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PathFinders Happy Holiday Party

Our PathFinders team, with amazing volunteer and sponsor support, organized a terrific end of year HOLIDAY PARTY for our beneficiaries on 24th December 2012, which involved lots of food, gifts and love. Our volunteers helped to create food, played games with our beneficiaries children and even donated a fully decorated Christmas Tree to help create an end of year cheerful feeling to our party. Over 60 beneficiaries and 10 volunteers participated and enjoyed the party.

There were lots of smiling faces and full party bags for all the mothers and children as they walked home on the night of 24th December, Christmas Eve.

Our party could not have been such a success if it were not for the generous donations from the following people and organisations:

* The Yuk Ching Charity Trust donated money for food and also gift packs for our mothers and babies
* Karen Seymour and her sons donated special party food
* Joyful Praise Assembly donated their space for holding our big event
* The United Jewish Congregation of Hong Kong donated end of year gifts for the children
* Box of Hope donated mummy bags full of baby goodies for each of our mothers
* Gliding Children donated end of year gifts for the children
* Sunhflower Pottery Studio offered a significant discount rate for our beneficiaries to enjoy the creative activity featured at the party

We are extremely grateful and happy to have received the support of so many people and organisations within Hong Kong’s loving community which made our end of year party loads of fun and special for our beneficiaries, particularly their children.

To see photos of these happy times click here.

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Botanical Gardens visit with Moodys and HandsOn

HandsOn organized a team of volunteers from Moodys to take our beneficiaries on a wild adventure to the Botanical Gardens. The wet weather did not dampen everyones competitive spirit to find all of the animals in the park as a part of an ‘animal treasure hunt’ organised by HandsOn and the volunteers.

Thank you to Moodys for supporting our beneficiaries for the second year in a row. Last year the Moodys volunteers took our mums and babies to the Wetland Park for a day of nature and education.

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Halloween Party with Telstra

Telstra organized a Halloween Party for our beneficiaries which involved a dim-sum lunch at a local restaurant and party games focused on our younger children.  The Telstra volunteer team arrived early to decorate our office and source party supplies and yummy treats.  The balloon twisting and pumpkin costumes were clear favorites of our younger children.

Thank you to Telstra for organizing such a fun event which was enjoyed by all!

If you would like to see photos of our spooky day please take a look at our Facebook album.

See what other initiatives the Hong Kong Telstra team have been involved with through their volunteering and other community support programs.

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Telstra Outreach Event

Telstra’s Executive Leadership Team joined hands for a day with our Case Management Team to outreach to PathFinders beneficiaries living in remote areas such as Kam Tin and Yuen Long. In providing this opportunity to meet beneficiaries in their homes, the Telstra team were able to better understand the challenges faced by migrant women who have given birth to children in Hong Kong. Following the outreach visits Telstra and PathFinders then discussed the wider systemic problems leading to these mothers and children falling outside of Hong Kong’s social welfare next as well as PathFinders organisational challenges in delivering solutions. A group brain storming session then focused on ways that each individual and Telstra’s corporate community could help to plan and deliver solutions. We look forward to further collaborating with Telstra and CSL Limited and thank them for their support!

See what other initiatives the Hong Kong Telstra team have been involved with through their volunteering and other community support programs.

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Women for Humankind

Kylie Uebergang, Pathfinders Co-founder and Executive Director, participated in a panel discussion ‘Women for the Humankind’on 20 September 2012 at the Woman Extraordinaire Forum. In her remarks, Kylie discussed Pathfinders’ mission, work and impact on its beneficiaries. She also provided insight on some of the key factors that exacerbate the vulnerability experienced by foreign domestic workers and their children in Hong Kong.

In particular, she discussed how foreign domestic workers are often unlawfully fired upon notifying their employer of their pregnancy. Given Hong Kong’s two-week limitation imposed on them to find another job, pregnant domestic workers may overstay their visa. This has huge ramifications on the wellbeing of the foreign domestic worker and her future child.

Greater awareness among both foreign domestic workers and their employers of their rights and responsibilities could prevent many of these women and their children from marginalization and deprivation.

Kylie was joined by four other panelists, including: Cheung-Ang Siew Mei, JP, Executive Director of Christian Action; Sue Leong, Private and Charitable Trusts Planning Expert; and Puifong Leung, Co-founder and Board Member of Fair Trade Hong Kong. The panel was moderated by Rachel Cartland, Former Assistant Director of Social Welfare for the HKSAR government.

The panel, hosted by The Women’s Foundation, highlighted the work of leading women working in the NGO sector and engaged in the community. In the discussion, the panelists shared their experiences and challenges they often face working in philanthropy.

This second edition of the Woman Extraordinaire Forum (WEF) brought together a diverse array of women from several sectors and of different ages and nationalities under the banner “Women for the Future: leadership – innovation – philanthropy”. WEF is the largest thought leadership forum for women.

For more information on the event, please click here.

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Emerging from the Shadows

Sita was six months pregnant when she began to experience abdominal pains and bleeding. Worried something was wrong with her baby, she became frantic. A former domestic helper who had overstayed her visa, Sita was hiding from authorities and didn’t know what she could do to save her baby. She reached out to PathFinders…PathFinders met with Sita and learned that she began to work as a foreign domestic helper in Hong Kong soon after finishing middle school, sending nearly her entire salary back to Indonesia to support her family. After six years of work she decided not to renew her contract because she could earn two times her domestic worker salary working in a restaurant. Overstaying her visa, she worked as a cook at a local restaurant, where she met her boyfriend, a Hong Kong resident. She became pregnant and goes into hiding until an emergency arises and Sita has no other choice but to look for help.

After PathFinders helped Sita to access emergency medical care, our caseworker sat down with Sita and her boyfriend to discuss resolving Sita’s immigration issue and their future plans. Sita and her boyfriend decide for her to give birth in Hong Kong and to get married.

PathFinders accompanied Sita to the Immigration Department to surrender and become recognised, as a starting point. At her court hearing, Sita was sentenced to two months for overstaying for over two years, but the sentence was suspended in consideration of the fact that she had surrendered and her pregnancy. That summer Sita got married and her baby was born soon after, gaining Hong Kong residency by virtue of his father’s residency status. PathFinders helped Sita and her husband to navigate the complex immigration regulations for her to obtain dependent status and residency, a procedure that took over a year. Now, feeling extremely fortunate and planning to return to work when her child reaches school age, Sita is happily and legally residing in Hong Kong with her husband and child.

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Art Jamming with Community Business

Community Business staff organize an Art Jamming event for our beneficiaries. The event included a wonderful time of sharing between volunteers and our beneficiaries and an opportunity for the participants to express themselves through art. The children we serve were well entertained with a fun time of music and art! Through this experience, Community Business volunteers were able to learn more about the difficulties migrant women and their children face and to see first-hand how positive and resilient our beneficiaries are.

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Noah’s Ark with Goldman Sachs

Goldman Sachs Community Teamworks volunteers partnered with PathFinders for a day of fun at Noah’s Ark! Small groups of volunteers and beneficiaries, migrant mothers and their children, aged 0 to 3 years, set out to explore Noah’s Ark. Through this event, volunteers showed our beneficiaries a different side of Hong Kong, helped our beneficiaries to learn about different people, opportunities and culture, and brought fun and laughter to their lives!

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