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September Roundup

Sep 28th, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

Refugee Union was founded in 2014 and is Hong Kong’s first refugee-led community organisation. With the vision to safeguard refugee rights, since day one, we have been working closely with the community and co-organising diversified programmes to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees stranded in the city.

Activities at a Glance

This month we had a number of activities happening in our centre.

On 11/9, we were glad to have students and representatives from the Chinese International School, Delia Memorial School, and Fr. John Zhang’s Group visiting our centre. Later this month, we were also delighted to have students from The Chinese University of Hong Kong and King’s College giving us a visit. We can’t wait to work with you soon. Thank you for showing your care about refugee issues, it means a lot to us.

On 15/9 and 16/9, volunteers from Grassroots Future taught knitting and artwork classes in our centre for ladies and children respectively. We all enjoyed the classes. Meanwhile, we would like to thank all volunteers for spending time with us and their tireless efforts devoted to the programmes.

On 24/9, we were honoured to host Mr. Nick Rothwell, the Director of the Outreach Programme at Kellett School, at our centre. Thank you for sparing time with us and we look forward to the future collaboration.

Giving is a Blessing

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include but are not limited to food, clothes, baby’s items, furniture, and other daily necessities.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all donors for lending us a helping hand. Your support means a lot to us. As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need.

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

Thank you for supporting our initiatives and we look forward to hearing from you.

Crowdfunding for “Refugees Helping Refugees”

Sep 12th, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

The Refugee Union is the only organization where refugees help refugees. We registered as a society in 2014 to connect the asylum community with supporting residents and operate from a centre in Sheung Wan where members and supporters meet and collaborate. We believe that together we stand strong!

Refugee Union is made of a thousand members from 30 countries, including 200 children. Our services are greatly limited by the donations we receive. We mainly support families as they are the most vulnerable and in need of greater assistance. 

The monthly welfare for a refugee is: $1500 for rent, $1200 for food, $300 for utilities and $200 for transport to government appointments. No support is given for clothes, shoes, home fitting, cooking, cleaning, medicines and phones. Imagine, how do you cook food without a stove and pots? How do you help crying babies without diapers? How do you find longterm shelter with $1500 monthly? Refugees live below the poverty line and we cannot work under threat of 15 to 22 months in prison. 

We plead for your cash donations to make ends meet. It is practically impossible to live without money in a city where everything has a price tag. We have designed four tables to explain how we spend the money we are lucky enough to receive. See https://bit.ly/38FjT9x 

Through the Refugee Union we have the opportunity to reach out directly to you for assistance. We would be most grateful if you could contribute to this fundraiser so that we can support more refugees and show that many Hongkongers understand our predicament and are willing to assist.

You are warmly welcome to visit our centre and learn more about the predicament in which we live. As refugees can’t open bank accounts, we appointed the registered charity “Drink For Justice” to receive and disburse these funds to us in full. This platform collects no fees either.

Please share this crowdfunding page with your friends and on social media as it is the best way to spread the word and raise awareness. We believe that together we are stronger!

For these reasons we humbly appeal for your financial help!

https://go.sparkraise.com/fundraise-for-refugees-helping-refugees

August Roundup

Sep 8th, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

Refugee Union was founded in 2014 and is Hong Kong’s first refugee-led community organisation. With the vision to safeguard refugee rights, since day one, we have been working closely with the community and co-organising diversified programmes to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees stranded in the city.

We Have Moved

22 July is the day! After 12 unforgettable years in Sai Ying Pun, where we shared both great and challenging times, this month we were thrilled to announce that we have successfully moved to our new (smaller but cosier) centre in Sheung Wan.

You are most welcome to give a visit during our office hours: Monday to Friday between 10 a.m and 6 p.m.

Activities at a Glance

Things are going as usual. This month we had a number of activities happening in our new centre.

On 16 August, we were glad to have volunteers from Grassroots Future teaching the regular crochet class at our centre. Ladies were in love with their DIY products.

On 19 August, volunteers from Miles 6 gave us a special visit. We were thankful to have Rwan and Jason for offering kids math tutorial class and storybook club.

On 24 August, RUN Hong Kong invited us to visit their office and discussed ways to improve refugees’ assistance. Thank you for reaching out to us and we look forward to the future collaboration.

On the same day, we were thrilled to have Dr Bridget Liu from HKU, together with Grassroots Future and Dignity Kitchen, giving us an art therapy class and helping refugee mothers and children alleviate their stress. We all enjoyed the class.

Giving is a Blessing

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include but are not limited to food, clothes, baby’s items, furniture, and other daily necessities.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all donors for lending us a helping hand. Your support means a lot to us. As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need.

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

Thank you for supporting our initiatives and we look forward to hearing from you!

Who are the Refugee Union children?

Aug 24th, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

We are often asked this question and wish to share some information with our readers:
 
– The majority of children at the Refugee Union were born in Hong Kong as refugees.
– There are 200+ children of all ages among our active members, including 50+ babies.
– Their parents come from many countries in South East Asia, Africa and the Middle East.
– Many mothers are ex-FDH and 99% of fathers are refugees as these two social groups co-mingle.
– All children under the age of 14 were born in Hong Kong and have never left the city.
– Some of the older children were born overseas and sought asylum here with their family.
– Children cannot apply for residence as they inherit a parent’s immigration status and nationality.
– Their nationality is indicated on Immigration papers but very few actually hold a passport
– All children attend school from kindergarten to high school with support from the Education Bureau.
– Children receive food coupons and rent allowance (half of adult) from the SWD contractor.
– Like their parents, refugee kids do not receive clothes, shoes, bedding, school supplies, etc. from the government.
– Babies do not receive diapers from the government, so mothers depend heavily on donations.
– Children attendance at the centre depends on transportation money, programs and expected donations.
– We parents are very happy and thankful to collect donations for our kids at the Refugee Union!
 
We would be grateful for a small donation to our fund for basic needs.
 
Thank you in advance 🙏
 
https://go.sparkraise.com/fundraise-basic-needs-refugee-union

July Roundup

Aug 11th, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

Refugee Union was founded in 2014 and is Hong Kong’s first refugee-led community organisation. With the vision to safeguard refugee rights, since day one we have been working closely with the community and co-organising diversified programmes to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees stranded in the city.

We Have Moved

22 July is the day! After 12 unforgettable years in Sai Ying Pun, where we shared both great and challenging times, this month we were thrilled to announce that we have successfully moved to our new (smaller but cosier) centre in Sheung Wan.

You are most welcome to give a visit during our office hours: Monday to Friday between 10 a.m and 6 p.m.

Activities at a Glance

Things are going as usual. This month we had wide-ranging activities happening in our new centre.

On 24 July, we were thankful to Annita Crochet from Grassroots Future for offering us a handmade workshop. Ladies were in love with their DIY mosaic pouches.

On 27 July, we were thrilled to have Dr Bridget Liu from HKU, with Grassroots Future, giving us an art therapy class and helping refugee mothers and children alleviate their stress. Thank you for sharing time with us from a packed work schedule.

Thanks also go to our volunteers, Tulan and Ruxuan, for organising artwork classes and preparing games for refugee children. Kids were excited!

Apart from indoor activities, we also had a number of outdoor activities collaborated with our community partners.

On 29 July, our members were invited to visit the centre of Soap Cycling, one of our sponsors. We have learned how to make soap using waste. Thank you for inviting us and sharing useful knowledge with us.

We would also like to thank English for Asia for offering free spaces for our members to attend their regular English classes. Your support is much appreciated.

Giving is a Blessing

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include but are not limited to food, clothes, baby’s items, furniture, and other daily necessities.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all donors for lending us a helping hand. Your support means a lot to us. As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need.

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

Thank you for supporting our initiatives and we look forward to hearing from you!

Support for children’s education

Jul 31st, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

Hey World,
 
Our partners at Grassroots Futures are fundraising to bride school expenses for our refugee children. Please visit their website to support this challenging project 📘✏️
 
In Hong Kong refugee children must attend school by law until they turn 14 or graduate from high school. To cover expenses the families receive a government subsidy as mandated by the Security Bureau for which the Refugee Union campaigned in 2014.
 
The Education Bureau (EDB) waves monthly fees entirely and REFUNDS the cost of winter and summer uniforms, shoes (black and sport), school bag, curriculum books, some stationary, internet fees, lunch and school bus or public transportation for the child (not for the accompanying parent in the case of kindergarten and primary school) .
It is frankly a much welcomed and generous subsidy which does not compare with the inadequate assistance offered by the Social Welfare Department for general costs of living. See details here: http://refugeeunion.org/support/
 
However, the EDB disburses the education subsidy AFTER the start of the academic year by transferring it to the SWD contractor (ISS) which sits on the cash and rarely makes it available to refugee parents till December or January and even later in certain cases. Incidentally, this is an abuse of service that must be addressed, unless the objective is to cause distress in which case it is effective 😖
 
In the past, the EDB agreed to transfer the subsidy to certain NGOs or helpful residents who would then advance the cash to refugee families on the back of such written guarantees. That practice appears to have stopped for new refugees, though it is maintained where it was established years ago. It should also be noted that some school principals issue “Credit Notes” to refugee parents of good standing allowing them to collect the material first and pay later 👏
 
The delayed disbursement by ISS causes unnecessary financial stress on refugee parents who are pressured by school administrators to purchase all the necessary material in August before the start of the academic year in September.
The bridging finance refugees require varies from a couple thousand HKD in kindergarten to much more in high school. In other words, it is really a lot of money! You will appreciate it is a terrible situation for people not allowed to work, as the one desire that units all parents in the world is the education of our children 🌍
 
Please visit Grassroots Future social media to support, or you may donate through Refugee Union with tag “EDU”.
 
Thank you 🙏

Donate your government voucher

Jul 29th, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

Dear Donors,
 
if you are considering a charitable use for the $5,000 Consumption Voucher Scheme, please support the Refugee Union 🙏
 
Refugees in Hong Kong struggle below the poverty line with insufficient government assistance while prohibited from working under threat of 22 months in jail 👮‍♀️
 
You could really help us by:
 
1. Transferring cash to “Drink For Justice”
2. Buying Octopus cards
3. Buying diapers and baby formula
4. Donating supermarket coupons
5. Donating cash at our centre
 
Your donation will be processed through the registered charity “Drink For Justice” whose team supports Refugee Union since our beginning in 2014 👍🏼
 
Name: Drink For Justice
Bank: HSBC
Account: 741-200323-838
 
Thank you in advance 😊
 

We have moved!

Jul 22nd, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

Hi there, today is the FIRST DAY at the new centre in Sheung Wan! You are most welcome to visit and it’s lovely the sun is out again to help celebrate this important day 😎
 
The new address is: Unit E, 2 Floor, Lee Fung Building, 315-319 Queen’s Road Central, Sheung Wan, Hong Kong.
 
Believe it or not … Refugee Union finally has a lift … two actually!
Yesterday we were riding them up and down just for fun 🤣
 
Please help us if you can 🙏 
https://go.sparkraise.com/fundraise-basic-needs-refugee-union
 

June Roundup

Jul 6th, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

The Refugee Union Hong Kong was founded in 2014 and is the city’s first refugee-led community organisation. With visions to safeguard refugee rights, we have been working with our community partners, donors and volunteers, organising diversified programmes to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees stranded in Hong Kong.

New Centre Secured in Sheung Wan

We have enjoyed a free office space in Sai Ying Pun since our commencement of service. However, the pandemic struck and our fortune changed.

After a few months of fundraising, now we are thrilled to announce that we have secured a new centre in Sheung Wan. We are deeply grateful to our donors for their kind-hearted and generous support.

Giving is a blessing. We would greatly appreciate your small donations to support our basic needs and daily expenses for operating the new centre. The fundraising platform is available here.

Activities Happened in Our Centre

While we are planning to move, we continue to be the platform for asylum seekers and refugees to support each other and to engage with a wider community.

On 8 June, we were grateful to Grassroots Future for arranging us an art therapy class with Professor Bridget LIU from the University of Hong Kong. Professor LIU helped refugee mothers and children alleviate the stress they encounter in everyday lives. We all enjoyed the class, thank you very much for sparing the time with us in a packed work schedule.

On 19 June, we were honoured to co-organise the World Refugee Day celebration at the Hive Studios with Grassroots Future and Our Lives Matter. Panel discussions, art installation, and craft market were held. We have had great pleasure and inspiration with everyone in the event, thank you for supporting us. We would also like to extend our gratitude to the venue and event sponsors.

Good news never comes alone. We would like to show our special acknowledgements to the English Schools Foundation (ESF) for organising an art competition to raise the public awareness about refugee-related issues and fundraise for us. Thank you very much!

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include but are not limited to food, baby’s items, furniture, digital devices, and other necessities.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all donors for lending us a helping hand. Your support means a lot to us. As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need.

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the updates. You are also welcome to contact us by visiting our office or sending us an email at info@refugeeunion.org should you have any enquiry. We look forward to hearing from you.

May Roundup

Jun 3rd, 2021 | Advocacy | Comment

The Refugee Union (Hong Kong) was founded in 2014 and is the city’s first refugee-led community organisation. With visions to safeguard refugees’ rights, we have been working with our community partners (e.g., corporations, schools, other organisations, and individual donors and volunteers) and organising diversified programmes to improve the status quo of asylum seekers and refugees stranded in Hong Kong.

New Centre Secured in Sheung Wan

We have enjoyed a free office space in Sai Ying Pun since our commencement of service. However, the pandemic struck and our fortune changed.

After a few months of fundraising, now we are thrilled to announce that we have secured a new centre in Sheung Wan which will open in early August. We are deeply grateful to our donors for their kind-hearted and generous support. 

Giving is a blessing. We would greatly appreciate your small donations to support our basic needs and daily expenses for operating the new centre. The fundraising platform is available here.

Activities Happened in Our Centre

While we are planning to move, we continue to be the platform for asylum seekers and refugees to support each other and to engage with a wider community.

This month we received donations of wide-ranging items, which include but are not limited to food, books and stationary, baby’s items, furniture, and other necessities.

We would like to take this opportunity to express our heartfelt gratitude to all donors for lending us a helping hand. Your support means a lot to us. As always, we promise to deliver all donations we received to our members who are in need.

Please stay tuned to our official website and social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter) for the updates. You are also welcome to contact us by visiting our office or sending us an email at info@refugeeunion.org should you have any enquiry. We look forward to hearing from you.