NEIGHBORHOOD INTERVIEW｜Lilyth Yu
Daisy: How did you come to collaborate with Bright Side Projects this time? If you were introduced via mutual friends, what led you to the decision to work with us?
Lilyth: Lily from Plants in Taipei introduced Bright Side Projects to me. I read up on Bright Side Projects on their website and was impressed by what they were doing and what they stood for. They took time writing introductions for each teacher and really invested time in workshops post reports and selections of images. Being plant-based myself, I liked their ability and creative ideas in getting to know a community by introducing veganism.
D: Is there any part of Bright Side Project’s mission statement or ethos that in particular spoke to you? Why do you feel that it spoke to you and why is it important?
L: Among the mission of Bright Side, the one that attracted me the most is plant-based meals. I have been a vegetarian for 15 years, and I have always believed that children’s dietary education is a very important topic. If they were aware of the vegan diet when they were young, or had an organization like Bright Side introduce them to different diets through education, they will know a different way to live, and a healthier way of diet. So I think this part is the most attractive to me, and I think Bright Side really did a great job on it.
D: Was there anything that stood out when working with Bright Side Projects during the planning and execution of the workshop that was different from other organizations (non-profit and for-profit)? That would make you consider working with us again in the future?
L: I think there is a big difference. Other organizations I have worked with in the past were not as careful about the details as Bright Side did. During our cooperation, I can see Bright Side’s attention to details in many places whether it’s the logos on children’s aprons and chocolate boxes or making sure photos were taken before, during and after the event. I feel their attentiveness especially when I received a well-structured sample of rundown for me to fill in, went over situations that might happen on the day as well as made appropriate adjustments according to the event situation. Because of these preparation works, the result of the event was very close to what we planned, and I think it takes a very careful and detail-oriented team to complete the job.
D: Did you have any prior experiences working with children? How did this experience with Bright Side shape or change your perspective? Any special moments that were especially memorable with the kids or stories to share that touched you?
L: I don’t really have experience interacting with or teaching children other than having been an english tutor for a short while after graduating from university. I don’t find myself to be a person that’s great with them and used to think that kids are scary and completely out of control. However, this workshop changed my mind and cured my “phobia” towards children!
I feel these kids have so much to learn because they have infinite creativity that is not limited by the status quo; at the same time they receive and absorb information, they are also capable of sharing and spreading love in their own way.
During the workshop I was moved by one of the children. Although initially his personality perhaps seemed a bit too boisterous and rowdy, he was actually an extremely caring child. Through the workshop I also saw each child with their own personality; being sensible, well-behaved, or being the leader of the group; all were very different from the uncontrollable “mob” perception I had of children before interacting with them. They are all unique and have their own personality.
D: Thank you for taking the time to share your professional skills with Bright Side Youth under our Brighter Futures workshop. You have not only opened their eyes to a world they might not have known but planted the seeds for a potential career path, making a positive impact on childrens’ lives! How do you feel/ any thoughts you would like to share with us?
L: I hope that children will choose to do something that they like and believe are right; derive a sense of purpose. I don’t believe we should become limited by set social frameworks and believe that one should make decisions that are true to themselves.They should ask themselves what they want for their future and set to find out how to achieve this goal.
In addition, one should do what they feel is meaningful for their career. If we truly love what we do and devote ourselves to it, we will attract the right people and the resources we need will also come naturally. That is what I’ve realized in my own journey of life.
D: Do you have any advice for those who want to make a difference in the world?
L: My suggestion is not to think about changing the world but think about changing ourselves first. When we change ourselves, we are able to influence others through what we do; by living our lives the way we want we will affect other lives.
D: Any words for the children?
L: I want to thank the children to dispelling my own perception of kids; I’m so happy that I was able to meet everyone and hope when I am able to see everyone again we will have become an even more amazing version of ourselves!
Lilyth，木葉粗食共同創辦人。 15年前看到一台載滿豬隻的卡車後，開始反思食物與動物之間的關係，進而成為素食者。之後從飲食中找回健康的自主權，也因為這樣，最大的興趣是喚醒吃與自然之間的連結。現任職於香港綠野林（Greenwoods）, 並斜槓木葉粗食，俗稱老闆娘。
Lilyth, who also works at Greenwoods Hongkong, is the co-founder of Mottainai Plant-Based Whole Food Café. After seeing a truck carrying pigs on their way to the slaughter 15 years ago, she started to reflect on the relationships between food and animal welfare, and ended up as a vegan. Her greatest interest in connecting eating and nature was fueled by her regained body autonomy in veganism.
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