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News & Events > News & Events > Prof. George Woo honoured with Hong Kong Humanity Award 2020
News & Events

Prof. George Woo honoured with Hong Kong Humanity Award 2020

Date: 14 Nov 2020

Prof. George Woo, Emeritus Professor and Senior Advisor at School of Optometry, has been nominated and selected asone of the awardees of the Hong Kong Humanity Award 2020, which is organised jointly by the Hong Kong Red Cross and Radio Television Hong Kong.

The award is bestowed upon individuals who have made outstanding humanitarian contributions. Inspired by his experience as an optometrist, Prof. Woo has been serving The Samaritans for nearly two decades. His impressive devotion to helping people in emotional distress is recognised by this award.

Prof. Woo is the father of optometry in Hong Kong. With his extensive clinical and research experience in optometry in Canada, he founded the then Department of Diagnostic Sciences at the then Hong Kong Polytechnic (now The Hong Kong Polytechnic University) to promote the development of optometry in Hong Kong. In addition to treating patients who have lost much of their eyesight, Prof. Woo also wishes to cure wounds invisible to the eye. “An anaesthesiologist lost his vision because of diabetes. He told me he wanted to commit suicide. I spent a lot of time talking to him and comforting him during this immensely challenging phase of his life. Ultimately, he abandoned the idea of killing himself,” recalls Prof. Woo. Since then, he has aspired to provide support to other emotionally distressed people.

Every month, Prof. Woo takes off his white coat and metaphorical hat as an optometrist, goes to The Samaritans centre and answers calls as a hotline volunteer, something he has been doing for the past 18 years. Hotline volunteers do not judge the callers or their thoughts; they listen to their concerns with empathy and patience. In 2015, Prof. Woo became the chairman of the Board of Directors of The Samaritans. He supported the development of the organisation, including setting up services for the elderly and young people. He hopes that The Samaritans’ services can continue to be enhanced to help save more lives.

About the Hong Kong Humanity Award
Launched in 2007 and organised jointly by the Hong Kong Red Cross and Radio Television Hong Kong, The Hong Kong Humanity Award is the very first award of its kind in Hong Kong, which aims to pay tribute to individuals in society who exemplify the very spirit of humanity by putting it into practice and action. Through honouring their humanitarian deeds, the organisers hope more people will learn about the universal value of humanity, thereby spreading humanitarianism to all levels of society. Since its launch, more than 70 individuals have received the Award.

Prof. George Woo honoured with Hong Kong Humanity Award 2020
☉ Prof. George Woo honoured with Hong Kong Humanity Award 2020