MEET OUR VOLUNTEER – HOLLY WONG
Say hi to Holly Wong in this edition’s “Meet our Volunteer”! Holly is a prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher, parent educator, yoga teacher trainer, mother of a toddler and an expecting mom. Her mission is to provide education and resources to inspire a positive pregnancy, childbirth and parenting. With her teachings, she hopes to lead mothers on a path of self exploration that yoga provides - so that they discover the amazing strength and knowledge that women naturally possess. Since September, Holly has been providing prenatal yoga classes to migrant mothers at PathFinders.
1. HOW DID YOU HEAR ABOUT PATHFINDERS?
I first encountered PathFinders on an open letter that was sent to funders by an informal group of 174 nonprofits in Hong Kong, which PathFinders was part of - but what really tugged at my heartstrings was an Instagram post on the PathFinders account about a mother sleeping in a park with her newborn. According to the post, the mother was homeless as she was unlawfully terminated as a MDW (Migrant Domestic Worker); the baby had an infection developing on his legs. PathFinders took them under their wings when the baby was only 7 days old and gave both mother and baby proper care and shelter. As a mother of a toddler as well as an expecting mum, I cannot imagine the difficulties and stress that the MDW mum went through - and I can only imagine how grateful she would be for the help and support she got through PathFinders. That post brought me to tears and I knew that I had to help PathFinders and the underprivileged mothers and babies they support.
2.WHY DID YOU CHOOSE TO VOLUNTEER AT PATHFINDERS?
Since becoming a pregnancy yoga teacher - and especially since I became a mother - I've felt a special bond with mums and babies. It really takes a village to raise a baby, and I believe that the help that PathFinders provide to underprivileged moms and babies can empower them and give them a brighter future.
3.WHAT DID YOUR VOLUNTEERING EXPERIENCE AT PATHFINDERS ENTAIL?
Through teaching charity yoga classes, I have been raising funds for PathFinders. I have also invited MDW to join my yoga classes so that they can benefit physically and emotionally from them. It's a great opportunity for them to feel integrated with other mums and not feel marginalised.
4.WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT THE ORGANISATION/NATURE OF THE WORK?
To be honest, I had never thought about children who were born deprived of medical support, shelter and identity - or mothers who had to go through pregnancy and childbirth without protection or respect. I had naively assumed that our social welfare system would take care of everyone in our city, and I hadn't heard of these stories before coming across PathFinders. I was shocked (and a bit ashamed) when I found out, and wished that I personally had done more earlier to help this vulnerable population. Raising a child is no easy feat, and it's especially difficult if someone had to do it alone with no resources or help at all. I have found the MDW mums who attended my classes very lovely and appreciative, and I am so glad that I can provide a way for them to feel more confident and empowered.
5.DO YOU HAVE A MASSAGE FOR OTHER PEOPLE LOOKING TO VOLUNTEER?
It's important to recognise that deep down, we are all the same. Regardless of our background, race, upbringing - every mother and child needs support and love. Just because MDW mothers and children come from a different country doesn't mean that they deserve any less. And every little bit helps! I know that we all lead busy lives in HK, but we can all contribute in our own ways: you can donate money or maternity/baby items, you can offer your time by volunteering. Never underestimate the impact that you can make with your kindness!