Next month, ‘HK Helpers Campaign’ will finally launch its website, followed by an official launch a few weeks later. Six months in the making, the new multimedia and advocacy project is in the running to win HK$20,000 in funding from Awakening Cafe.
Throughout December, after each meal, each diner will be invited to vote for their favourite community project outlined in a leaflet. Each project relates in some way to the project’s ‘3 C’s’: Compassion, Community and Creativity. Hong Wrong strongly implores you to tick ‘HK Helpers Campaign‘ after you’ve wolfed down your tasty burger. Only 1 of the 10 projects will receive the HK$20k in January.
Don’t forget to tweet, Instagram and Facebook your vote! OR tweet this now to help spread the word.
What is the Campaign About?
- ‘HK Helpers Campaign’ is a new volunteer-led mulitimedia, legal and advocacy project designed to amplify the voices of domestic helpers, change how their community is perceived and fight for their rights in Hong Kong.
- We have spent months speaking to helpers, charities and NGOs to devise three simple, clear campaign points to fight for. (1) To end the compulsory ‘live-in’ rule, as it enables abuse and has been condemned by the UN. (2) For maids to be included in maximum working hours legislation. (3) For HK to enforce the law on agency fee overcharging.
- We are not offering direct support to helpers or forming a new charity. Instead of ‘repeating roles’, we will strengthen existing voices. Our bilingual, public campaign aims to shift HK’s culture through video, photography, journalism and our website. We seek to work with supportive politicians and assist lawyers who are interested in pursuing our campaign points pro-bono through the courts
How does the Campaign Meet the ‘3 C’s’?
Compassion: More than half of HK’s helpers are abused verbally, physically or sexually. Amnesty International published a report last month condemning the treatment of Indonesian maids in particular… Issues concerning helpers rarely elicit public sympathy, are often reported on poorly by the media (reinforcing stereotypes) and are not being pursued legally.
Community: HK relies on helpers – caring for our children, the elderly and running our homes. Our economy and society is reliant on helpers… We are a small, diverse group of volunteer activists with excellent contacts and friends in law, media, politics and HK’s NGO communities. (In July, we rallied more than 25 local groups to ‘Defend Snowden‘ at a grassroots gathering which gained worldwide attention).
Creative: The plight of some marginalised groups within the HK community (such as refugees and ‘cage’ people), are finally gaining some spotlight and momentum. However, HK’s existing helper NGOs and charities sometimes lack the creative media and PR skills required to raise local and international awareness of their stories and concerns… We will use our own multimedia skills and will commission artists, videographers and photojournalists to help create a mix of positive ‘humanising’ stories and more challenging exposés which can be freely resyndicated by ‘old’ and ‘new’ media outlets.
How would we spend the money?
Many of the creatives, journalists and lawyers involved are volunteering their skills but we can create a bigger splash with a monetary boost! Money would be spent on our web presence, our launch night, on commissioning professional videographers, photojournalists and artists and on making promotional material for the campaign (press/public ads, postcards etc…).
What is Awakening Cafe?
Cassy and Dan Silva kickstarted the top-rated Awakening Cafe last year. Specialising in American cuisine and yummy brunches, their restaurant is a true neighbourhood hotspot. The venue is a ‘place of purpose’ featuring live music community events and open mic nights.
A preview of HK Helpers Campaign blog content:
- HK Maid Community Gather for Global Dance-Off.
- Indonesian Maids Rally in Support of Abused Domestic Helper.
- Domestic Maids Plant Toy Grenades for Art… But Were the Curators Ethical?
- Grainne Quinlan’s Stunning Portraits of HK’s Helper Community.
- Now Gov’t Rules Make it Near-Impossible for Domestic Maids to Quit or Escape Abuse.
- Photo Project: ‘Why Do You Do What You Do’.
- Dreamseekers: Photographer Reveals Maid’s Journeys from Indonesia to HK.