This week, we interview David (name changed), a refugee from the Middle East who joyfully told us about winning the elections to be on the board of the Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) at his children’s school. Refugees are largely invisible in Hong Kong, and because of this, there are never enough stories about how refugees can and do positively contribute to their local communities. When we heard David’s story, we just knew we had to share it with you.
We are creatures of narratives. From our sophisticated moral code, to why you bought that iced skim milk latte this morning, our actions have reasons rooted in one story or another. Stories are simple things which help us understand the world, but they do demand one thing: for the audience to listen with an open heart, at least until the end of the tale. This is a story of hip hop and our journey of reflecting social injustices through the power of personal stories.
“Imagine a perfect day in a perfect job. You wake up, and everything is exactly how you would like it to be. You feel respected, you feel happy, you feel fulfilled. You get along great with your boss. What would decent work mean to you?” This is the question we have been asking domestic workers in the past couple of weeks in preparation for our upcoming report.
A study on the status of ethnic minorities, released this week, by Prof. Puja Kapai at The University of Hong Kong found that poverty rates amongst ethnic minority groups in Hong Kong are much higher than those of the ethnic Chinese population, and are getting worse. This week I also learned that a village in Yuen Long put up a sign urging residents not to rent houses to ‘South Asians’, in order to “improve the safety of the village”.
For the last seven months, I have been helping Justice Centre as a volunteer to support Voices for Protection – an innovative advocacy and human rights training programme to provide refugees with the skills, tools, platform and opportunities to engage in advocacy and become their own change-makers in the community. Through the generous funding of HER Fund, we are pleased to announce a special intake of Voices for Protection adapted for women