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My family needs your help

Feb 24th, 2021 | Advocacy, Personal Experiences, Refugee Community, RU updates, programs, events, Welfare | Comment

“When the choice of escaping to Hong Kong came along, it seemed like a dream” recalls Sharon. But several years later she is bitterly disappointed. The mother fled her country due to unspeakable violence suffered by one of her children. A professional, but also a widow, the authorities failed to protect her from powerful abusers determined to shut her mouth – one way or another.
Over the past years Sharon learned that asylum protection in Hong Kong is granted to less than 1% of claimants, the few who meet unrealistically high standards of proof. But the ways of the world are complex and its wicked currents sweep away many unable to document their plunge.
 
With an inhumane pincer movement, HK government oppresses refugees with insufficient welfare as well as stiff jail terms with the stated goal of “avoiding a magnet effect” as if slapping every student in class will prevent scoundrels from joining! Frankly that turns refugees into beggars. We don’t have enough money for rent and food. We are provide no clothes, shoes, hygiene products (shaving cream, sanitary pads and diapers for example), glasses, household items and phones. We are given one roll of toilet paper a month…
 
We need your help not because we are unfit to make a living or lazy, but because we sought asylum in #hongkong and are condemned to live in poverty with one hand tied behind our back.
We have been unable to open a society’s bank account, so donations are channeled through “Drink For Justice”, a registered charity that disburses financial aid to refugee families.
You donation will make a tangible difference in our life. You are welcome to visit our centre to learn more and perhaps sponsor a refugee family to learn what is needed and how money is spent.
Please WhatsApp 98287176 and share with your friends. Thank you
  
 
 
My family needs your help 1

January Roundup

Jan 31st, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

Refugee Union was founded in 2014 with the vision to safeguard the rights and protection of the asylum seekers and refugees stranded in Hong Kong. Since day one, we have been working closely with our partners in the community and organising diversified programmes to improve the well-being of our members.

Cover Photo

New Activities Mark the Beginning of a New Year

At the beginning of 2021, this month we are thrilled to have a series of new activities happening at our centre.

We are grateful to Tegan and Grassroots Future for organising an online yoga class for our lady members, helping us to relax our body and refresh our mind.

Yoga Class

We are also thankful to HandsOn Hong Kong for preparing New Year Care Packages, which contain utilities and personal protective equipment, for our members.

Hands On Hong Kong

Donations Keep Going

We would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to all our Donors for lending us a helping hand. This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include but not limited to necessities, furniture and personal protective equipment such as surgical masks and hand sanitisers.

Donation

As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need. Thank you very much for all your generous support!

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the updates, and feel free to contact us by visiting our office or sending us an email at info@refugeeunion.org should you have any enquiry.

Updated Immigration figures on Unified Screening Mechanism

Jan 28th, 2021 | Detention, Government, Legal | Comment


Immd - Updated figures Dec 2020

Tai Tam prison to reopen for asylum seekers

Jan 28th, 2021 | Advocacy, Detention, Government | Comment

The Standard - Tai Tam prison to reopen - 22Jan2021

Please donate!

Jan 21st, 2021 | Advocacy, Refugee Community, RU updates, programs, events, Welfare | Comment

“What’s going on?” you might be thinking.
Please take a few minutes to walk in our shoes.
 
We refugees (called Unified Screening Mechanism or USM claimants in Hong Kong) are banned from working under Section 38AA of the Immigration Ordinance. We sign a document agreeing to this restriction when we are released from detention.
The case that sets the sentencing tariff is “Usman Butt HCMA 70/2010″. https://bit.ly/393HHVD The starting point is 22.5 months after trial, 15 months after 1/3 discount for guilty plea. it is usually followed by weeks/months in Immigration detention.
One of our female members was recently released from jail for working illegally. She went straight to Yuen Long to pick up her two children who had been taken in by a Refugee Union member.
The Government provides us with insufficient assistance, namely: $1500 rent, $1200 food coupons, $300 utilities and $200 transportation – for a total of HK$ 3,200 per month. There has been no increase since January 2014.
The Government claims it is sufficient to prevent refugees from working. We call this the “BIG LIE” because there is no provision for clothes, shoes, haircuts, SIM cards, shaving cream, lady products, baby products or toilet paper … you get the picture!
What about the big expenses everyone pays in Hong Kong? Rent and rental deposits for example. The cheapest, windowless, 10 m², rundown, subdivided room costs $4000. Two refugees can share a room but they only receive $3000 for rent.
Yesterday two refugee ladies came to the office. They were homeless but had located a room in Yau Ma Tei for $4500. They were distressed because to raise $1500 they both had to ” .” The Refugee Union provided the cash.
You might think it is just an example with shock value, but to walk in our shoes means sharing our challenges and worries. “How to get money?” is a daily preoccupation, one we bare stoically because we are responsible for ourselves and our families.
The Refugee Union helps us with its limited resources. It is the only NGO that hands out cash to refugees. Now you can help us directly by donating cash to “Drink For Justice” – a registered charity that pass 100% of your donations to us. https://bit.ly/3bUe0YJ
If you have questions or want to speak to us, please contact us through WhatsApp 9828 7176 or come directly to the office at
3/F., 102 First Street, Sai Ying Pun, Hong Kong.
 
THANK YOU
 
 
Please Donate Fyler - 20Jan2021

December Roundup

Dec 25th, 2020 | Advocacy | Comment

Refugee Union was founded in 2014 with the vision to safeguard the rights and protection of the asylum seekers and refugees stranded in Hong Kong. Since day one, we have been working closely with our partners in the community and organising diversified programmes to improve the well-being of our members.

Cover Photo

Many Hands Make Light Work

To start with, this month we are thrilled to announce that the Facebook page of our centre has reached 10,000 followers, meaning that more and more people would like to learn more about the challenges of seeking asylum in Hong Kong. Thank you all, your support means a lot to us.

Photo 1

This month we are also delighted to have Ms Sophia Zhang from ESF Sha Tin College organising jewellery and craft workshops for our members. These activities belong to the project ‘Refugee Connect’ initiated by Ms Zhang and in partnership with our centre, which aims to empower asylum seekers and refugees stranded in Hong Kong. Please click here for more details about the project. We thank Ms Zhang for her great support of the local refugee community throughout the years.

Photo 7

New Year, New Hope, New Opportunities

It is December this month, in this festive season, we wish everyone of you a Merry Christmas. Projecting the coming year, we see new hope and opportunities at our centre.

First, may we send our warm welcome to photographer Ms Karling Hamill (@littlekarstar) for visiting our centre. Ms Hamill will be taking photos of our members for an upcoming programme at our centre. Stay tuned for more information.

Photo 2

Second, we are also looking forward to collaborating with the wonderful volunteers at Hands On Hong Kong in the coming programmes at our centre.

Photo 6

Donations Keep Going

Last but not least, we would like to take this opportunity to express our sincere gratitude to all our Donors for lending us a helping hand. This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include but not limited to necessities, personal protective equipment and digital devices. As usually, we promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need. Thank you very much for all your generous support!

Photo 5

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the updates, and feel free to contact us by visiting our office or sending us an email at info@refugeeunion.org should you have any enquiry. Happy New Year!

Project: Refugee Connect

Dec 22nd, 2020 | Refugee Community, RU updates, programs, events | Comment

Refugee Connect is a student project led by Sophia Zhang at ESF Sha Tin College. Our mission is to empower refugees and asylum seekers, particularly women. We aim to help them connect with families, society and most importantly, themselves. By law, refugees cannot work – therefore, they rely on the meagre government aid of $3200 a month to survive. This not only prevents them from accessing many essential resources in Hong Kong, but it also strips away an important aspect of their humanity – dignity. 
 
To alleviate this, Refugee Connect launched Project Link by Link (in partnership with the Refugee Union), a jewellery and crafts workshop for refugee women to help channel their creativity and regain their dignity with something they made with their own two hands. After a series of workshops, the end products are the handmade accessories, crafted with love and laughter, displayed in the order form below:
 
By purchasing these handmade products, you are supporting these refugee women and making a positive change in their lives. All proceeds will be donated back to our refugee participants to help them buy mobile data cards and other essentials, something that they often do not have access to due to lack of disposable income. This will help them stay ‘connected’ with their families back in their home countries, as well as with Hong Kong society in general. 
 
Please visit our website: https://www.refugeeconnecthk.com
You can also donate to our cause here: https://gogetfunding.com/refugee-connect/
Follow us on Instagram @refugeeconnecthk
 
Thank you for your support!
 
Refugee Conect 1
 
 
Refugee Connect 2

Changes to Hong Kong immigration law could re-victimise those fleeing torture and persecution

Dec 16th, 2020 | Advocacy, Immigration, Media | Comment

SCMP - Changes to Immigration ordinance - 16Dec2020

November Roundup

Nov 29th, 2020 | Advocacy | Comment

Refugee Union was founded in 2014 with the vision to safeguard the rights and protection of the asylum seekers and refugees stranded in Hong Kong. Since day one, we have been working closely with our partners in the community and organising diversified programmes to improve the well-being of our members.

Fundraising Platform Launches

This month we are thrilled to announce that we have launched our fundraising platform on SimplyGiving. It also marked the beginning of our #beahero fundraising campaign. The fund raised will be spent on supporting the daily operation of our centre and serving our members. Don’t be a bystander, let us be a hero!

Photo 1

Happenings in Our Centre

On 13 November, we were glad to have Harmon, Holly and Leslie from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) teaching children Cantonese at our centre. Thank you for helping our kids to integrate into Hong Kong, where they were actually born.

Photo 2

On 15 November, we were delighted to have Sophia from ESF Sha Tin College organising a jewellery class for ladies at our centre. Thank you so much for your time and efforts.

Photo 3

On 17 November, we were honoured to have an opportunity learning how to make soap with Soap Cycling. We are most thankful to your teaching.

Photo 4

Donations Keep Coming

We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to all Donors for lending us a helping hand in times of the coronavirus pandemic. This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include daily necessities and personal protective equipment. We will be delivering all of them to our members who are in need. Thank you very much for your generous support!

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the updates, and feel free to contact us by visiting our office or sending us an email at info@refugeeunion.org should you have any enquiry.

October Roundup

Nov 18th, 2020 | Advocacy | Comment

Refugee Union was founded in 2014 with a vision to safeguard the rights and protection of the asylum seekers and refugees stranded in Hong Kong. Since our commencement of service, we have been working closely with our partners in the community and organising diversified programmes to improve members’ psychological and social well-being.

Blog Update

New articles for this month are now available:

Zhang, Sophia. ‘Crossing the red line.’ [Read here] (28-10-2020)

Chow, Vania. ‘When wasted time is the only certainty.’ [Read here] (18-10-2020)

Beck. ‘I will keep trying and never give up.’ [Read here] (11-10-2020)

We would like to send our acknowledgement to our writers for their great contributions.

Happenings in Our Centre

On 10 October, we were glad to have Sally coming to our centre and giving kids a drama class. Thank you for your time and efforts. We all enjoyed the class.

Drama-Class

 
Community Engagement

On 4 October, we were honoured to host Project Spark HK at our centre. We appreciate their passion for providing quality education for children and look forward to the programmes they will be offering with our centre.

Project Spark HK

On 21 October, the sixth anniversary of our centre, we were delighted to host Maggie from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and Claire from the Hong Kong Baptist University at our centre. We appreciate their efforts

CUHK x BU

Donations Keep Coming

We would also like to express our sincere gratitude to our donors for lending us a helping hand in times of the coronavirus pandemic. This month we received donations of different items, which include daily necessities and protective equipment for our members. Thank you very much for your generous support!

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the updates, and feel free to contact us by visiting our office or sending us an email at info@refugeeunion.org should you have any enquiry.

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