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ScCO needs Flag Day Volunteers

13 Apr

Society for Community Organization was founded over 40 years ago to champion the rights of the grassroots of society in Hong Kong. During the 1970s, driven by a strong commitment to promote community development, a group of social-minded missionaries came together to start this organization. Since then, their cause has been mainly financed through donations from overseas churches, the Community Chest, government and individuals.

ScCO’s Flag Day will be held on 22 Jul 2017 (Saturday).

ScCO hopes to raise $600,000 so that their cause to combat local poverty can be sustained. Rest assured that funds raised will be used solely for serving the disadvantaged groups locally and civil rights education in Hong Kong.

Support ScCO’s flag day to show your care and concern to the underprivileged.

Date: Saturday, 22 July 2016

Time: 7:30am – 12:30pm

Place: Kowloon

Individual and group volunteers are welcome. For more information and to download the application form, please visit their website.

About Society for Community Organization (SoCO): Society for Community Organization (SoCO) is a human rights pioneer in Hong Kong. SoCO firmly believes that everyone should be entitled to equal rights. Equal opportunity for participation and fair distribution of social resources is the foundation of human rights. In the face of the widening disparity between the rich and the poor, and the increasingly restrictive political arena, SoCO stands firm in their crusade to establish an equal society and to build a strong power base for the people. SoCO is motivated by a common dream, and that is: “Let us work hand in hand and shoulder to shoulder to build a caring, equal and just society“.

SoCO is an incorporated, non-profit-making and non-governmental community organization. It was formed in 1972 by people from the Catholic and the Protestant church under the ecumenical movement.

It was financially supported by donations from overseas churches, the Hong Kong Community Chest, the Hong Kong Government and individuals. SoCO has, through civic education programs and social actions, nurtured grassroots people with a sense of civic rights so that they can exert their political power to the Government. These people have, during the course, regained their self-confidence and cemented with one another to champion for an equal social system. In view of the plight of the marginalized groups, SoCO also provides direct and emergent services to temporarily relieve their hardships.

Volunteer for Helpers for Domestic Helpers

12 Jan

hdh
In 2016, there are more than 340,000 Foreign Domestics Workers in Hong Kong. Filipinos comprise the majority, followed by Indonesians. The remainder is made up of Thais and other Asians.

Helpers for Domestic Helpers (HDH) is a non profit organization that provides free advice and assistance on employment, immigration and human rights issues to domestic workers in Hong Kong.

Their mission is to ensure that every domestic worker in Hong Kong, irrespective of race, nationality, religion or gender, has access to justice and receives equal and fair treatment before the law. Every year, HDH deals with more than 1,000 new clients and respond to an average of 3,500 requests for telephone and face to face consultations and assistance.

HDH was originally founded in 1989 by a small group of lawyers who worshipped at St John’s Cathedral, where Filipino domestic workers are a substantial part of the congregation. The lawyers recognised a widespread need for free legal counselling and practical assistance for domestic helpers who could seldom afford the professional services of a private lawyer. The work began informally, with Sunday “clinics” in Cathedral premises to which helpers could bring their problems and receive help in resolving them. The operation soon became full-time, operating under a small core of full-time staff as the demand for its services increased beyond the capacity of just a few volunteers.

Over the years, HDH has assisted thousands of domestic helpers in distress – over 1,700 new clients in 2013 alone – and helped recover millions of dollars in compensation through the courts or by direct intervention.

The services HDH provides include:
hdh2– Explaining to domestic workers their legal rights and guiding them in pursuing claims in the Labour Tribunal and other Courts;
– Giving advice in cases where a domestic helper is accused of a criminal offence which, typically, will be one arising from or otherwise connected with their immigration status or employment;
– Assisting domestic helpers to draft witness statements and Court documents for use in Court proceedings;
– Preparing clients for conciliation meetings and Court hearings;
– Liaising with various Government agencies including the Police, Immigration and Labour Departments about clients’ cases; and
– Writing letters to employers and recruitment agencies on behalf of clients and helping to negotiate settlement agreements when possible, to avoid protracted litigations.
– Assisting in the recovery of personal belongings and other documents unlawfully taken from them.
– Assisting clients in recovery of excessive and unlawful commission (placement fees) paid to employment agencies.

What you can do to help
Are you interested in making a difference in the community? Last year, HDH helped over 1,700 domestic workers access justice and provided them with free advice and support, with the help of pro bono lawyers from various international law firms in Hong Kong. HDH is looking for volunteers to help them continue this important work and they are especially keen to hear from volunteers who have the following skills and experience:
– Grant Writing
– Advocacy
– Translation (especially Tagalog, Bahasa Indonesia, Malagasi, Cantonese or Mandarin)
– Office Administration
– Fundraising
– Event Management
– Media, PR or Communication

If you can contribute in one or more of these categories, please send your CV/resumé and the Volunteer Application Form to Holly Allan at HDH@stjohnscathedral.org.hk with ‘Volunteer Applicant’ in the subject line.

852 Freedom Campaign

7 Dec

852-logoThe 852 Freedom Campaign is a new justice movement with a focus on raising up our next generation’s abolitionists to help end modern slavery in our lifetime.

This is a city-wide movement of fighting modern slavery and 852 Freedom Campaign is mobilizing churches, companies, schools to volunteer their talents and do their part to help.

852-freedom-campaign-3852 Freedom Campaign is also partnering with frontline NGO workers who help victims of slavery and exploitation. And they are campaigning with an international TV channel to reach the city of Hong Kong and through their network of more than 1,400 churches. People from over 30 different churches supported their first event, the Sweatshop Challenge, on May 8, 2015.

Objective
To mobilize ordinary people across Hong Kong and Asia to play an active role in fighting human slavery by using their skills and abilities to raise awareness, funding and new initiatives. See this article in SCMP on 6 November 2016.

Target Groups
852-freedom-campaign-1Target group includes anyone who has a heart for wanting to see slavery end. This includes: Christians, students, business people, professionals, NGO workers, and the general public.

Partners
To help address this important human rights issue, the 852 Freedom Campaign, the International Christian Assembly (ICA) Church and The Mekong Club have initiated a new justice movement entitled “852 Freedom Campaign” with a focus on raising up the next generation’s abolitionists to help end modern slavery in our lifetime. Any organization willing to join from all areas, including: churches, corporations, NGOs, schools, universities, and community groups etc.

Approach
852-freedom-campaign-2The objective of the 852 Freedom Campaign is to mobilize ordinary people across Hong Kong to play an active role in fighting human slavery by using their skills and abilities to raise awareness, funding and new initiatives.

If you are interested in adding your voice to the 852 Freedom Campaign, please reach out by following this link and complete the contact form.

Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (RainLily)

5 Jul

What is Sexual Violence?
Sexual violence is an act of violence, in which most of the victims are women. Any kind of intended or planned offence by a person in terms of act, language or attitude with a sexual implication to another person’s body to such an extent that, irrespective of relationship or place, it causes the latter to have a feeling of fear, being threatened or insulted, constitutes an act of sexual violence.

Sexual violence is not merely a kind of sexual behavior, but an act of violent attack by means of sex so as to dominate others. The term does not only limit to rape and indecent assault, but also embraces any kind of sexual abuse without body contact that can still cause the victims to feel fear, being insulted and harmed (including sexual harassment).

rainlily 3Established on 8 March, 1997, the Association Concerning Sexual Violence Against Women (“The Association”) is a non-government charitable organization founded by a group of people who are concerned about women’s rights and gender equity, in particular sexual violence against women.

The Association endeavors to bring issues of sexual violence against women to the attention of both the government and the community. The Association also appeals to the government and the community to offer victims support to pursue their legitimate interests and restore their life with confidence and dignity.

Belief:
● Everyone should enjoy basic human rights and dignity and be free from any form of infringement or discrimination.
● Every woman should enjoy freedom and liberty of life.
● Every woman should be able to protect herself from any sexual assault.
● The government should be responsible for building a social environment with
gender equality, respect and non-violence.
● The community should address issues concerning women being threatened
and harmed by sexual violence, encourage victimized women to be brave, and
support them to restore their dignity, as well as to combat the occurrence of
any crime of sexual violence.

Mission:
● To arouse the public concern about sexual violence;
● To advocate formulating a complete set of policies against sexual-violence; and
● To offer support services to women suffering from sexual violence and help them restore their dignity and
self-confidence.

rainlily 2The Association set-up hotline service in its inception, and started to provide counseling service for victims in October 1998. In April 2000, the Association issued its Anti Sexual Violence Action Plan (反性暴力行動綱領) which stipulated the Association’s recommendation and proposals. To promote community concern, the Association has also been running a series of educational campaigns, exhibitions, seminars and workshops in various communities such as primary and secondary school, social organizations and professional bodies, conducted numerous researches and publishes a Chinese newsletter “Combating Sexual Violence” (反擊).

With support from the Jockey Club Charitable Fund, in November 2000, the Association set up RainLily, Hong Kong’s first one-stop crisis center for female victims of sexual violence. Now supported by the Community Chest, RainLily continues to offer the victimized women a one-stop service around the clock, included pregnancy prevention, screening and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases, forensic medical examination, psychological support and reporting to the police.

The Association, sponsored by the Community Chest, inaugurated the Anti 480 – Anti Sexual Violence Resource Centre on 22 July 2006. The Centre serves as a platform for the Association’s educational and advocacy efforts, and also provides resources for community education.

How you can help
volunteer-1024x493Volunteers are an important cog in the wheel to support victims of sexual violence as well as to promote anti-sexual violence/gender equality education. At the same time, Volunteers are indispensable working partners of ACSVAW.

Through training courses and the experience of actual participation in the project, volunteers obtain a wealth of knowledge of sexual violence and gender equality. Volunteers make a determined effort to learn and apply the skills and knowledge acquired.

For more information about volunteer opportunities, please get in touch ACSVAW directly by visiting their website.

Student internships also available. For enquiries please contact ACSVAW at 2392 2569 or via email acsvaw@rainlily.org.hk.

Imagine That!

7 Jun

imagine thatImagine That! is a non-profit community arts festival that will take place in Hong Kong from 17-19th June in the lead up to World Refugee Day (20th June).

Show solidarity for the refugees in Hong Kong and abroad through the reclaiming of our public space and connecting the community through arts.

Arts has been the centre of the Refugee Art Movement’s workshops with refugees and asylum seekers. It has been a vehicle for frienship across barriers and now the Refugee Art Movement wants the same to happen beyond their workshops; in our city!

about a brideThere’s film, a poetry slam, art workshops, brunch, speed debating, much to do and learn from!

sense thatDate: 17 – 19 June 2016

Location: Various venues

To find out more, please visit their website

About The Refugee Art Movement: The Refugee Art Movement is a student led initiative that provides arts orientated workshops for refugees, asylum seekers and the wider community in Hong Kong. Started in Hong Kong by a group of students and staff at the University of Hong Kong in August 2015, they wanted to connect people from different socio-economic backgrounds and cultures to build long lasting friendships in Hong Kong.

The Refugee Art Movement uses art, drama, film, photography, music and more to encourage cultural exchange in this diverse city, mutual education and friendship.

In addition, the project aims to educate people about the realities faced by refugees and asylum seekers within Hong Kong and around the world.

The Refugee Art Movement knows from experience that there are so many people with a passion for arts, education and humanitarian issues and so they work to bring them together to use their skills for the benefit of our society. For more information about their work, please visit their Facebook page.

Justice Centre Hong Kong

24 May

justice centreJustice Centre Hong Kong is a non-profit human rights organisation working fearlessly to protect the rights of Hong Kong’s most vulnerable forced migrants: refugees, other people seeking protection, survivors of torture, human trafficking and forced labour.

Launched in 2014, Justice Centre Hong Kong was formerly Hong Kong Refugee Advice Centre, which over seven years, helped more than 2,000 refugee men, women and children on the road to a new life.

Building on their expertise in refugee issues, they identified a clear need for an increased response to tackling forced labour and human trafficking in Hong Kong, and expanded their remit to fill this gap.

Justice Centre Hong Kong advocates with and for forced migrants, bringing their voices into the public debate. They campaign for legislative and policy change, conduct research and work with the media and civil society to fight root causes and change systems and minds.

Justice Centre Hong KongAt their centre in Sai Ying Pun, people seeking protection in Hong Kong receive free and independent legal information and specialised legal and psychosocial assistance.

Justice Centre Hong Kong receives no government funding. Instead, they have spearheaded an innovative pro-bono working model that sees leading international law firms provide financial assistance and donate hours to help with legal research and support. They also harness funding from a variety of trusts and foundations and through individual donations.

How you can help:

There are numerous opportunities to volunteer with Justice Centre Hong Kong from protection claimant services and research to fundraising and events, design & communications. Justice Centre Hong Kong recruits committed and passionate individuals according to their current needs. Most volunteer opportunities require a long-term commitment (usually six months) and the right to work in Hong Kong. Justice Centre Hong Kong advertise volunteer opportunities on their website and in their quarterly e-newsletter; sign up for updates here.

Development Associate
This is an exciting volunteer opportunity to join their Fundraising and Development team in raising vital funds for our direct services and advocacy work to protect the rights of refugees, other people seeking protection, survivors of torture, human trafficking and forced labour.

This is an ideal role for someone seeking a part-time opportunity to use their skills in PR/marketing/fundraising/business development, and will suit some-one who is passionate about leveraging their knowledge and connections to create long-lasting partnerships to secure funding and support for the work of Justice Centre Hong Kong. For more details of the scope of the role, please click here.

The role requires a commitment of 3 days per week for six months. To apply, please email your CV and cover letter to jobs@justicecentre.org.hk by 5pm on Friday June 10. Applicants invited for interview will be contacted by Tuesday June 14. Unfortunately, due to the high level of interest in their organisation, Justice Centre Hong Kong is only able to reply to shortlisted applicants.

Click here to find out about their other vacancies.

Young Advocates Programme
The Young Advocates Programme (YAP) is a unique programme for high school students to gain hands-on experience in a human rights setting, with coaching by Justice Centre Hong Kong staff and an opportunity to develop the skills and experience they need as they start the process of applying for university courses.

Building on their extensive experience leading practical clinic programmes to mentor university students, YAP was launched four years ago to extend this valuable mentorship to a select group of high school students in order to build up the future generation of human rights advocates.

Through the intensive programme, Young Advocates get involved in all areas of Justice Centre Hong Kong’s work, from the provision of legal and psychosocial support to refugees, to anti-human trafficking research and advocacy. Places are limited to two places per programme in order to enable them to offer a tailored programme to each Young Advocate and for their staff to dedicate time to mentoring and coaching them.

Who can apply?
YAP is open to select students who have Hong Kong residency and are aged between 15 – 18 years old. Young Advocates should have a keen interest in human rights law, NGO management and refugee rights. The programme is aimed at students interested in a career in law, human rights, government, social policy, or NGO management generally.

How do I apply?
Applications for YAP are now closed for the summer 2016 programme. Details of the Summer 2017 will be available in December 2016. Please contact Zamira Monteiro at zamira@justicecentre.org.hk for enquiries.