Refugee talks at Chinese University

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SEPTEMBER ROUNDUP AT THE REFUGEE UNION

Oct 12th, 2018 | Advocacy | Comment

This September was a meaningful month at our Refugee Union office. With the support of our volunteers and members, we continued to advocate for the basic rights and well-being of our refugee community.

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In early September, we got a golden opportunity to join the community engagement fair at the ESF Discovery College, together with eleven other corporations. It was our honour to share our stories with students. We were also glad to meet and exchange ideas with other people who are passionate to make contributions to our society.

DCCE (Sep)

Other than the new programmes that launched recently, meanwhile, regular programmes continued to operate at our office.

Each Saturday, the Canadian Tutorial Session holds at our office, targeting our refugee children. Volunteers teach school assignments and help them to prepare for tests and examinations.

CTS (Sep)

Also, each Tuesday, the Cultural Diversity Playgroup organises at our office for both refugee families. Each time participants share joyful moments, adults share their own stories with new friends, while babies learn new things through interactive activities.

CDPG (Sep)

New members who are interested in the above programmes, please visit our office for more information.

We would like to show our heartfelt gratitude to volunteers who stand with us. Keep visiting our website and Facebook to have the latest information. For enquiry, please don’t hesitate to visit our office or email us at info@refugeeunion.org.

Refugee Union petitions the Legco Panel on Security

Oct 5th, 2018 | Advocacy, Government, Immigration, RU Report | Comment

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. 

RU presents petition to Legco - 4Oct2018
RU petition to Legco Panel on Security - 4Oct2018

Refugee talks at Chinese University

Oct 5th, 2018 | Advocacy, RU updates, programs, events | Comment

No Escape - CUHK - 8Nov2018

August Roundup at the Refugee Union

Sep 27th, 2018 | Advocacy | Comment

This August was a fruitful month at the Refugee Union. Members stayed active in attending our monthly meeting and voicing their opinions to improve the living condition and fundamental rights for the refugee community. Meanwhile, our regular programmes continued to operate for actualising refugees’ well-being and supporting where we can. 

During the Cultural Diversity Playgroup, certificates were presented to refugee kids who have got into kindergarten.

The Cultural Diversity Playgroup is held every Tuesday for refugee babies to learn through interactive activities. It also provides opportunities for other refugees of different cultural backgrounds to know each others and to share their own stories. The Canadian Tutoring Session on every Saturday offers free tutorial class for refugee children to help with their school assignments and revision. Interested members please visit our office for more information.

Volunteers taught during the Canadian Tutoring Session.

On 25 August, students of The Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) organised a one-day tour around the Hong Kong Island for refugee families, participants had a taste of Chinese culture “yum cha” and tried local cuisines “dim sum” at the Chinese restaurant, they also shared joyful moments in the Observation Wheel and The Peak.

Photo taken outside the Lin Heung Tea House during the Hong Kong Island One-day Tour.

On 31 August, the Social Welfare Department replied our petition sent earlier on 20 June during the World Refugee Day, click here for more information.

We would like to show our heartfelt gratitude to volunteers who stand with us. Keep visiting our website and Facebook to have the latest information. For enquiry, please don’t hesitate to visit our office or email us at info@refugeeunion.org.

Social Welfare Department reply to Refugee Union

Sep 11th, 2018 | Advocacy, Food, Government, Housing, Welfare | Comment

SWD reply to RU - 31Aug18

Summer News Round-Up at Refugee Union

Aug 13th, 2018 | Advocacy | Comment

This summer has been a productive one at Refugee Union. From new programming for members to monthly meetings and fundraisers, members have stayed active, alert, and focused on improving conditions for all the refugee community in Hong Kong.

This month, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK) students started offering new Cantonese classes for adults and young people. While many Refugee Union members hope to be resettled elsewhere since Hong Kong has a less than 1% acceptance rate of refugees, they are making the most of their time in Hong Kong. Most members have waited years for their claims or their family’s claims to be processed, and being unable to work leaves them in a constant state of anxiety, boredom and limbo. Nevertheless, members do their best to be productive members of society, such as by studying Cantonese.

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Refugee Union members studying Cantonese with CUHK students

 

Our other programs continued this summer -including cultural diversity playgroup for infants and toddlers. This group is a great way for families in and out of the refugee community to come together, play, learn, and share their own backgrounds and experiences together. We have more in common with one another than one might think. If you are interested in attending with your baby, playgroup happens every other Tuesday. See our Facebook page for more information.

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Babies and parents enjoying a story at Cultural Diversity playgroup

Some other exciting programming from this summer included a fellowship gathering with Junior Chamber International and Lions Club Hong Kong IFC, as well as “Are You Asleep Yet?” a Shakespeare for All (S4A) Interactive Concert for young people. We really appreciate groups reaching out to us, because such collaborations yield beautiful moments for folks from different communities and backgrounds to come together.

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Refugee Union, Junior Chamber International, and Lions Club of Hong Kong IFC come together in fellowship on a really hot July day!

Finally, our monthly all-you-can eat and drink fundraiser, Drink for Justice, was a fantastic event with folks from all over Hong Kong. Last month it took place at Capo Centrale, a delicious new Italian restaurant in Soho, where guests were invited to take the stage in an open-mic. From spoken word to rap, drag king lip sync to ukelele, guests from in and out of the refugee community shared their talents with a raucous supportive crowd, all while raising awareness and money for the refugee community of Hong Kong. Look out for our next Drink for Justice happening later this month.

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The situation continues to be fraught for refugees, as one can see in the articles on our webpage, and in reading or watching the daily news. Stand strong against fear and discrimination, and reach out to refugees in your community. Our differences only make us stronger. Should you have any questions, or interest in volunteering with Refugee Union, please email us: info@refugeeunion.org, or check out our Facebook page.

June Round-Up at Refugee Union

Jul 7th, 2018 | Advocacy | Comment

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.

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Adella Namagembe, chairperson of Refugee Union, shakes hands with a Social Welfare Department official on World Refugee Day after delivering a petition on behalf of Refugee Union.

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.

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Good laughs, drinks, and conversation at Drink for Justice – June !

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.

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Making Egyptian stuffed zucchini (kousa mahshi كوسة محشي) at Bite Unite!

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.

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Thanks Ms. Lisa Pang and team for your visit to Refugee Union!

Donations

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.

Donation Requests

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, info@refugeeunion.org or through our Facebook page.

 

 

 

Petition to Social Welfare Department (Chinese)

Jun 23rd, 2018 | Advocacy, Food, Health, Housing, Welfare | Comment

RU letter to SWD - 2Jun2018

Petition to Social Welfare Department

Jun 23rd, 2018 | Advocacy, Food, Housing | Comment

RU petition to SWD - 20Jun2018 - 1

May Round-Up at Refugee Union

Jun 13th, 2018 | Advocacy | Comment

May was a productive month at Refugee Union. From the members’ monthly meeting, to knitting classes, to the monthly fundraiser, Drink for Justice, members and friends of Refugee Union came together in solidarity and to raise awareness of refugee issues in Hong Kong. In addition, members of Refugee Union were invited to the West Island School last week where they connected with students over food and culture. Everyone worked together to prepare and enjoy dishes from Refugee Union members’ home countries. Thank you again to all who came out, donated, and participated in May events, and we look forward to celebrating World Refugee Day (June 20) next week. Every day is World Refugee Day!

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Making beautiful art during English classes with Canadian School students

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Band members and friends of Talents Displaced at the May Drink for Justice event at ACT Africa Coffee and Tea! They had a fantastic performance.

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Connecting through food and culture at West Island School

 

 

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