Happy New Year! At the beginning of 2019, our Office continues to work closely with our committed Members and kind-heart volunteers as usual, striking for a better living for asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong, despite an increasing challenge and difficulty that the government forces on us.
To begin with, we would like to express our gratitude to Madam Stephanie for her generous donation of new chairs to our Office. The old and broken black chairs can be replaced finally. Thank you very much!
On 27 January, our Members were invited to this year’s Migrants’ Day themed “Many Journeys, One Family”, sharing our stories with the public. Thank you Claret Mission, Claretian Missionaries, Secular Franciscan Order, Columban Missionaries for organising this meaningful event to promote the spirits of social inclusion and acceptance of diversity.
On the same day, our Members also received a special invitation to attend the Integration of Talents event organised by the Claretian Missionaries. It was a great opportunity to perform our talents and had a taste of delicious Chinese cuisines, as an early celebration of the Lunar New Year.
On a weekly basis, our Office also offers a series of classes targeting the asylum seekers and refugees with different age groups. These ongoing activities do not only provide opportunities for our members to learn, but also to socialise and to let them get out of the oppressive routine of feeling like prisoners-in-the-city without the opportunity to work and to contribute.
Every Saturday, we have talented volunteers come and hold Music Session for our refugee kids at our Office. They teach our children to sing and to play with musical instruments. We also have the Canadian Tutorial Session on every Saturday at our Office, with a group of passionate volunteers to teach refugee children school assignments and help them to prepare for tests and examinations.
Last but not least, the Cultural Diversity Playgroup at our office targets both refugee adults and babies. Participants can make new friends and learn new things during lessons. They all share joyful moments.
Members who are interested in the above programmes, please visit our Office for more information. Again, we would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to all donors and volunteers who stand with our refugee community. Keep visiting our website and Facebook for the latest information. For enquiry, please don’t hesitate to visit our office or email us at email@example.com.
//We are a group of students from CUHK that concern about the asylum seekers in Hong Kong. Last summer, with support from the I‧CARE Social Service Projects Scheme, we launched our social service project called “Love ‧ Care ‧ Boundaryless”. In these few months, we have offered free Cantonese lessons and cultural tour for the asylum seekers to let them understand more about the local culture, enabling them to better adapt the social environment.
After this project, we made a video which aims to let the public rediscover the socially marginalised. They are neither fake refugees nor criminals, but the asylum seekers who fled from their home countries under the threat to life.//
Video link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eba8XqMZsks
Funding: I‧CARE Centre for Whole-person Development
Venue and collaboration: Refugee Union Hong Kong
Project advisor: Dr. LEE King-wa
Video: Antony Chan, Kris Chu
The Refugee Union is gravely concerned about the tightening of security around refugees in Hong Kong. This only serves to worsen the conditions we suffer when applying for protection in the city. On 4 October 2018 a group of Refugee Union leaders submitted a petition to the Security Bureau ahead of a meeting of the Panel on Security (Legco) on the subject.
We stongly hope that the rights of refugees in Hong Kong will be protected while the Immigration Department improves the screening process (USM) by producing more credible results than the current 1% acceptance rate for the past decade.
The proposed tightening policy will pose a detrimental impact on the lives of refugees. We therefore stand against the proposal and call for humanitarian treatment by the Hong Kong Government. We hope that lawmakers and Government officials appreciate that no one leaves their home country unless their home is in the mouth of a shark.
We sincerely hope the Panel on Security will consider our needs and uphold the humanitarian virtues of Hong Kong.
World Refugee Day is celebrated every year on June 20th. This year, Refugee Union commemorated the day with the reminder that every day is World Refugee Day, and that refugees are people too.
Petition to Social Welfare Department
Members of Refugee Union delivered a petition to the Social Welfare Department in Wan Chai. The Department is in charge of supplies, such as food cards for Park n’ Shop, money to pay flat rent to landlords, Octopus cards for travel, and sanitary products for hygiene, which asylum seekers pick up each month. Because asylum seekers are not allowed to work while waiting for their refugee status claims to be processed by Hong Kong government, they must rely on these limited supplies to care for themselves and their families each month. Asylum seekers wait for years for their claims to be processed. The supply allotment is incredibly low in relation to the high cost of living in Hong Kong (for ex., one roll of toilet paper for each refugee, per month). Refugee Union called for supply allotments to be increased to reflect the reality of living in an expensive city like Hong Kong. We hope to receive a positive response from the Head Office, and that our struggle is not in vain.
Drink for Justice (DFJ)
“This month DFJ celebrated World Refugee Day with an exclusive and exciting lineup of local and international talents, arranged to delight us with comedy, music, dance, and the fine art of mixing drinks. At Employees Only Hong Kong, DFJ and Uncensored Cabaret joined forces to host a night of fine tunes, special cocktails and an epic open mic program!” Learn more at the DFJ event page.
Celebrating the Food and Recipes of Hong Kong’s Refugee Community
On June 23rd, Refugee Union joined forces with Table of Two Cities, Taste of Hope HK, Art Women, and Bite Unite to celebrate World Refugee Day. The event showcased the food and recipes of Hong Kong’s refugee community, with refugee-directed cooking demos of food from Sri Lanka, Togo, and Egypt. The greater Hong Kong community was invited to learn more about refugees’ experiences in Hong Kong through food, collaborative art, and conversation. The event was covered by Hong Kong Free Press (HKFP), and you can read the HKFP article here.
Thank you Hong Kong community, for donations of shoes, sanitary products, and more this month. We also would like to express our gratitude to Ms. Lisa Pang, a donation coordinator whose team visited Refugee Union last week to connect through food and conversation.
Refugees request donations of laptops (clean, used in good condition), rice cookers (clean, used in good condition), diapers (new), and summer clothing (clean, used in good condition). We thank you again for your consideration!
Interested in volunteering or learning more about Refugee Union? Connect with us by email, firstname.lastname@example.org or through our Facebook page.