Refugee Union is the only registered refugee-led society in Hong Kong. Our society receives no government, institutional or corporate support. We have 1000+ active members from 30 countries, including 200+ children and babies.
Our services are greatly limited by the donations we receive. For example, when we don’t have diapers for newborn babies, some mothers will not visit the centre as they must borrow money for transportation.
While we are thankful for our wonderful donor’s support, the welfare provided by the government is manifestly insufficient to meet the basic needs of refugees who have no money and are not allowed to work. You might have read about them before, but the statistics are worth repeating: HK$ 1500 for rent, HK$ 1200 for food, HK$ 300 for utilities and HK$ 200 for public transportation monthly. (https://bit.ly/2PJ8zDp)
We are entirely dependent on your generosity to fill gaps in welfare implemented by the government with the aim “not to create a magnet effect which could have serious implication on … immigration control” – as if local refugees must suffer as a warning to others not to seek asylum in Hong Kong. (https://bit.ly/3egREBH)
We are banned from working under Section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance. We sign a document agreeing to this restriction when released from detention and it includes any work, paid or unpaid. The High Court case setting the sentencing tariff is “Usman Butt HCMA 70/2010″ wherein the starting point is 22.5 months after trial, with 15 months for guilty pleas. These are typically followed by weeks/months in immigration detention. (https://bit.ly/336OwBX)
We plead for your financial support to:
- Pay transportation fees to collect donations at our centre;
- Pay for emergency shelter when members are occasionally homeless;
- Purchase diapers and baby milk formula (donations are limited, i.e. only stage 3 formula);
- Purchase food staples like rice, milk and canned food to supplement diets;
- Pay for school supplies and costs not covered by the Education Bureau;
- Supplement rent and electricity for families who do not receive enough assistance;
- Purchase rice-cookers and portable gas stoves not supplied by the government;
- Buy clothes and shoes required by members who need specific sizes;
- Purchase surgical masks and sanitizers necessary under the pandemic.
- Pay for medicines that are not supplied by hospital emergency rooms (our only option);
The fact is that our needs should be met by the government as we are left to live in the city without the right to work, but the reality is that refugees are turned into full-time beggars resigned to ask for help everywhere we go. Churches and NGOs do their best to assist with available resources, but nobody can help everyone all the time. Many of our members have been here for over a decade.
For these reasons we humbly appeal for your financial help!
We would be most grateful if you could contribute to this crowdfunding so that we can support more members and show that many Hongkongers understand our predicament and are willing to assist us in our hour of need.
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