Archive | October, 2013

Christian Action

27 Oct

christian actionRoughly 4,500 survivors from wars in Sri Lanka, Nepal and as far away as Uganda and the Congo have made it to Hong Kong. They arrive physically and emotionally scarred. Christian Action is the only comprehensive provider of services to refugees, so they turn to Christian Action for help.

When legal immigrants arrive in Hong Kong from mainland China needing help, Christian Action is one of the few organizations which are open late at night, and have an office in Shenzhen. When their children, and the children of Hong Kong’s ethnic minority groups need language classes, Christian Action provides those too.

Christian Action provides pro-bono legal and psychosocial help; offers abused domestic helpers refuge in safe shelters and provides a wide range of other services.

Christian Action was established in 1985 as a registered charitable organization in Hong Kong. Their mission is to serve those who are poor, disadvantaged, marginalized, displaced or abandoned regardless of their age, gender, nationality and religion.

ca 2Christian Action’s aim is to give them hope, dignity and self reliance. Services provided include:
Humanitarian programs in Hong Kong for refugees, foreign domestic helpers, ethnic minorities, children and youth from low-income families in Hong Kong and cross-border families and immigrants from Mainland China.

Training programs for the underprivileged and unemployed and professional training services for corporate clients needing specialized training for their workforce.

Christian Action offers a variety of opportunities for you to be involved in their programs.

Ethnic Minorities – Whether they have just arrived, or have been living in Hong Kong for several generations, many Nepalese, Pakistanis and Indians face intense social and economic obstacles resulting in segregation, unemployment and poverty. Language and cultural barriers are a large part of the problem but racial discrimination is often the final straw that extinguishes all hope of a better tomorrow. For them even access to basic services can be a major challenge. Christian Action’s committed team of staff and volunteers have a holistic approach that helps to:
– Break through the language barrier with ongoing Cantonese and English language classes, and the provision of interpreters and escorts to the hospital and social welfare department.
– Solve housing and welfare issues with consultations.
– Educate through workshop, vocational training, career counseling, mentoring for the unemployed and IT skills for all adults and children.
– Promote psychosocial health
– Organize numerous large public events that bring together an average of 1,000 local residents and ethnic minorities each year!
– Dialogue with the Hong Kong Government on policy and service provision improvements.
Christian Action has realized the unique needs of women and the elderly in the Ethnic Minority community, so they provide interest classes, women and elderly support groups. Their target members are now more accustomed to social gatherings and they are gradually being trained to be our Ambassadors and serve the community with their cultural strengths.
– They play the role of bridging the divide between the Ethnic Minority community and Hong Kong society, by organizing cultural sensitivity trainings; this helps the people to understand more about the Ethnic Minority culture and their lives in Hong Kong, thus minimizing the gap due to stereotyping and unfamiliarity.
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Refugees Christian Action runs a comprehensive service center for refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong’s Chungking Mansions. To date, they have registered over 3,700 refugees and asylum seekers and 10 – 20 new clients approach them each month.
Christian Action‘s Chungking Mansions program assists refugees with basic essentials such as shelter, food, clothing, toiletries, and emergency cash grants.
Christian Action is also one of the few sources for education and training support, as well as psychosocial and mental health services.
Christian Action’s staff opens doors for children to attend school and for adults to learn new language and vocational skills and use their time in a productive way. Each week their dedicated volunteers offer between 12 – 15 classes in subject areas such as English, Cantonese, computer training, youth development, football, music, drama, and handicrafts.
Christian Action’s pro-bono team of counselors, therapists, and psychologist help those who are grappling with trauma and depression; their team of skilled and compassionate caseworkers help members of our community access the services available to them by the government and other partners in order to live a full, dignified life in Hong Kong.

These are just a few examples of work that Christian Action does in Hong Kong and the volunteer opportunities offered. If you want to know more, please visit their website and get in touch with them directly.

CAB – More photographs of Old Hong Kong and the Tales They Tell

26 Oct

cabLocal history enthusiast and founder of David Bellis is back to show another selection of old Hong Kong photographs from his collection. Most photos were taken around 1900-1930, and show a Hong Kong that has long since disappeared. They have been scanned at high-resolution and digitally restored, so David can zoom in to show us their hidden details, and tell us the stories behind them.

The photos and stories are grouped around three themes:
– Who / What / When / Where – how we uncover a photo’s secrets
– Piecing together a photo album’s story
– The view from the Peak – 100 years of change

Date: Wednesday 20th November 2013

Time: 7:00 pm

Location: Harold Smyth Room, St. John’s Cathedral, 4-8 Garden Rd, Central

Cost: $250 (including a glass of wine and refreshments)

Seating is limited so pre-booking is required. Please call CAB at 2815 5444 to reserve your seat, or e-mail

Doors will open at 6:15 pm, wine and refreshments will be served prior to the talk.

All proceeds benefit the Community Advice Bureau

cab hkAbout Community Advice Bureau (CAB):
The Community Advice Bureau (CAB) is an information and referral service offering free, confidential and impartial help and advice on any subject related to living and working in Hong Kong. Staffed by volunteers, CAB answers questions over the telephone or by email. CAB also publishes free booklet called Living in Hong Kong covering a host of useful topics for newcomers. CAB is a registered charity reliant on donations to provide its services to the community.

Riding for the Disabled

5 Oct

rfdRiding is widely recognized as one of the most beneficial forms of therapy the disabled can receive. It builds self-confidence, improves concentration and self-discipline and, at the same time, provides recreation and sport.

Riding for the Disabled was founded in Hong Kong in 1975 by the then Governor’s wife, Lady MacLehose. A small group of helpers and riders met once a week at the Hong Kong Jockey Club’s Riding School at Beas River. Horses and ponies which belonged to the Jockey Club were used, as well as mules from the British Army Transport Division. The programme was so successful that Lady MacLehose obtained a government grant for land at Pokfulam, and the jockey club built a riding school for the use of the disabled, incorporating a public riding school and a PHAB centre. The Pokfulam Riding school opened in Sep. 1978 and RDA now has its base there.

ridingfordisabledToday the RDA runs weekly horse riding lessons for disabled children and adults, operating out of Jockey Club riding schools in Pokfulam, Tuen Mun and Sheung Shui. Riders have a wide range of disabilities, including Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness and autism. Riding offers a sense of freedom and personal dignity that might otherwise be hard to achieve, and pupils also experience the pleasure of riding and the discipline involved in learning to control a horse.

Participants in the RDA’s annual dressage competition have gone on to represent Hong Kong at the World Dressage Championships for Disabled Riders.

Volunteering: Demand for lessons far outstrips supply and the RDA welcomes volunteers of any age or background. Riding experience or knowledge of horses is an advantage, but is not essential. In fact, training is provided. The group needs volunteers to help with riding lessons, but also behind the scenes on the administrative side. If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please visit their website, complete and submit their volunteer application form.