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Meet our Volunteer – Grace Davis

MEET OUR VOLUNTEER – GRACE DAVIS

Say hi to Grace Davis in this edition’s “Meet our Volunteer”! Grace is a Senior Manager on the Group Insurance Marketing team at HSBC and has been a valuable volunteer over the past year, helping us write PathFinders’ marketing strategy to focus on creating awareness and empathy about the work we do.

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PATHFINDERS?

I was researching volunteer opportunities on various sites and I came across Pathfinders.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER AT PATHFINDERS?

I was immediately inspired by their mission (although obviously slightly saddened that it’s even an issue in the first place).

WHAT DID YOUR VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE AT PATHFINDERS ENTAIL?

I wrote PathFinders’ marketing strategy which focused on creating awareness and empathy about the work that PathFinders does to drive donations in terms of time and money. I worked closely with the Fundraising and Communications teams at PathFinders and spent several meetings listening to the organisation’s goals and also undertook my own research about what current marketing activity was taking place to define a simple and easy to implement marketing strategy.

One of the key things I am really proud of as a result is much better, more frequent and relevant engagement on social media channels. Followers on Instagram have increased almost 50% since August last year and LinkedIn followers have increased by 23%.

I also was lucky enough to volunteer at the PathFinders fundraising dinner last year too where I saw first-hand the generosity and spirit of Hong Kong as well as the opportunity to see the Unsung Heroes choir perform who were amazing!

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE ORGANISATION/NATURE OF THE WORK?

Gosh – where to start. Probably the first and most shocking is just how big an issue the plight of migrant mothers can be in Hong Kong. But I also witnessed the unwavering dedication of the team at PathFinders to address the issue and I also had the privilege of meeting some of PathFinders’ clients and their children.

DO YOU HAVE A MASSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE AT CORPORATES LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?

Think about your unique set of skills that you use on a day to day basis e.g. from marketing, sales, finance, to business planning and how they may help. These are things which large corporates have huge departments to take care of but often in NGOs it’s one person who double or triple hats across multiple disciplines so to be able to offer your skills or work on a specific project on a pro bono basis can be of huge benefit.

Even if you can’t volunteer, take the time to share NGO updates on social media to your network as this is a really simple and free way to help NGOs get their message out.

#volunteer #marketing #socialmedia #skills #strategy #experience#talent


Meeting with Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung

PathFinders’ CEO Catherine Gurtin, together with PathFinders’ Co-director of Services Jessica Chow, attended a meeting with Chief Secretary Matthew Cheung at the end of a busy first week for our new CEO.

Mr. Cheung and representatives from the Security Bureau and Labour and Welfare Departments updated PathFinders and other NGOs on the government’s Trafficking in Persons Action Plan which was launched last year.

#newCEO #CS #chiefsecretary #HKGov#HKgovernment


Educational Workshops Led by Next Chapters

PathFinders’ mothers and children enjoyed several engaging and insightful workshops led by Christy Themar from Next Chapters in January. The workshops covered topics including ‘Conflict Management’, ‘Decision Making’ and ‘Preparing your Child for Schooling’ and were delivered with great enthusiasm.

The team at PathFinders is extremely grateful to Christy for providing enriching information on the topic of parenthood to our beneficiaries.

Thank you so much Next Chapters for your incredible support over the past few years!

#workshop #education #conflictmanagement#decisionmaking #parenthood #support#guidance


HONG KONG NGO, PATHFINDERS, NAMES CATHERINE GURTIN AS CEO, SUCCEEDING KAY McARDLE WHO STEPS DOWN AFTER OVER 5 YEARS

The Board of PathFinders Limited is pleased to announce that Catherine Gurtin has been named as PathFinders’ new Chief Executive Officer, effective February 11, 2019. Now in its tenth year, PathFinders has helped over 6,150 of the most vulnerable ethnic minority babies, children and women in Hong Kong by providing shelter, food, clothing, access to healthcare, education, counselling and legal assistance.

Catherine succeeds Kay McArdle, who, with PathFinders’ endorsement, will develop a platform focused on providing legal and policy support for vulnerable women and children, including PathFinders’ clients. Kay becomes an Advisor to PathFinders.

Catherine previously worked at Save the Children for seven years, most recently as Chief Operating Officer in Hong Kong and also at the Confederation of Meningitis Organisations as a Consultant Coordinator. Prior to that, Catherine was an Associate Director in the International Public Affairs team at Pfizer. Catherine has a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from The University of Surrey in England.

Catherine Gurtin said, I am thrilled to join such an outstanding team and wonderful organisation. It is a privilege to take up this appointment and I look forward to applying my passions for networking and bringing together people with diverse backgrounds and skills in pursuit of PathFinders’ mission to ensure that every child has a fair start in life. I am also delighted that I’ll be working with Kay.”

Vivien Webb, PathFinders’ Board Chair and Managing Director and Head of Sales for Private Wealth Management Asia for Hong Kong and China markets at Morgan Stanley  said, “We are fortunate to have in Catherine a CEO who is already so familiar with PathFinders’ clients, work and key community stakeholders. Catherine brings experience in stakeholder engagement, project creation and management, and advocacy and campaign development and we are delighted to have her on board. I would like to express our gratitude to Kay for her vision and leadership. PathFinders’ work, and the plight of our clients, is now well-known both at home and internationally. We will continue to collaborate closely with Kay and the new access to justice platform. For us, this is the beginning of a new collaboration with Kay, the future of which we are most excited and optimistic about.”

Kay McArdle said, “It has been a tremendous honour and pleasure to serve as PathFinders’ first CEO. The clients, team and board are some of the most collaborative, resilient and inspiring people I know. As demand for PathFinders’ access to justice and policy work continues to grow, it makes sense to enhance it, thereby enabling PathFinders to focus on its core humanitarian services of social welfare, healthcare, education and home country integration. I am delighted that I will continue to work with PathFinders and its clients, and I look forward to working closely with Catherine.”

 


Community Outreach Kicks off at International Christian School Event

On January 20, 2019, we attended the International Christian School’s Domestic Helpers Open Day where we reached an audience of 500+ helpers. We were delighted to have the opportunity to deliver our message on maternity protections for migrant workers and all enjoyed the singing, dancing, games and incredible performances by students at the show choir!

#communityoutreach #education #migrantworkers #fdw #maternity #maternityrights #protections #gratitude

 


Meet our Volunteer – Katarina Berglund

MEET OUR VOLUNTEER – KATARINA BERGLUND

Say hello to Katarina Berglund in this edition’s ‘Meet our Volunteer’ Q&A!

Katarina is a regular, repeat volunteer on supplies donations days. She loves babysitting our beneficiaries’ children whilst they pick out clothes and is a familiar face to many at our Centre.

Thank you Katarina for all your help.
********************

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PATHFINDERS?

Lisa who works for PathFinders as a nurse, invited everybody at the Swedish Women Association to come and volunteer.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER AT PATHFINDERS?

From the start it was because I wanted to help the women who had contacted PathFinders. Now I also do it because it’s wonderful to be around the little kids on donation days.

WHAT DID YOUR DAY VOLUNTEERING AT PATHFINDERS ENTAIL?

I volunteer once a month, Thursday and Friday. On Thursday we sort all the donations and on Fridays lots of mums come and collect what they need. I assist the mothers with their babies while they pick out what clothes and things they most need. I also help keeping a record of who’s there and what they take.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE ORGANISATION/NATURE OF THE WORK?

PathFinders helps women and babies in need. Healthcare, education and donations are a few of the services provided.

DO YOU HAVE A MASSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?

Spend a day at PathFinders, meet the devoted staff and help lend a hand. Even small efforts make a difference.

#volunteering #volunteers #supplies #donations#sorting #clothes #foreigndomesticworkers #fdw#allchildrenmatter #gratitude


Happy New Year!

Happy New Year to our blog followers!

2018 was an incredible year – we celebrated our 10th anniversary and the milestone of having reached an amazing 6,000 beneficiaries. For that, we are indebted to you.

PathFinders is grateful to all our volunteers who help keep our programmes running.

In addition to ad-hoc opportunities (please contact us if you’d like to put your time or skills to use!), we are actively seeking volunteers to run a number of activities at our centre in Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, throughout 2019 eg: facilitating a workshop, sorting through supplies and taking care of babies whilst mothers collect their most necessary items.

If you’re looking to give back this year but don’t know how then visit our volunteers page –
http://www.pathfinders.org.hk/public/volunteer-calendar/ –
and GET INVOLVED now!

#volunteers #volunteering #supplies #workshops #community #getinvolved #givingback


Meet our Volunteer – Morgan Davis

MEET OUR VOLUNTEER – MORGAN DAVIS

We’re ending the year – and will be kicking off the new year – with regular spotlights on volunteers who have dedicated their time and expertise to helping us at PathFinders. Meet Morgan Davis, a reporter at GlobalCapital Asia (Euromoney) who usually writes about the bond market in Asia. Morgan and her team spent two days at work with us earlier this month – find out what she and her team got involved with below….and get in touch if you’re interested in volunteering too!

Thank you Morgan and the team at GlobalCapital Asia!

HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PATHFINDERS?

I first heard about PathFinders while watching The Helper Documentary. It’s a fantastic look at the lives of domestic helpers in Hong Kong. One of the helpers profiled in the documentary worked closely with PathFinders while she was dealing with her pregnancy and unemployment.

WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER AT PATHFINDERS?

At Euromoney we have two days per year to be used for volunteer work. Our team really wanted to volunteer with an organisation in Hong Kong that was helper-related. Most of us have part-time or full-time helpers, or we certainly know someone who does. PathFinders was an organisation that really resonated with us because of their work with these women, but also their role supporting them and filling in the gaps that exist.

WHAT DID YOUR DAY VOLUNTEERING AT PATHFINDERS ENTAIL?

Our volunteering really ran the gamut! Some of our team helped out with PathFinders’ holiday party, playing with the kids and even dressing up as Santa! The rest of the team put our journalism-related skills to work by speaking with caseworkers at PathFinders and writing up short profiles on some of their clients. We also worked on donor materials, formatting information sheets, and providing feedback on PathFinders’ website. We did a great deal of brainstorming as well, thinking about how the organisation can best communicate its message.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE ORGANISATION/NATURE OF THE WORK?

I think we were all amazed at the sheer volume of cases that PathFinders deals with each year! I had no idea there were so many women and children that needed this kind of support. It was also incredible to hear how hands-on PathFinders is in every step of these women’s cases— from the legal process to the medical process, and everything in between. Dealing with such a sensitive, at-risk population involves so much specialised work, and the PathFinders team seems to work all hours to make sure their clients get any help they could possibly need.

DO YOU HAVE A MASSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE AT CORPORATES LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?

Think about how to best use your skills! A lot of people like to do a team activity like painting a room or building a house. I know my previous companies have done work like this with Habitat for Humanity, community gardens, etc. But there are so many local charities that are desperate for your skill sets, be it writing (in our case), legal expertise, financial knowledge, graphic design skills, etc. Tell organisations you want to work with what your skill sets are and then ask how they can best be utilised. Also, think about the long term potential of your work. If you can become a repeat volunteer or dedicate even a couple of hours a month, it can make a big difference!

#volunteering #volunteers #journalist #skills #casestories #writing #foreigndomesticworkers #fdw #allchildrenmatter #gratitude


Meet Our Beneficiary – Jenny Negrillo

As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations we are sharing stories about our beneficiaries. Meet Jenny who is from the Philippines and has a now almost 3-year old daughter.

Thank you Jenny for sharing your story and photos of your beautiful little girl Janan Aubrey with our blog followers!

HOW DID PATHFINDERS HELP YOU WHEN YOU WERE PREGNANT AND AFTER YOU DELIVERED YOUR BABY?

PathFinders helped with hospital visits, hospital bills, immunisations for my baby, her birth certificate, and the visa extension. I also stayed in the PathFinders shelter for 4.5 months where everything I needed eg: food, bed etc were provided for me. When I was pregnant I joined a lot of classes run by PathFinders such as baby massage and parenting classes. I also went along to supplies collection days and am grateful to have received many clothes for my baby. Most importantly, PathFinders helped guide me to make good decisions for myself and for my baby as well as for my other three children back home in the Philippines.

HOW OLD IS YOUR CHILD NOW?

My daughter is almost 3-years-old and is living with my family in the Philippines while I have returned to work in Hong Kong for my old employer. This set up would not have been possible without the guidance and support of PathFinders.

HOW DID THE TEAM HELP YOU WITH YOUR RETURN HOME?

PathFinders helped pay for my baby’s plane ticket and followed up with me once I was back in the Philippines. PathFinders helped keep my visa valid then I returned home to take care of my baby for two years. Because I never overstayed my visa I was eligible to return to Hong Kong for work and so now I am back here with my own source of income.

DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR THE TEAM AT PATHFINDERS?

At PathFinders, you’ll be in good hands. The team helped me a lot and guided me to determine what was best for me, my baby and my family. They helped me when I just didn’t know what to do – I don’t know where I or my baby would be if it wasn’t for PathFinders.

#allchildrenmatter #PF10years #meetourbeneficiaries #returnhome #daughter #guidance #support