Home>Service> Awardees of Fervent Global Love of Lives Award> 14th Fervent Global Love of Lives Award 2011> Rescuing engineer--Dr. Ko Wing Yin Albert, Hong Kong
Rescue without borders, devote his golden age
      Make a better life though scientific technology is not a duty, but the most proud thing of an engineer.
~Dr. Ko Wing Yin Albert
      Dr. Ko Wing Yin Albert is the first engineer of Hong Kong joining “Doctor Without Borders” and the professional of mechanical engineering. He began to join mandatory International Humanitarian Care Organization in 2000. He was sent to Sudan , Uzbekistan , Indonesia , and Pakistan to join rescue actions. During the urgent period after 512 Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, Dr. Ko was in charge of Emergent Material Supply Center for Doctor Without Borders. He also took part in “progressive farm village rebuilding plan”. Not only did he visit temporary disaster areas, but also went on a mission: he established two non-profit organizations. His spirit of caring the poor and the needy and the faith of serving for the minority groups positively affected the youth of the new generation, and encouraged the youth and students of Hong Kong to participate in humanitarian rescue work. A large number of volunteers of humanitarian care were therefore trained. In addition, Dr. Ko planned on his own to cross Qinghai-Tibet Plateau by cycling. The total distance was 2000 kilometers. Within a month, he had raised over 200,000 dollars for the international humanitarian work of Doctor Without Borders. He edited the book “Rock Qinghai-Tibet ”, talking about his 28 day bike-trip of Qinghai-Tibet . All writing fees were donated in favor of humanitarian rescue work. In 2007, Dr. Ko was continually awarded Hong Kong Top 10 th Outstanding Youth, Outstanding Youth Engineering Award, Outstanding Volunteer, Annual Humanitarian Award and Fondness Benevolence Award.
Give up high paid to be “Doctor Without Borders”
      Dr. Ko is the senior student and the homeroom teacher of Development and Resource Center as well as the honorable assistant professor of Engineering Department. He was born in 1972, went abroad to study in the states when he was fourteen and graduated from Engineering Department of Pittsburg State University. His first job after graduating was join a non-profit organization to apply for a 2-year teaching program in the third world as a volunteer. However, he failed to be chosen because he was not an American citizen. Afterward, he became an engineer of the companies of Taiwan , Japan , and Hong Kong for nearly 6 years. He had learned more comprehensive knowledge of engineering during this period. When he was 27, he coincidentally found that members of “Doctor Without Borders” were not exclusive for medical or nursing staff. This motived him to take part in disaster rescue. He quit his high-paid engineer job and became “Doctor Without Borders”, who was the first member of Hong Kong engineers.
Doing rescue work all over the world
      From then on, Dr. Ko spent more than one year doing rescue work all over the world. It is worth to mention that, despite of the fact that he was the PhD candidate of Hong Kong University , he never gave up working for humanitarian service and care, and took it as his duty even during his busiest research period. He went to southern Sudan and Uzbekistan to be support staff of Doctor Without Borders. His job included medical center construction and repair, water and power facilities supply and medical waste arrangement. As 911 event happened, he was in Uzbekistan . He took over the commission of assisting in material coordination, sending emergent materials to the border of Afghanistan .
      In the end of the year 2004, South Asian Tsunami hit. He spent all his annual leave and holidays helping Indonesia Aceh Province repair tsunami-hit areas. Regarding the emergent rescue work of Pakistan Kashmir Earthquake in 2005 , Dr. Ko was one member of the first group of the voluntary people who joined emergent tsunami rescue of Doctor Without Borders in Indonesia Aceh Province . He managed hydrological and pollution emission system in the capital city of the small town, Sigli, in eastern Banda Aceh . He planned and assisted the local government to construct a temporary shelter for the victims. The next October, South Asia Earthquake struck in Pakistan and India . He went to Bagh in the middle of October to join the local rescue work of Doctor Without Borders. During the emergent period of 521 Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, Dr. Ko was in charge of emergent material supply center for Doctor Without Borders, and continued to pour himself into the repair work of “progressive farm village rebuilding plan” in the remote villages, such as Mianzhu and Shifang . Dr. Ko provided free engineering counseling and design service for village residents so that they could be affordable for building the safe constructions. Dr. Ko positively trained students to be volunteers and invited professionals and scholars to join this reconstruction plan. Their work not only included village reconstruction, but also added environmental and village tourism elements in expectation of the further development of those villages.
Training future leaders
      Although Dr. Ko wasn't at the humanitarian rescue scene, he had a high sense of mission. He continued to be the board director and engineering consultant of Hong Kong Doctor Without Borders . He motived Hong Kong students and professionals to join rescue work, and devoted himself to encouraging the young generation of the society to do voluntary work. Dr. Ko was often invited to make speeches or have conferences in different places, including universities, high schools, private organizations, non-governmental organizations and professional institutions (e.g. Hong Kong Institution of Engineers). Due to Dr. Ko's extensive knowledge of management of non-profit organizations, his speech could usually inspire thousands of college students to join voluntary work.
Establish rescue service and training platform
      As a professional trained and well experienced emergent rescue engineering, early before the struck of 512 Sichuan Earthquake in 2008, Dr. Ko had already designed, planned and taught the first emergent rescue engineering courses in Hong Kong for Hong Kong Institution of Engineers, aiming to train potential engineers joining humanitarian work. The training included large scale camp construction and management, epidemic disease prevention center and refugee camps, logistics, support, electro-communication techniques, environmental sanitation , water supply and sewer equipment. “I wish that students never need to learn emergent rescue engineering technology. However, instead of negatively making the wish, it would be better to positively prepare for the worst condition. It is, anyhow, an engineer's duty as well as the most proud right to ensure the safety of people's life through science and technology” said Dr. Ko. His enthusiasm for humanitarian work became the model for students. He significantly influenced and contributed to the emergent rescue engineering technology as well as the rescue work.
      Dr. Ko showed his strong passion for humanitarian rescue, which could be seen from what he did. In his Ph.D . thesis, he developed and applied A L.I.C.E. ( Artificial Linguistic Internet Computer Entity) to humanitarian rescue. This indicated his eagerness for building a better and safer society through scientific technology. Furthermore, another non-profit educational institution he established freely offered “FIRST Laboratory”. This again proved that he kept his faith by his passion. Under his research fellows' assistance, this institution provided free robot courses for high school students to inspire their interest in math and science. The institution aimed to train young people's creativity and scientific thinking abilities so they could lead our society to a better future.
Cycling alone to Tibet for fund raising of Doctor Without Borders
      In addition to use his professional knowledge to make contribution toward emergent rescue work, Dr. Ko was also one of the founders of “Society for Harmonious Development”. He devoted to training Chinese college students to become potential folk organization leaders. In 2006, he planned a fundraising program for Doctor Without Borders on his own. He rode a bike and crossed Qinghai-Tibet Plateau all alone , spent one month riding 2,000 kilometers and even climbed to a high mountain which was an altitude of 5,000 feet. This plan had raised more than 20 ,000 dollars for Doctor Without Borders. He edited a book named Rock Qinghai-Tibet , recording his experience of the trip and illustrating the processes of this plan. Dr. Ko donated all writing fees to support humanitarian work.
      On October 6 th , 2007, Dr. Ko was awarded “The 35 th Top 10 Outstanding Youth” by Junior Chamber International Hong Kong. In the year 2008, Hong Kong Institution of Engineers discussed and elected him to be “The First Prize of Outstanding Youth Engineer” and he was awarded “Hong Kong Outstanding Volunteer Award” by Hong Kong Agency for Volunteer Service the same year. In the year 2010, he was awarded “Annual Humanitarian Award” by Hong Kong Red Cross, “ Fondness Benevolence Award ” by HK & Macau Taiwanese Charity Fund, and was even chosen from public appraisal as one of the seven spiritual ambassadors of Hong Kong .

Love and wisdom
      Over these years, Dr. Ko had such praiseworthy achievement in his professional field because he had ample experiences of disaster rescue action as well as his well-known planning and managing abilities. To the society, Dr. Ko's greatest characteristic was his persistence of serving, and how he applied his professional knowledge to serve people. Whatever he did in Doctor Without Borders--the volunteer who practically worked at the scene or the boarder director, these undoubtedly helped a great amount of miserable life. His achievement was not just this. He combined his precious practical work experience of serving and his professional engineering knowledge to develop new and more efficient support system, which could be used as an essential reaction system in case of catastrophic disasters hit. These are the reason why his achievement is so unique.
      When being in a disaster area, the willing to help is not enough. Wisdom is also needed. Similarly, even though there is suitable equipment, it is just a waste of resources and will miss the opportunity to save life when jostling and elbowing the way without proper plans. He thus again and again stresses the importance of voluntary work and the importance of continuity──having a good plan first so that we can really help others. We should continue to do it, and don't make it a temporary work. “Different age has different thoughts. I used to walk in the front line, but now, I would like to make more promoting plans. I want to pass on my previous experience so that voluntary work will be passed on from generation to generation” said Dr. Ko.