MEET OUR VOLUNTEER – KATHERINE CHENG

Say hi to Katherine Cheng in this edition’s “Meet our Volunteer”! Katherine is a documentary photographer from Canada and a current student of the Master of Journalism programme at the University of Hong Kong. She has contributed her photography skills in our Save Our Shelter and Bridge The Gap crowdfunding campaigns.

1. HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PATHFINDERS?
I first heard about PathFinders through Time Auction, an online initiative that connects volunteers with NGOs. I saw that they were looking for a photographer, and wanted to be able to support their work.

2. WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER AT PATHFINDERS?
I believe that the mistreatment faced by migrant workers in Hong Kong is a rampant issue that needs to be more widely understood and urgently addressed. Especially when it comes to migrant mothers. I found PathFinders to be a unique organisation that is able to provide much-needed support for this community, and I wanted to be able to contribute in some way.

3. WHAT DID YOUR VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE AT PATHFINDERS ENTAIL?
I have been able to visit the homes of some of the mothers that PathFinders works with, listening to their stories and photographing their circumstances. These heartbreaking stories have ranged from the difficulties that they have encountered with being unable to return home to be reunited with their families, fear for the future of their children, and the violation of their basic rights. It's been an incredibly touching and humbling experience, and I am grateful to both the mothers and PathFinders family for welcoming me into their homes. 

4. WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE ORGANISATION/NATURE OF THE WORK?
This is not easy work. There are limited resources, and each case manager is responsible for many families at the same time. They are stretched quite thin, and I have been incredibly impressed with what they are able to accomplish in providing shelter, legal support, financial information, and more.

5. DO YOU HAVE A MESSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?
I would urge anyone interested in a just society to consider volunteering, donating, or sharing the work of PathFinders. There are many different ways for people to contribute, and we can all pitch in to work together. This is especially important with the challenges that have come from Covid-19, which have placed both the mothers and NGOs into a more precarious situation.  


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