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The Monthly Newsletter of the Mission For Migrant Workers Hong Kong (MFMW Limited) January - March 2014
MFMW mobilizes migrant community for Walk for Charity “In the midst of a ver y severe trial, their overflowing joy and their e xt reme povert y welled up in rich generosit y. For I te stif y that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their abilit y.” - 2 Corinthians 8: 2-3
In a unique display of the poor’s generosity, almost 400 foreign domestic helpers together with some local student supporters, participated in the MFMW’s Walk for Charity for St. John’s Cathedral’s Michaelmas Fair 2014 held last March 30. Even the threat of a downpour did not dampen the spirits of the participants who arrived at the Cathedral grounds in time for the conclusion of the Filipino congregation’s Mass. The Mission for Migrant Workers of St. John’s Cathedral mounted this event as its offering on the occasion of its 33rd Anniversary. In the past, MFMW usually celebrates its anniversary with a big outdoor event for migrants. This year, as Cynthia Abdon-Tellez - the Mission’s manager - aptly explained in her message, MFMW instead chose to muster the migrant community to “do a big thing” for a good cause. It was an opportunity to give back.
And give back, the migrants truly did. With only less than a month’s work, the MFMW and its partner migrant groups tapped good-hearted employers and people of Hong Kong to support the Michaelmas Fair, the annual fundraising event of St. John’s Cathedral held every last Saturday of October, whose proceeds go to different charities. Through the activity, a significant number of employers and local people came to
know about the charitable work of the MFMW and the outreach services and programs of St. John’s Cathedral which prodded them to donate for this very good cause. But what was truly touching was the enthusiasm of migrant associations and individuals who sacrificed part of their meager wages to add on to the fundraising effort. The hundreds of migrants who joined the Charity Walk solicited from their employers, contributed directly or fundraised from other migrants. Some migrant associations even contributed from their own funds. They did this freely because they are familiar with how St. John’s Cathedral through its outreach programs like the MFMW continue turn to page 2
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A generosity most touching to help and assist migrants and other needy people in Hong Kong. The migrant community effort led by MFMW raised a total of HK$ 15,978 to benefit the Michaelmas Fair. Who would have thought that the migrant community, usually perceived to be recipients of charity and are themselves poor and needy, are able to raise such an amount? But this may not really be surprising because the Asian migrants know fully well that even a small amount of giving can make a huge difference. Many of them have experienced being in the receiving end and have experienced the difference themselves. Fr. Robert Martin acknowledged this truly extraordinary phenomenon when he extolled the generosity of the poor and the needy before he offered a prayer and a blessing for the walkers at City Hall, the starting point of the Walk. He walked with the MFMW staff and the migrants up to the Cathedral (with his “lucky” umbrella which he jokingly said warded off the rain. And it did!). The generosity of those who al-
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ready have less becomes more touching and inspiring because they are giving beyond their ability - in itself a testament to loving sacrifice. It comes from their overwhelming feeling of affinity to others in need. This compassion naturally flows from their experience of being in need. That is why they also are willing to continuously inform and encourage those who “have more” to develop similar compassion for the poor and needy in society. This is what Fr. Dwight Dela Torre referred to as the spirit of “loving thy neighbor”, which he accorded the walkers as he greeted them together with the SJC Filipino congregation
at the Cathedral grounds. The Filipino Mass Choir also offered a song to welcome the participants of the Charity Walk. Ms. Rita Chan, the chairperson of Michaelmas Fair 2014, expressed the Committee’s gratitude for the participants of the Charity Walk. She expressed her admiration for the hundreds of individuals who joined and encouraged everyone to continue to live by the Christian spirit of love and charity. All in all, it was really a touching display of generosity, charity and compassion coming from even those who need them the most.
RACEWALKING IS FUN The cold weather didn’t deter eighteen eager migrant workers from Filipino organizations in Hong Kong to represent the Mission For Migrant Workers in the Race Walk 2014 organized by Her Fund on January 13 this year. Participants coming from the Cordillera Alliance, Organic Team January - March 2014
and Bethune House residents joined in two categories: the 4 x 100 Team Relay ( 2 teams) and in the 1,200 m individual women’s – experienced. Despite having only gained tips for race walking and warm-up exercises on the day itself, the women migrants bested other competitors from the local Hong Kong community in both the individual race (one team member won the
3rd prize) and team relay. For the migrant workers, what mattered more was giving back to Mission, meeting and making friends as well as having the experience of racewalking. It was indeed a day of fun, cheers, the cramps and muscle aches that would be remembered and embedded in the countless photos taken by themselves.
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HERSTORY Putting a Face to the
Stories of Suffering, Struggle and Success
Suzy’s story served the warrant of arrest for Erwiana’s employer TWENTY HOURS OF NON-STOP WORK… no rest day for almost a year … physically abused but was never allowed to see a doctor… unpaid compensation … Suzy suffered these brutal acts of violence under the hands of her cruel employer who treated all her domestic helpers in the same manner. “I had no way of knowing how to file a case for what that employer did to me until I saw the case of Erwiana on the papers and I tried to contact the people who were helping her,” Suzy stated. Apparently, Suzy was able to file her report to the police at the nick of time when her former employer was about to leave Hong Kong at the height of the Justice for Erwiana campaign. Her story depicts of modern-day slavery in Hong Kong: “I had to work from ten o’clock in the morning until six o’clock in the morning of the following day, a continuous 20 hours’ work. I was fed only two slices of bread and water for breakfast; one-half can of black beans fish, the other half for the next day’s lunch and had to finish the rice no matter if I felt throwing up because if I threw up, I would be hit or beaten,” Suzy recalls. Right from the start of her employment, she was given a notebook where her handwritten “things-to-do” were listed with a specific number of minutes for
each task, no-more-no-less. “If I do it less, I will be yelled at, scolded, hit in any part of my body that she can reach…” After one month, the employer asked Suzy to sign a paper stating that she received the full amount of her salary as stated in the contract including payment for days-off and statutory holidays. “I refused to sign because she was only showing me the money but was not giving it to me. As soon as I refused to sign, she slapped my left cheek with her right hand. It scared me so much so I reluctantly signed,” she said. The same physical abuse happened after two months when Suzy asked for her salary. After three months without receiving any salary, she dared not ask anymore for fear of more beatings. But when she requested for a day off, her employer constantly beat her. On the seventh month, that employer informed Suzy that Suzy’s family was trying to find her and that the employer told them that Suzy was fine and all her money was being kept safely by her. Liberation came for Suzy ten months after the start of her
employment when an agency staff decided to go to her employer’s house, upon Suzy’s family pressure, to check her condition in person. “Before I met the agency staff in the lobby, that employer warned me that if I told anybody about my condition, she would kill me and my family in Indonesia,” she said. Despite her employer’s threat, Suzy was determined to end her state of slavery. “An Indonesian staff who accompanied the agency representative asked ‘how are you’ and I answered ‘I don’t want to work here anymore’. The agency asked why and I answered ‘she never gave me my salary and she always hit me.’ Then I showed them my swelling hands and even if I could not walk well because of my swollen legs and feet, I was resolved to walk out.” The violence might have stopped for Suzy but her pursuit of justice for the slavery that she suffered is still starting as her case was recently filed two years after it happened. But what is more important is that she dared to say “NO”, defied her assaulter and got her freedom. January - March 2014
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Visiting Erwiana C-Ca-A-T
I prepared myself for long daily journeys. Only after a day did we realize that three days was too short for at least an eight-hour daily travel and meeting our objectives. Thus, travelling at midnight was needed. But it was all worth it. Having in mind all the earlier articles about her, SEEING ERWIANA now bubbly, - never mind if it only lasted for a few seconds each time she moved- was already joy to us. She was trying hard and there I saw what I was searching: the hope in her eyes. With a backdrop of a simple rural life and her daringness to have braved a place unknown to her, which was her step forward to a dream of being an accountant, is not bad for a consistently A-1 student. In my heart of hearts, I was angry. That dream was thwarted. Someone ex-
ploited her innocence. Coming home with broken nose, broken teeth, blood clot in the head, occasionally uncontrolled vision, spine problem, discolored skin - these are what she evidently got and hopefully not more. I hope that a life-long “scar” could be reversed. No one deserves such inhumanity. So I go back to spend more time looking at her face, her childish “wanting a tiny pinch of “Sambal“ (an Indonesian spice) and looking back some more, trusting on the aura of hope that is there in Erwiana’s face.
MFMW joins HK Women’s One Billion Rising for Justice
One Billion Rising Justice Hong Kong gathered at the Victoria Park the results of a study that Live-in Polin Causeway Bay on February 9 this year to dance, rise and call for icy increases female foreign domestic workers’ vulnerability to various types justice. “Women of Hong Kong unite for the One Billion Rising to call for justice for Erwiana Sulityangsih and for all migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong” was the main call. Organized by the Asian Migrants Coordinating Body, the OBRJHK focused on Erwiana as a picture of violence and injustice in Hong Kong. The world was shocked with the pictures of Erwiana – wounded, battered, bruised and abused, the group stated. However, the worst form of violation of rights of women MDWs still stem from their being forced to leave January - March 2014
their families behind to work overseas just so they can survive, according to them. The worsening condition in their home countries that is mainly due to economic and social policies that serve only a few forces millions of mothers, sisters and daughters to brave overseas work that is full of abusive practices and policies. The Mission For Migrant Workers joined the migrants’ organizations as well as local women’s groups like the Hong Kong Women Workers Association, Her Fund, Rain Lily and other local groups. MFMW has published
of abuses. One of the highlights of the event was the presence of OBRJ global coordinator Monique Wilson, who announced that the campaign for Justice for Erwiana and all migrant domestic workers has been adopted in the global campaign. “This year’s focus is on how women are being denied justice. It’s extremely important that grassroots groups are taking the lead of OBR because we have to look at the marginalized communities in terms of violence against women…,” she stated.
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Open Kitchen for locals and migrants Bethune House re-launched its Open Kitchen program on January 25 this year. This will run until May 2014 every Saturday at 4 o’clock to 7 o’clock pm. It is aimed to build social harmony between the local people and the migrant workers community through food sharing. With the theme “Food bridges love”, it hopes to attain further understanding and respect on the culture, beliefs, and concerns of the HK people in
general and the migrant domestic workers in particular. The project has done three sessions with Indonesian & Filipino traditional food, jointly prepared and cooked by the Hong Kong University students who enlisted for the open kitchen and Bethune House residents. Next to expect is a Chinese recipe that will be presented by the participants. The project is an offshoot of the Open Kitchen at Bethune House last year by HKU student Kelly Ho.
Lasallians in Hong Kong mount successful maiden fundraiser for the year Cathy Yang, DLSAA HK Chapter President
The De La Salle Alumni Association – Hong Kong Chapter (DLSAA HK) held a massively successful fundraiser on March 25, to help support its beneficiaries: distressed migrant workers in Hong Kong and underprivileged Filipinos seeking Lasallian high school diplomas in Manila.
The event, dubbed “March 25 @ Backstage Live!”, attended by an overwhelming 110 guests, helped raise no less than HK$15,000, including cash sponsorship from PLDT. The proceeds will help finance the transportation costs of deserving, underprivileged scholars at the Adult Night High School of La Salle Green Hills, and augment monthly expenses of Bethune House Migrant Worker’s Refuge in Hong Kong. “The DLSAA HK Chapter was revived officially last June 25 exactly nine month ago to this day,” said Cathy Yang, President of DLSAA HK Chapter, “We have much to thank for and to look forward to. Thank you for being a part of our journey – in finding strength in fellowship, inspiration in helping others, and courage in seeking what is good, just and true.” Nine months into its revival, the DLSAA HK Chapter has done its fair share in helping Filipinos in Hong Kong and the Philippines. The HK Chapter helped raise over HK$100,000 for Haiyan victims last November and December from donors in Hong Kong including Section Juan, a peer support group of young Filipinos in the city, to help in the relief and rebuild operations in Northern Visayas and Tacloban through One La Salle Cebu. Some 2,500 relief bags funded by the DLSAA HK Chapter were distributed in Northern Visayas and Tacloban during the most critical first few weeks after Haiyan struck.
The rebuild phase has also been well underway since the start of the year. Yang in February visited its adopted community in Brgy. Dapdap in San Remigio, Northern Cebu, over 300 kilometers from Cebu City, to check on the rebuild of the community following Haiyan. No less than 10 homes then had already been rebuilt by One La Salle Cebu Relief Missions headed by Chito Cusi, with money donated by the DLSAA HK Chapter. “We are happy to announce that all our four ANHS scholars in La Salle Green Hills have finished their freshmen year with perfect attendance certificates and academic honours,” adds Yang. “The monthly transport allowance that we provided them throughout the school year proved crucial in keeping them in school.” Yang notes that the chief reason for the rising number of dropouts during the
school year at the ANHS is the lack of financial support for transportation allowance. It is for this reason the DLSAA HK Chapter came forward to help with this unaddressed need. Nine months into its revival, the DLSAA HK Chapter made history earlier this month as it approved its first-ever By-Laws. “This unprecedented milestone serves as the legacy of our revival,” explains Yang, “and one that will define the future of how the DLSAA HK Chapter evolves and sustains itself as the years pass.” On the same week that the By-laws got approved, the DLSAA HK Chapter also secured its accreditation with the Philippine Consulate General of Hong Kong. Vice-consul Fatima Guzman notes in the certification issued that the DLSAA HK Chapter is now “registered with the Philippine Consulate General’s official list of Filipino Associations in Hong Kong”. The DLSAA HK Chapter, now 130 strong, invites more Lasallians based in Hong Kong to come join this dynamic group and find fellowship and friendship amongst fellow alumni.
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N e w s
Money & Honey Film support Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda victims
p h o t o s
Her Fund 10th anniversary
Madhatters’ fundraising for Bethune House
Farewell Beth & Katie
Tigil Na! Movement Against Illegal Recruitment & Trafficking meeting
Leaders from various organizations undergo leadership training seminar
Her Fund’s Linda Wong & Hong Kong Women Workers Association’s Mei Lin Wu join One Billion Rising for Justice
Bethune House HKIE sharing January - March 2014
FMDWU Leadership Training
General Board of the Global Ministries (GBGM) General Secretary Thomas Kemper visits Bethune House
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OUR FAITH, OUR STRUGGLE
Lent and Its Challenges to Migrants
Lent comes from an old English word, “lengthening” referring to the longer days in the season of spring. It is the forty days before Easter (excluding the six Sundays within the period). It begins with Ash Wednesday and ends on the Saturday before Easter. The Ash Wednesday Rite of The Episcopal Church has this invitatory sentence just before confession. It contains in so many ways the purpose of Lent. It says, “Dear People of God: The first Christians observed with great devotion the days of our Lord’s passion and resurrection, and it became the custom of the Church to prepare for them by a season of penitence and fasting. This season of Lent provided a time in which converts to the faith were prepared for Holy Baptism. It was also a time when those who, because of notorious sins, had been separated from the body of the faithful were reconciled by penitence and forgiveness, and restored to the fellowship of the Church. Thereby, the whole congregation was put in mind of the message of pardon and absolution set forth in the Gospel of our Savior, and of the need which all Christians continually have to renew their repentance and faith. I invite you, therefore, in the name of the Church, to the observance of a holy Lent, by self-examination and repentance; by prayer, fasting, and self-denial; and by reading and meditating on God’s holy Word.” Thus during Lent, many Christians fast or give up certain types of luxuries as a form of penitence. Some abstain from chocolate, many refrain from eating meat, others refrain from going to movies or shopping for non essential goods
– and the savings go to charities. Many Christians read a daily devotional, to draw themselves closer to God; Others do the Stations of the Cross on Fridays -- this is a form of devotional commemoration of Christ’s carrying the Cross towards Calvary -- the place of his execution. During this season, Roman Catholic and some Protestant churches do not adorn their altars with flowers. Crucifixes, religious statues, and other elaborate religious symbols are often veiled in violet fabrics in solemn observance of the event. Some Christians go to the extreme of flagellation – of whipping themselves as punishment for their sins and a few would have themselves crucified. The church has always condemned these excesses as it was only Christ’s passion, death and resurrection has saving values. In her Lenten Reflexion for 2014, The Most Revd Dr. Katharine Jefferts Schori, Presidng Bishop of The Episcopal Church says, “…The word “Lent” means “lengthen” and it’s about the days getting longer. The early Church began to practice a season of preparation for those who would be baptized at Easter, and before too long other members of the Christian community joined those candidates for baptism as an act of solidarity. It was a season during which Christians and future Christians learned about the disciplines of the faith--prayer and study and fasting and giving alms, sharing what they
But the reality is that, particularly in the Northern Hemisphere, the lengthening days were often times of famine and hunger, when people had used up their winter food stores and the spring had not yet produced more food to feed people. Acting in solidarity with those who go hungry is a piece of what it means to be a Christian. To be a follower of Jesus is to seek the healing of the whole world. And Lent is a time when we practice those disciplines as acts of solidarity with the broken and hungry and ill and despised parts of the world. I would invite you this Lent to think about your Lenten practice as an exercise in solidarity with all that is--with other human beings and with all of creation. That is most fundamentally what Jesus is about. He is about healing and restoring that broken world. So as you enter Lent, consider how you will live in solidarity with those who are hungry, or broken or ill in one way or another…” Migrants hunger for justice and dignity. They are broken and are ill in one way or another. May those who are in power over them, the employers, those who are in the corridors of power, those who craft policies and laws, may they listen to their cries and see the migrants as they are – as people with dignity and rights to be upheld – and be treated accordingly and not as pawns in politics or as investments for profit. January - March 2014
ang Joyce T
First of all, I am so thankful to be given this opportunity to take part in the voluntary work at Mission Centre for five weeks. This experience was remarkable and it will last in a lifetime. Cynthia and other staff at the office were so friendly to me and I felt happy to work there. It was good to help migrant workers who were in need. I was assigned to assist foreign domestic workers who have problems with their employers to draft letters to the Labor Department and fill in the application forms. I helped some other workers to jot down their problems in the application forms and most of their problems were related to placement fees. Some agencies forced them to sign unequal contracts before they came to work in Hong Kong. They had to pay for half of their salaries every month. This was very unreasonable since they already worked for such long hours with little pay. It was meaningful for me to do a little part in helping them fight for their salaries that they deserved. Aside from helping them deal with legal issues, I also joined their gathering at Hong Kong City Hall with Jacky. The gathering was amazing! They were so nice and friendly to us. They introduced us their songs and lyrics. Although I did not understand their lyrics very well, I could see their happiness when singing the songs together. Through the gathering I had a glimpse of their friendships and affection. Though working in a city far from their homes was hard, it was nice to see they have gatherings like this to tie them closer. They also taught us how to dance, and the dancing movements were so funny that Jacky and I could not help laughing loud. After that, they invited us to have lunch with them. I was given some Pilipino style pork and nuggets, which were very tasty. There were so much laughter and we had so much fun that day. I felt like I was emerged in their cultures and there were no boundaries at all. In addition to the gathering, I also joined their march. I also met Jade and Nora, exchange students from Lingnan. It was good to see other people also concern with the domestics foreign workers. The march was mainly focused on the corrupt Pilipino government, illegal recruitment and trafficking. In the march, I could feel their spirit for equality and their voices united them together. Before joining the voluntary work, I only knew the issues about migrant workers through newspapers. My understanding on their actual situations was not in-depth and very limited. I thought that the case of Erwiana was just an extreme case. And from my friends, they also had migrant workers at their homes and the workers seemed to be properly treated. However, after working at Mission Centre, it deepened my understanding on their problems such as two-week rule, placement fees and sexual assaults. I realized that the case of Erwiana was just a tip of the iceberg, and many other workers were also unequally treated while they were afraid to disclose their problems. Sometimes when my friends ask me about my voluntary work and the conditions of the foreign domestic workers, I am now able to give them more details on their problems and raise their awareness on the rights of the migrant workers. I also strongly encourage my friends to volunteer at Mission Centre and they are considering it. Besides, after this voluntary work, I realized that it was really hard for them to work that far away from their homes. They had to support their own families in Philippines so they could not quit their jobs easily. I felt that life is not easy and I felt very lucky that I can be around with parents. It made me even treasure what I have now. To me, university is not only about getting good grades, but also doing something worthwhile. I am glad that I joined this voluntary work. I hope that in the near future, I can do something similar so as to raise their sense of belongingness in Hong Kong and to facilitate the social inclusion.
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It has been a great experience for my placement to be assigned in the Mission. The experience not only gave me an opportunity to get involved with the community of foreign domestic helper, but also a journey of self-discovery and reflection on my values working as a social worker. In the 6-month-experience here in the Mission, I came across the sweetness and hardship as a foreign domestic helper in Hong Kong, which I had never imagined before. However, even though they might have different personal stories behind their smiles, they were strong and positive in striving to live a better life. For most of the time, I was being encouraged by this spirit and I just could not give up striving for justice like what you all did! Lastly, for the future or current employers, please be grateful with things that we may have always taken for granted, like our times with family. This is the dream of many of the foreign domestic helpers, just to have a moment to spend with their loved ones!
During the past 6 months of working for the Mission, I have gained precious experience of working with foreign domestic helpers, helping them to deal with court cases, police cases, or tribunal cases. Using therapeutic counseling approaches, I also rendered social work oriented counseling to address their emotional distress and personal problems, in the forms of individual counseling and group work. I also observed how many passionate staff and volunteers devoted considerable amount of time and energy to helping with this vulnerable group of women. I have long been interested in life and work experience of foreign domestic helpers. Due to a combination of reasons, such as social discrimination, social exclusion, as well as their identities as ethnic minority, they have been deprived of many entitlements that other working class people could enjoy. Recently, some friendly policies have been enacted to protect their legal rights. Many people with egalitarian thinking and philanthropic spirit have cast their attention to the life situation and work circumstances of foreign domestic helpers. Even so, incidences of physical abuse, verbal abuse, and financial exploitation against foreign domestic helpers still occasionally occurred. Therefore, the Mission has organized many mass programs to call on public attention and compassion. Shelters and food were provided by the Mission to accommodate those helpers facing various problems, who were dispelled from their employersâ€™ adobe. I was very lucky to be involved in many meaningful deeds of these kinds. Through working under the supervision of Mission staff with many years of frontline experience, I was able to acquire firsthand experience in handling court cases, police cases, and tribunal cases, providing individual counseling and group intervention with profound consideration of cultural sensitivity, as well as translating legal documents with proper use of language. This valuable experience has widened my horizon and capacitated me to work with people on an international basis, with open-mindedness and cultural consideration.
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welcome jessica! Introducing Emmi
e Kane n n a z u S
I have spent 5 months volunteering at the Mission every Sunday and am very sad to leave! From the moment I started working here I have felt so welcome by everyone at the Mission. I have met so many different people from different backgrounds and have learnt a lot from everyone. Many people who come into the mission have had a hard time with their employers, but they will always stay so positive and strong, with a smile on their face. Thank you for all the laughs, hugs, good times and most importantly… the food! I will miss the Sunday meals we share that are always so delicious! I am going to try cooking Filipino food myself although I doubt it will be anywhere near as tasty! I really hope that sooner rather than later, the Hong Kong government recognizes the importance of the work helpers do and that they give them the rights they deserve. Until then, I wish MFMW every success with fighting for Foreign Domestic Workers’ rights. The mission does an amazing job of supporting so many helpers in Hong Kong, and although my time here has been reasonably short, I will remember it with very fond memories.
I am Ng Chun Wing, my English name is Miffy. I am a final year student of Cultural Studies department in Lingnan University. I will participate into the Service learning program for the Mission for migrant workers. I would like to introduce myself. The reason why I wanted to join this program is that I have done a small research related to Hong Kong domestic workers in year one. The theme of that research was specific on the relations of Philippines’ domestic workers and the local communities. The rights and voice of domestic workers are always ignored by the politicians or the media; however, they are highly related on Hong Kong people’s experience of life. Moreover, they are important to the family who employed them. After hearing the case of Erwiana, I could not imagine there is such a serious maltreatment towards domestic workers in Hong Kong, or even more hidden cases that we don’t know, and it is so close to me. Therefore, I would like to know more about the situation of domestic workers in Hong Kong, and I wanted to know what I could do, and I hope that I could give a little help. What I could contribute to this program is that I have learnt Photography in Turkey Exchange Program; I hope it could be useful if the centre want to do any records of its activities. Moreover, I know English, Cantonese, Mandarin and general Japanese. I hope these can be useful. From my previous research and the presentation of Isabel of MFMW as our school guest lecturer, I had some brief understanding on foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong, I hope it can make my work at the centre smoother. Hello! My name is Emmi Matvejeff. I am a third year bachelor student at the Diaconia University of Applied Sciences, in Helsinki, Finland. I intend to graduate before the end of the year 2014. The work of a bachelor of social services may take place in the field of early childhood education, youth work, child protection, substance abuse, mental health, offenders, immigrants, old or disabled people, guidance and advice on issues of social security, social insurance, employment services and rehabilitation. At least in Finland, mental health problems and the increasing demand for substance abuse services for families and individuals are challenges our society is facing. I am also interested in helping immigrants to integrate themselves into the Finnish society and this is one of the reasons why I wanted to do my international internship in Hong Kong. Even though there are many cultural and geographical differences between Finland and other parts of the world, I would assume that the immigrants all over the world have similar challenges when integrating themselves into societies. Finland is known for ice hockey, sauna, the lakes and blue sky. I am a big fan of ice hockey! My family´s summer house is by the lake just beside a beautiful National Park where brown bears, beavers and beautiful birds live. It is a place where I can relax in peace and quiet. Northern lights, stars in the sky and sauna by the lake! I am grateful to Mission For Migrant Workers for giving me this opportunity to do my internship here in Hong Kong for the next three months. At the same time I have an amazing opportunity to get to know Chinese, Philippine and Indonesian cultures during my stay here! Hello, my name is Jessica Winslow and I am a 19 year old Women’s and Gender Studies student from the United States (Michigan). I am a volunteer from the Service Learning Program at Lingnan University, where I am studying for the semester. I am so excited to be working with the Mission For Migrant Workers during my short time in Hong Kong. In Michigan I am involved in several advocacy groups that seek to promote gender and racial equality, and I am in the process of becoming a peer advocate for my home university’s sexual assault prevention program. My commitment to women’s issues, racial justice, and human rights made me want to get involved with the awesome work that the Mission for Migrant Workers does, and I am so grateful for this opportunity.
MIGRANT FOCUS Migrant Focus is a monthly publication of the Mission For Migrant Workers (MFMW Ltd.) Editorial Team Cynthia Ca Abdon-Tellez, Jun Tellez, Norman Uy Carnay, Fr. Dwight dela Torre Contributors Vicky Casia, Beth Kauffman, Sara Lowery, Carlos Piocos III
Address St. John’s Cathedral, 4 Garden Road, Central, Hong Kong SAR Tel No. (852) 2522 8264 Fax No. (852) 2526 2894 E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Webpage http://www.migrants.net http://www.facebook.com/MFMWHK
Articles and/or graphics in this issue may be reproduced without permission provided full credit is given to the Mission For Migrant Workers (MFMW).
Your support will be most appreciated. You can issue cheques paid or deposit to: MFMW LTD. A/C No: 210-116448-883 Hang Seng Bank (Donation of HK$100 or more is tax deductible.) January - March 2014