Social worker hopeful looking at future of ethnic minorities Reported by Yanni Chow Edited by King Woo
Among the South Asians lingering outside Chungking
Mansions, social worker Jeffrey Andrews is the only one not handing out coupons to a curry house, or persuading passers-by to stay at the guest houses. Mr. Andrews works with those in need inside a building notorious for its unhygienic and dangerous environment. With his dark skin and short curly hair, Mr. Andrews blends into the Chungking crowd. As the smiling 34-year-old made his way through the twists and turns of the building, nearly everyone recognised him.
Shop owners greeted him and more dark skinned peers shook his hands with gratitude. “There are over a hundred countries represented here. It’s like a big family,” said Mr. Andrews, who is ethnically Indian, while waiting for the lift up to his office.The doors opened on the 16th floor and there was extra flight of stairs to his office. Mr. Andrews has been serving ethnic minorities and refugees at Christian Action, a charitable organisation that serves the city’s disadvantaged and abandoned, for ten years. He is the
first registered ethnic minority social worker in Hong Kong. Discrimination against people of colour is not uncommon in Hong Kong. They are often perceived as dangerous, undereducated, and poor. The Equal Opportunities commission handled 132 complaints related to race discrimination in 2018. Mr. Andrews is deeply passionate about promoting and educating people about ethnic minorities, which make up 8% of the city’s population, according to the Census and Statistics Department.
Located at the heart of the busiest district of Hong Kong, Chungking Mansions is home to people representing over a hundred nationalities.