It has been another busy month at Refugee Union, with excellent opportunities for fellowship among members of the refugee community, and with the Hong Kong community at large.
The Drink for Justice series continues to be an excellent event for building solidarity with the greater Hong Kong community, combating prejudice and preconceptions of people who have been forced to leave their homelands, and raising money for the members of Refugee Union and their families. At the April event, artwork from the children’s painting classes was exhibited for purchase, which raised some money for members of Refugee Union. Thank you to donors! All the money raised from the Drink for Justice events goes to refugees currently living in Hong Kong who struggle to subsist on the sub-par living allowances from International Social Services (ISS) as authorized by the Hong Kong government. Thanks to all who joined us at the event, and special thanks to La Vin Wines and Petit Cucina in Central for hosting us this past month.
Earlier this month, Refugee Union held its monthly meeting, where members could come together and discuss common issues. At this meeting, Refugee Union welcomed a volunteer speaker to talk with members about how to stay physically healthy and fit despite the emotional and physical toll of waiting for the legal outcome on their asylum cases.
Further, activities and programming at Refugee Union are in full swing. From painting, knitting and English classes for young people, to English and Cantonese classes for adults, members of Refugee Union make good use of their time as they await decisions on their asylum cases. Asylum seekers are not allowed to work in Hong Kong, leading to months and even years of being unable to pursue fruitful work in their careers.
If you would like to support the refugee community, members are currently seeking diapers, rice cookers, and laptops in good condition. Cash donations to Refugee Union are welcome as well to support programming events, like cultural diversity playgroup. If you are interested in volunteering at Refugee Union or making a donation, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call +852 9828 7176. Thank you for your support, and hope to see you at Refugee Union or at a future Drink for Justice event!
“This month Drink for Justice shines the spotlight on love, friendships and relationships at the highly anticipated all-you-can-drink “Dating for Justice”! Come join the loving excitement at the most intriguing DFJ to-date. Games, fun and much more will be on offer in a relaxed romantic atmosphere at “La Vin” – Central’s premiere wine-tasting venue.”
Come join us on Thursday April 19, 2018 from 6:30-9 PM at:
La Vin Wines and Petit Cucina
Basement, Yuen Yick Building
27 & 29 Wellington Street
For a small donation ($200 early bird or $250 at the door) you are welcome to join in this exciting drinks free-flow event; meet like-minded people; and share stories of equality, indifference and justice.
All the proceeds will go to support charity organization Refugee Union.
Early bird tickets are on sale till 12 April.
This event is supported by ACT Africa Coffee & Tea
For more information, please visit drinkforjustice.org or if you would like to help plan the next event, email email@example.com.
**Current donations requested by refugees: rice-cookers, diapers for babies, and laptops. Rice-cookers and laptops used in good condition are welcome as well. Thank you in advance for your support!**
Donors are welcome to make cash donations at Drink for Justice for this express purpose. Donors may also bring donations to Refugee Union headquarters during the week. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to drop off your donation to support the refugee community of Hong Kong. Thank you!
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Refugee Union wishes a Happy Easter to all! A special thanks to the students from Hong Kong Polytechnic University who spent their Easter weekend with the children of Refugee Union. The university students planned fantastic Art and Cantonese classes for the children, with an additional focus on sharing and building good character. Thank you again to the students from Hong Kong Polytechnic University! For those interested in volunteering their time and expertise with Refugee Union, you are welcome to get in touch with us at: email@example.com.
Donations that refugees are currently seeking include: rice cookers, diapers for babies, and laptops. Used rice cookers and laptops in good condition are welcome, as well. Thank you!
March has a been a busy and fortifying month at Refugee Union. Thank you to all who attended Drink for Justice 5 at P&P, a fantastic new Italian restaurant in Sheung Wan. With over 50 guests, attendees enjoyed comedy and libations to raise funds for the refugee community of Hong Kong. Look out for more information on April’s Drink for Justice event – we hope to see you there!
Refugee Union Monthly meeting
Refugee Union (RU)’s March Monthly meeting took place on March 12 at Refugee Union in Sai Ying Pun. The meeting was well-attended, and RU members raised several issues, including concerns over deportation, low living stipends, and needs for more humane monthly allotments of necessary household items. Members also voiced deep gratitude for donations of clothes and food. Always-needed donation items include baby formula, diapers, and household cleaning products. Thanks to donors in advance!
Painting and Knitting Classes
This month, kind individuals have donated their time and expertise to Refugee Union by hosting painting and knitting classes for refugee children in Hong Kong. On Friday nights, young participants have been able to hone their artistic skills with help from painting and knitting instructors, creating beautiful works of visual and textile art. We look forward to continued opportunities for collaboration with the greater Hong Kong community.
Cultural Diversity Playgroup
Refugee Union’s Cultural Diversity Playgroup has been a great success, with babies, toddlers, and families coming together in a spirit of mutual support and solidarity. Playgroup has now moved to every other Tuesday (used to be Wednesday) from 11 AM-12 PM at Refugee Union Office, 3/F, 102 First Street Sai Ying Pun. All families with young children (baby and toddler-aged) are welcome to join! The next playgroup will be March 27th.
One of the biggest issues acutely affecting asylum seekers in Hong Kong is the city’s stark economic inequality. Rent and food prices hit asylum seekers especially hard because of the inadequate housing and food vouchers received from International Social Service (ISS-HK) an NGO funded by the Hong Kong government. Asylum seekers receive only HK $1,200 per month in food vouchers (HK $40 a day for all 3 meals), and HK $1,500 per person for rent paid directly to the landlord. These amounts are impossibly low for any person trying to survive in Hong Kong. For asylum seekers, whose applications for refugee status in Hong Kong can take years, even over a decade, to process, many have no choice but to seek income when trying to adequately support themselves, or their families in Hong Kong.
Drink for Justice 4
Last month’s Drink For Justice event was “smooth sailing” at Fishteria in Wan Chai. With excellent food and drink, as well as fantastic art and music, over 40 professionals, refugees, and concerned citizens came together to discuss pressing social issues and voice solidarity for the refugee community of Hong Kong. Thanks to Josh Tam for the amazing photography of the event!
Please join us for our next Drink for Justice event on March 15th, 6:30-9 PM, at P&P in Sheung Wan. Stand-up comedy performances for the brave, and delicious Italian food and drink for all. See you there!
Refugee Union’s February Monthly Meeting
This month’s meeting was a successful gathering despite the cold weather. Refugee Union (RU) members discussed the current programming at RU (join us at the next baby/toddler cultural diversity playgroup Wednesday February 28th, 11-12 PM, at Refugee Union!) as well as continued concerns and challenges of living as a refugee in Hong Kong. The recent deportation of 68 Vietnamese asylum seekers in December deeply shook the larger refugee community. Families especially worry about being separated from children who are born in Hong Kong if their cases for asylum are rejected.
Thank you for the donations of winter clothes and blankets! We are continuing to accept donations of diapers, baby formula and food. Other necessary items we are accepting include assorted cleaning products, tissues, and toilet paper. These products are essential in any household, but refugees receive only 1 roll of toilet paper from ISS…for a whole month. Refugees may only purchase certain food items at Park n’ Shop, meaning that they are restricted from purchasing many necessary household items, like dish soap. Thank you for your ongoing support!