Meet our Volunteer – Linda Burgoyne
In this edition of our “Meet our Volunteer” series meet Linda Burgoyne, CEO at Matilda International Hospital. Linda is a qualified and experienced CEO with over 20 years’ experience in the Asia Pacific region and 4 years’ in the Middle East. She is passionate about patient-centric care and has proven success in engaging community partners whilst effectively maintaining an active role in professional organisations and charities. Thank you Linda for all your support!
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PATHFINDERS?
I’d heard about PathFinders and wanted to find out more. When I visited I was handed a vulnerable baby to hold…..I knew our staff at Matilda could help and the rest as they say is history!
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER/SUPPORT PATHFINDERS?
I originally trained as a midwife so caring for mums and babies is very personal to me. Matilda provides excellent maternity care and we are all willing and committed to giving back to the community so it’s a great fit. PathFinders staff are truly passionate – even my mother who lives in Wales and visited PathFinders once persuaded her friends to knit hats and winter jackets for the babies.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE ORGANISATION/NATURE OF THE WORK?
We’ve been actively involved in PathFinders’ access to healthcare programme which is a fantastic initiative providing access to vital medical services and bridging the gaps in the service provision. Matilda doctors provide antenatal check-ups, blood tests and a scan for mums and checks for ill babies.
DO YOU HAVE A MASSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE AT CORPORATES LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?
Often said but nevertheless still true – you always get more back than you give.
#volunteer #CEO #hospital #patientcare #partnership #midwife
Malabar Baby is known for its eco-friendly natural fabrics and hand-made block-printed bedding, towels, and pyjamas for children and now adults.
Visit the cafe and shop Malabar Baby’s collection, giving back a portion of sales to PathFinders’ beneficiaries.
Thank you Malabar Baby and Crossfit Asphodel for this exciting collaboration!
We are delighted to announce that Morgan Stanley have selected PathFinders to be one of their two new Hong Kong core charity partners. Over the next two years, they will support projects providing social welfare and health services to vulnerable ethnic minority children.
Thank you, Morgan Stanley!
Gellin Byatt, Programme Officer at PathFinders, was included on The Zubin Foundation’s prestigious “Diversity List: Youth to Watch”, a list of smart and talented individuals under the age of 35, born and raised in Hong Kong who are willing to serve on HKSAR Government advisory bodies.
This list is prepared by The Zubin Foundation (TZF), who is supporting the HKSAR Government in its goal to double the overall ratio of youth members advising the Government to 15% within the current-term administration.
The list was launched a few weekends ago and was presented to the HKSAR Government. Congratulations Gellin on this amazing achievement!
#diversity #youthtowatch #HKSAR #government #advisorybody #achievement
(Registered Social Worker)
We are seeking a high-caliber candidate to fill the position of Case Manager. Our office is in Tai Kok Tsui.
- Provide comprehensive assistance (including crisis intervention and field work) to migrant workers who are pregnant and/ or have children in Hong Kong;
- Accompany beneficiaries to ensure access to services including hospitals, Immigration Department, police stations, Legal Aid Department, Labour Department, Labour Tribunal, law firms, etc;
- Introduce PathFinders’ services to beneficiaries and provide guidance to them in planning for her infant’s care, parenting options, future life options and to monitor the implementation of that plan;
- Ensure that vulnerable children and their migrant mothers are protected and are safe from harm;
- Conduct home visits as appropriate;
- Provide counselling and emotional support to migrant women as appropriate;
- Conduct individual assessments including assessments for shelter-admission purposes, attend shelter meeting regularly;
- Liaise and build collaboration with NGO agencies, government departments, professionals and volunteers who offer services that assist vulnerable children and migrant women;
- Educate the public on behalf of PathFinders on issues relating to migrant women and their children;
- Develop close relationships with the migrant women community for the purpose of outreach to and education of this population;
- Build issues-awareness, work with and monitor volunteers and interns in undertaking the above;
- Conduct workshops and hold small group discussions as appropriate;
- Respond to hotline enquires
- Meticulously and regularly document work in PathFinders’ case management system (SalesForce) including, in particular, case records, referrals, summary reports, statistics and meeting file notes for efficient case tracking, referral to lawyers and outside agencies data analysis, reporting and research purposes; and
- Be comfortable collaborating and communicating with a small, dedicated team all of whom also need to be involved in certain aspects of office administration, programme development.
● Diploma or above, Hong Kong registered social worker (RSW).
● Excellent command of spoken and written English and either proficient in Cantonese/ Bahasa Indonesian.
● 5-day work, sometimes be required to work at weekends (with time off in lieu);
● Keen to improve the welfare of children, migrant workers and pregnant women;
● A positive thinker with a can-do attitude, willing to foster organisational and community development;
● A good team communicator and player, a quick learner who is able to work under pressure and in a dynamic environment;
● Proficiency in PC and Smartphone operations including MC Office, Excel, PowerPoint, Whatsapp etc. Training on using SalesForce will be provided;
Please send your resume including cover letter, with current and expected salary, and possible start day by email to email@example.com
Applicants who do not hear from us in two weeks of application should consider their applications unsuccessful.
All information and personal data provided by applicants as part of this recruitment process will be treated in confidence and used for recruitment for this role only.
PathFinders is a committed equal opportunities employer.
As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations we are sharing stories about our beneficiaries. Today, meet Alice* who is from the Philippines and has a two-month old daughter, Rose*.
Thank you Alice for sharing your story and we wish you all the best in your return home to the Philippines!
* not her real name
#allchildrenmatter #PF10years #meetourbeneficiaries #returnhome #daughter #guidance #support
HOW DID PATHFINDERS HELP YOU WHEN YOU WERE PREGNANT AND AFTER YOU DELIVERED YOUR BABY?
I first heard about PathFinders when I was pregnant with my daughter Rose*. I informed my employer of my pregnancy when I was 3-months pregnant and they terminated my contract the next day. I didn’t receive any severance pay and didn’t even get my last month’s salary.
I had nowhere to go and felt so scared. I found a boarding house and slept in a room of around 10 ladies for a few months before hearing about PathFinders and moving into their shelter for the remainder of my pregnancy. My Case Manager was always so kind to me and patiently took me along to healthcare appointments and workshops, making sure I was taking good care of myself throughout my pregnancy. The PathFinders’ legal team also helped push for my outstanding salary and other entitlements from my ex-employer and arranged an extension of my visa so I could temporarily remain in Hong Kong.
HOW DID THE TEAM HELP YOU WITH YOUR RETURN HOME?
The PathFinders team helped secure a one-way ticket for me and my daughter Rose back to my home town in the Philippines and gave me advice on what to pack, when to head to the airport, how to care for my baby on the flight etc. I requested an evening flight as I want to arrive at my village in the dark so no one can see me with my new baby. I feel scared and ashamed. I was touched by how the staff at PathFinders showed support for my fear and granted me this wish.
DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE TEAM AT PATHFINDERS?
I am so grateful for all the help PathFinders gave me at a time when I felt so lost and confused. They never judge a woman’s circumstances and simply wanted what is best for me. Because PathFinders helped to keep my visa valid I still have a chance to support my family on my own and hope to return to Hong Kong to work in the future.
WE ARE HIRING!
HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL: We are looking for a healthcare professional to join Pathfinders’ Access to Healthcare Team. Part time/flexible – 2 to 4 days/week
ABOUT THE ACCESS TO HEALTHCARE TEAM: Our small Access to Healthcare Team help clients to get access to healthcare when they are denied by the public healthcare system. Through our Health Centre we perform basic antenatal check ups, basic newborn health screens, support and educate the mothers through pregnancy, birth, breastfeeding and with baby care. We work together with a small team of doctors that sees our clients pro bono or to a reduced fee. We perform postnatal home visits to ensure that the child is brought up in a safe environment, and help the women to get access to contraceptives to prevent unplanned pregnancies.
Job responsibilities include:
• Provide basic medical pre- and postnatal check ups at PathFinders’ Health Centre. Lead supportive and empowering one-to-one talks with clients
• Perform postnatal home visits to clients and provide advice on breastfeeding, baby care, parenting and safety
• Accompany clients to Family Planning Association, Doctor appointments, and hospital visits
• Train and supervise programme volunteers and interns
• Collaborate and communicate with PathFinders’ multidisciplinary and multicultural team
• Continually evaluate effectiveness of our services and implement changes to the program as needed
• Develop and maintain relationship with healthcare organizations and providers
• Bachelor’s degree, or higher in midwifery or nursing
• English is required, Cantonese or Bahasa Indonesian is a bonus
• Commitment to the mission and vision of PathFinders
• Flexibility in travel throughout Hong Kong with occasional weekend and evening hours required
To apply: Please send your CV including cover letter, current and expected salary and possible start day to: Lisa Ringner Naeckter, Access to HealthCare programme Manager at PathFinders, by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
All information and personal data provided by applicants as part of this recruitment process will be treated in confidence and used for recruitment for this role only. PathFinders is a committed equal opportunities employer.
Meet our Volunteer – Dr. Yvonne Becher
In this edition of our “Meet our Volunteer” series meet Dr. Yvonne Becher, Chief Executive and Director of Programme Development & Learning at the The Child Development Centre. Dr. Becher has extensive experience as a distinguished psychologist and maintains strong links to both academic and behavioural research, consulting on UNICEF projects and partnering with The University of Hong Kong – HKU – 香港大學 as a lecturer and on projects relating to early childhood development.
Yvonne comes in to to the PathFinders every month to help screen children for developmental delays – one afternoon she managed to see 14 children! Thank you Yvonne for your kind support!
HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PATHFINDERS?
By actively searching for organisations serving ethnic minority groups in Hong Kong to include in a research project.
WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER/SUPPORT PATHFINDERS?
Because I am glad to have a skill set that can help the PathFinders clientele.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE ORGANISATION/NATURE OF THE WORK?
It provides a crucial service to a marginalised group in Hong Kong.
DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE AT CORPORATES LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?
Be in it for the long-term, even if it is sporadic; listen and learn to the life stories you are privileged to encounter; and never be judgemental.
Our Access to Healthcare (A2H) team recently hosted a birthday party for all our PathFinders babies who just turned 1!
Five children and their mothers joined the party.
We played games, ate cake, read story books and opened birthday presents which included books, toys and baby supplies.
Happy birthday PathFinders babies!
#birthday #presents #gifts #specialday #allchildrenmatter
To celebrate International Women’s Day, we are delighted to announce that we have been chosen as the charity beneficiary for Liza Avelino‘s next mountain climb! Liza is a domestic helper from the Philippines who shared her story and passion for climbing in The Helper Documentary and will be climbing the highest peak in Iran, a 5,671 metres volcano called Mt. Damavand, in July 2019.
Find out more about Liza (and her brutal training regime!) in this Q&A and please pledge your support and share your encouragement by donating here.
Thank you Liza for being an inspiration to so many and for dedicating your climb to our beneficiaries!
#IWD #climb #climbing #mountain #peak #beneficiary #helperdocumentary #FDW
TELL US ABOUT YOURSELF:
My name is Liza Avelino and I am 48 years old and originally from the Philippines. I arrived in Hong Kong in 1996 to work as a domestic worker. It was the first time I travelled outside of my country. Hong Kong in the 1990s was a prime destination for foreign domestic workers. It offered a better working environment and higher salary compared to other countries in Southeast Asia and the Middle East. I was one of the thousands of hopeful and brave people flocking to the city to earn a living to support families back home.
WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO GET INTO MOUNTAIN CLIMBING?
Hong Kong’s beautiful hiking trails motivated me to become a mountain climber. But it started a long time before I moved to Hong Kong. You see, growing up, I was so poor that I couldn’t finish secondary school. But I am a dreamer and I had big dreams. That dream was to travel the world and see places, people and cultures. When you’re ten years old and penniless, those dreams seem hopeless. But then it didn’t cost me anything, so I kept on dreaming.
I’m an avid reader and love to read anything I can get my hands on – old books, magazines, pieces of newspaper, etc. It was this habit which took me to the library one Sunday during my day off, after I started working in Hong Kong. In 2004, instead of sitting at the square doing nothing, the library soon became my shelter from the sun and rain. There I found a book – Discovering Hong Kong’s Cultural Heritage by Patricia Lim, which described self-guided walks of the WWII defense of Hong Kong.
On my next day off, I set out on one of the trails mentioned in the book that leads up to a hill overlooking the city, and the hiker in me was born. I have been hiking every weekend since, I joined a local hiking group and later became a volunteer hike leader. In 2010, I started to participate in the 100km HK Oxfam Trailwalker to challenge myself. During my vacations, I did short hiking trips to Mt Pulag, Mt Guiting Guiting, Mt Hibok Hibok, Mt Kanlaon and Mt Arayat in the Philippines, Mt Yarigatake in Japan, Mt Kinabalu in Malaysia, and Mt Hallasan in South Korea. Those short trips made me realise that I am living my childhood dreams.
With a boost in my confidence and a strong belief in myself, I figured I could do longer trips and higher altitudes. I summited Nepal’s Everest Base Camp and Island Peak Base Camp in 2015 and Everest Base Camp and Island Peak’s Crampon Point in 2016, summited Mt Kilimanjaro the highest mountain in Africa in 2017, and summited Mt Dafeng and Mt Erfeng of the Siguniang Mountains in Sichuan, China in 2018. When I’m standing at the summit I feel a sense of freedom. It makes me feel closer to heaven, literally.
TELL US ABOUT YOUR TRAINING REGIME FOR THE UPCOMING EXPEDITION TO IRAN?
I go for long, four-to-five-hour hikes over the hills carrying a 15kg backpack on the weekends. After I finish work, I walk up and down the staircase of our 21-storey residential building with a weighted backpack for one hour every other day. I also do a 45-minute bodyweight workout three times a week on weekdays. I join a one hour bodyweight workout hosted by Pherform at Tamar Park before going to dragon boat water training with my team every Sunday morning. It takes a lot of training, but it’s worth it to be able to reach the summit of a challenging mountain and see how far I’ve come in my life.
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS FOR OTHER FDW’s LOOKING INTO TAKING UP A HOBBY? OR TIPS FOR PEOPLE TAKING UP HIKING/ MOUNTAINEERING?
My advice to fellow domestic workers is to determine what hobbies and activities most interest you and don’t be shy to ask around and interact with people, or do some research over the internet. There are lots of online forums for hobbies. There are so many activities that are available in Hong Kong for FDW’s, there are team sports like Touch Rugby, Cricket, Trail running, Painting, Hiking, Volleyball, Swimming, and Dragonboating.
Mountain climbing can be an expensive but rewarding hobby. Start conditioning your physical fitness and try hiking on easy trails to gradually level up to more strenuous routes. You need stamina and a plan. Planning your climbing destination should be a priority. You can make it a goal by saving for it, cutting unnecessary spending, working overtime, and even trading your public holidays if necessary to earn extra money. Buy gear one piece at a time, put up a photo of your target mountain next to your bed, make it a screensaver on your phone and laptop to serve as photo motivator to remind you of your goal. Stay focused and work towards your climb. Then off you go and make it happen.
DO YOU PLAN TO CLIMB ANY OTHER PEAKS OVER THE COMING YEARS? WHICH?
I am always fascinated by Mt Everest. Two other mountains that I put on my list are the
‘7thousanders’ Mustagh Ata in China and Lenin Peak in Tajikistan. Although the time and resources it’s needed seems impossible to achieve right now, I am not giving up on my mountains. I am keeping the dream alive at the back of my heart, for now. Someday, I will be able to climb them.
Those are big dreams, and I know the challenges can sometimes kill the spirit, so to keep my hope alive, I also have a list of smaller peaks that is possible for me to realize. After Mt Damavand, I plan to climb Mt Kazbek in the Caucasus mountains of Georgia.
WHAT TRAITS DO YOU THINK ARE IMPORTANT WHEN CLIMBING MOUNTAINS?
For me it is important to have:
Patience- you need to give yourself time to learn and develop your skills
Discipline- having the self-control and the motivation to complete your task in realising your goal, it can also help you maintain focus when facing problems and obstacles, also it helps you keep calm and collected in dangerous and unexpected circumstances
Determination- this is extremely important to your success. If you don’t have the desire, or the drive to do something, then you simply won’t do it.
WHY HAVE YOU DECIDED TO DONATE FUNDS RAISED FOR YOUR CLIMB TO PATHFINDERS?
I have always been very supportive of organisations who help the less privileged groups in our society, especially women and children. I watched the film The Helper Documentary where PathFinders helped and assisted the helpless Nurul and her daughter in their terrible circumstances in Hong Kong.They helped her get back her dignity and find her way home to Indonesia. Without the PathFinders’ assistance, I don’t know what would happened to her or others in similar situations.
For that, I am thankful for everything PathFinders does to help vulnerable women and children in our society. I want PathFinders’ mission and vision to continue and I would like to contribute whatever I can to show my support to PathFinders advocacy.
Please come with me in spirit and support my journey to the roof of the Middle East by donating to PathFinders and together let us make a difference we want to see in the world.