Maosi Village, completed in 2005, but have taken on a further 21 such projects across China*.

The first bridge just took six days to build, following a design suggested by Anthony Hunt, Ng's former lecturer, and the man who helped create the acclaimed Eden project in Cornwall in the United Kingdom.

The design calls for the ingenious use of local rocks, packed into win cages and placed on the riverbed. The steel-based walkway, based on Tai Chi principles, is not for restraining water as it simply falls to the riverbed if moved  by a torrent instead of washing away-

Allowing villagers to retrieve it and put it back in place when the waters subside. The bridge is also so structurally sound that no amount of water has yet been able to shift it.

''In six days we solved the problem that they had for hundreds of years,'' says Ng.  

''They were very grateful. They said it was the best thing they had ever had. The kids loved it  -they didn't need to risk their lives going to school.''

Ng and his team of volunteers have found financial support through various donors including the  Lee Hysan Foundation, allowing them to extend the work they do to helping rebuild villages struck by earthquakes in Sichuan and Qinghai.

Professor Ng has also gained the support of  CHHK, which has given him office space to run his organisation. 

He  says the payback to the university is that the students who join him as volunteers  increase their learning experience with a  ''contribution to life beyond you.'' 

*He is inspired by this saying : ''We make a living by what we get, but make a life by what we give.''

''I think that is wonderful,'' says Ng. ''What defines is not what we have but what we do.''*

And the work they are doing in China, which Ng estimates has now helped between  30,000  and  40,000 people, is certain to continue and also to expand. ''People ask me how many villagers should there be before you decide to build a bridge and I say one. One is enough,'' says Ng.

''Even if you have to spend millions to build a bridge and I say one bridge to save one life, I think it is worth it. Life is valuable. Life is Life. Life is not money.''

With most respectful dedication to Professor Edward Ng, Students, Teachers of  The Chinese University of Hong Kong  {CUHK}. See Ya all on !WOW!   -the World Students Society and the Ecosystem 2011:

''' A Very Special Work '''

Good Night and God Bless

SAM Daily Times - the Voice of the Voiceless


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