160 Migrant Domestic Workers Graduate from Financial and Empowerment Education Programme

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On March 12th 2017, Enrich held its second graduation ceremony at the University of Hong Kong, with the theme “Empowered to Achieve”. 160 Filipino and Indonesian migrant domestic workers graduated from Enrich’s financial and empowerment education programmes. This year’s number of graduates is triple the number of graduates from the 2016 graduation ceremony.

The graduation was opened by Professor Maggy Lee from the University of Hong Kong, and the keynote speech was delivered by Eni Lestari from the International Migrants Alliance. She spoke of the role of Enrich in transforming migrants’ hurdles into achieving their goals to a progressive future. As a migrant worker she said that “we need to plan our goals based on our capacity’’ and that the family left behind should learn how to manage the migrant remittances.

Speeches were also given by the Consulate General from the Philippines, Hon Bernardita Catalla, Hon. Jalilo dela Torre, Labor Attache from the Philippine Overseas Labor, Mr Erwin Akbar, Consul for Economics Affairs from the Indonesian Consulate and Iroh Baroroh, Labour Attache from the Indonesian Consulate. Bernadita Catalla spoke of the need to be frugal and to “be willing to focus to train your sights for the future”, she advised.

Two graduates spoke of how completing Enrich’s workshops had enabled them to manage their money, set up their businesses and were empowered to reach goals they had previously thought were unattainable. One of the Filipino graduates, Liezl Mercado, recalled how her struggles did not dampen her enthusiasm to learn, in fact it made her even stronger to pursue her goals. Mercado said attending the free Lunch and Learn investment seminars of Enrich taught her how to put into plan action the knowledge through the guide of her prepared business plan. Other attendees included Board members from Enrich and employers.

Lenlen Mesina the Director of Enrich said to the graduates to create a timeline of their stay in Hong Kong. “Knowing that we are not staying here forever, we should follow our goals in our time line,” Mesina said. It is important also to be on the same page with your family when you plan, do not plan alone, Mesina reiterated.

Thank you to all who joined our special celebration. A special thank you to Professor Maggy Lee and the University of Hong Kong for hosting us. Thank you to LUSH and the Italian Women’s Association who provided gradiation goodies. And of course thank you to all our supporters and partners who make the delivery of our work to empower possible.

Congratulations graduates! We are so excited for all the things you will achieve!

By Lucinda Pike, Senior Programmes Manager, Enrich

Join us for our Empowerment Hike on April 9th to support Enrich to reach the next 10,000 migrant domestic workers through our workshops and outreach initiatives. Join or donate: Here

The Scary and Sad Reality of Debt Challenges Facing Migrant Domestic Workers

Debt FreeOn 14th March 2017, the South China Morning Post reported the bust of a loan syndicate that preyed on migrant domestic workers. The syndicate lent HK$10 million at interest rates of up to 120 per cent per year, while the highest legal interest rate set by the Money Lenders Ordinance of Hong Kong is 60% p.a. SCMP reports that two ringleaders led the syndicate and recruited other domestic workers to coerce 1,200 domestic workers over the period of March 2016 to October 2016 to take out loans. This operation by the police is reported to be part of a six-month crackdown against triads and organised crime ahead of the visit by state leaders. (Read the full article: here.) Enrich welcomes this development of cracking down of organised crime and the prevalence of law over the hundreds of predatory lenders that profit from victimising migrant domestic workers as well as other low-income groups in Hong Kong.

At Enrich, we hear the stories from the victims of predatory lenders first-hand through our Financial Counselling service and Helpline. Our Financial Counselling service and Helpline are open to migrant domestic worker and their employers in face of financial crisis situations. We have developed information materials on the Rights and Responsibilities of Borrowers in Hong Kong as well: English: here, Bahasa Indonesia: here.

Many are surprised by the extreme levels of debt that migrant domestic workers can fall into when their monthly salary is only just over HK$4000.  The sad truth is, there are multiple factors at play, including wider systematic issues.

At the micro-level, migrant domestic workers are not equipped with information on their rights, responsibilities, and risks of taking out financial loans, and they are burdened with financial responsibility to provide for immediate needs of loved ones back home, on top of their own living expenses. As can be seen in the SCMP article, these women were so unaware of their right to keep their passports and employment contracts, and that the interest rate was far above the legal limit.

Outside of this, 1 in 2 migrant domestic workers arrive in Hong Kong with an average debt of HK$15,000 to recruitment and training fees. Migrant domestic workers have told us of incidences of unethical employment agencies colluding with lending companies to coerce migrant workers to take out a loan as soon as they arrive to pay off these recruitment debts first. For many migrant women, the employment agency is the only people they know in Hong Kong when they first arrive here making it very difficult to refuse or question them.

It is also incredibly easy for migrant domestic workers to qualify for loans of large sums of money. Migrant domestic workers can be eligible for a HK$40,000 loan as her first loan and without credit checks between lenders, she could take out multiple loans. At even the legal interest rate of 60% p.a., which is justified with domestic worker due to their visa reliance on a two-year contract, a vicious cycle of debt takes shape very fast.

Though Enrich strongly encourages a shift to a culture of saving, we recognise too that sometimes, there is just no other way but to take out a loan to make a critical payment – because there are no savings or alternatives to fall on. In the 10 years of running and refining our Financial and Empowerment Education Programmes, we have learned there is no simple approach – and the solution must be a holistic one with the partnership and collaboration of key stakeholders.

Following the bust of this criminal loan syndicate, we call for greater attention to these debt traps set for migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. We are thankful to all our supporters, partners, volunteers, and migrant domestic worker groups for working together with us to protect the financial rights of migrant domestic workers.

By Lenlen Mesina, Executive Director, Enrich

Here are the Rights and Responsibilities of Borrowers in Hong Kong: English: here, Bahasa Indonesia: here. Find more information on dealing with debt in our Resources for Employers: here, and Resources for Domestic Workers: here

References:

  • Farsight, Modern Slavery in East Asia: here
  • Rights Exposure, Between a Rock and a Hard Place: here
  • Justice Centre, Coming Clean: here

Empower Her: Liza Avelino

On March 6th, Enrich organised a panel discussion on the empowerment of migrant domestic workers as part of Bloomberg’s month-long calendar of International Women’s Day events.  Our panelists provided varied perspectives on the empowerment of women and in particular, migrant domestic workers. We will share their three contributions to the discussion, starting with Liza Avelino, Mountaineer and Domestic Worker:

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International Women’s Day commemorates the struggles of women to achieve gender parity in all spheres of work, home and life and celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women. We are grateful to Bloomberg for giving us the opportunity to address these topics in relation to our work and cause of empowering migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong through financial and empowerment education.

Liza Avelino, Mountaineer and Domestic Worker

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Liza Avelino is a seasoned hiker, having completed two Trailwalkers, summited the 3,180-meter Mount Yarigatake in Japan and Mount Kinabalu (4,095m) in Malaysia, and trekked to an elevation of more than 5,300m in the Himalayas [Article in the South China Morning Post: here].

Liza is the first in the domestic work profession known to trek to such elevations. Facing poverty in her hometown of Davao in the Philippines, Liza came to work in Hong Kong in her twenties. Like many migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, this was seen as the best option available to earn a living and support family. She had the childhood dream of being able to travel the world but this seemed impossible because there was never the time or money. It was not until several year later that Liza came across Enrich’s financial education workshops and began to see the possibility of that dream. She is one of Enrich’s early students and from Enrich she learned the need to prioritise goals and the importance of being clear and assertive in managing family’s expectations of financial support from her. Empowered with this new perspective on herself and her finances, coupled with her love for hiking, Liza her on the path to achieve her dream of traveling and achieving a feat that even the most adventurous of us wouldn’t dare!

Liza’s story of empowerment does not stop there – she has taken her story to inspire and empower others. Liza raised HK$10,000 for Enrich, empowering other migrant women to find financial stability and achieve their dreams. After experiencing the 2015 earthquake in Nepal herself [Interview in Coconuts: here], she has also gone back to support needs there. Most recently, Liza is organising hikes with the Clean Up Hong Kong Trails initiative – preserving the beauty of our hiking trails in Hong Kong, whilst sharing the opportunity feel the sense achievement at the top.

Liza’s motivation to achieve her goals is an inspiration to many. Her message to fellow migrant domestic workers: “I’m asking you to take this first step: invest in yourself. Review your dreams everyday and say to yourself – I will not give up until I win. You can live your dream.”

Liza will be leading a fundraising hike for Enrich, the Empowerment Hike, on April 9th 2017. Join the Empowerment Hike and help Enrich reach 10,000 migrant domestic workers through our financial education workshops and outreach initiatives. SIGN UP here.

Stay tuned for the discussion contributions by Joanna Bowers, and Christina Kautzky. 

Lantau Ren T-shirts For Good aims to support 10,000 hours of Financial Education for Migrant Domestic Workers

Hong Kong mumpreneur, Shirley Johnson, is dedicating her Lantau Ren “Tshirts for Good” line this month to raise funds for 10,000 hours of financial and empowerment education for migrant domestic workers at Enrich. On top of this, she hopes that she can raise awareness and appreciation of migrant domestic workers. She shares her story with us:
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As a mother myself, I appreciate, our helper, Valerie’s work to support my family and our home. Monday is truly the new Sunday for me! I think that many Hong Kong employers share my sentiment that our helpers are important members of our families. This is why I wanted to design the “Super Aunties” t-shirt and create a fun way for employers to show their appreciation for their helpers. I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to support Enrich who provided critical support to Valerie to manage her debts and now to save and plan for the future.
I am aiming raise funds to support 10,000 hours of financial education for Enrich’s 10th Anniversary this year, through the sale of our special edition ‘Super Aunty’ t-shirt and others in the T-shirts for Good collection. For every t-shirt sold, HK$40 will be donated to Enrich.

I first came to know about Enrich when Valerie came to me a few months into working with us to ask for a big loan. We had decided to pay her an above average salary so this came as a surprise. In that moment, I came to realise that an employer’s generosity is not enough and that she needed more support on managing money.  I went on a search and found Enrich, which had exactly the help we needed.

Valerie is the mother of three beautiful children. In order to support them, she left the Philippines when her youngest was still barely walking. Like many other domestic workers who are homesick for their loved ones, Valerie had been sending almost every dollar she made home. Feeling guilty for being far away from her children, Valerie couldn’t bring herself to question how the money was being spent. For the five years Valerie has been working away from her children, she has not been able to save anything.

When Valerie asked me for the loan I knew that if I turned her away, she would have to look for other options that may possibly land us with loans sharks and debt collectors at our doorstep. Domestic workers can easily qualify for loans of HK$40,000+ at private lenders and be charged up to 60% interest p.a.. I made the careful decision to lend her the money with the stipulation that she attend Enrich’s ‘Money Wise Migrants’ financial literacy workshop. Lending her the money was one thing, but what she really needed was the tools and skills to manage money better.

18 months later, at the end of our first contract, not only has Valerie paid off all her debt to us, she has saved enough to start planning building her very own house in the Philippines. She went on to take more of Enrich’s workshops, including ‘Setting Up My Business’ entrepreneurship workshop. Valerie now dreams to open her own bakery back home. She hopes to employ her daughters and break the cycle of generations working overseas as domestic workers.

We are very happy to begin a second contract with Valerie and happy for her new-found confidence in managing her finances and for her family’s future.

Our “Super Aunties” do so much for our families and homes, these t-shirts are a way to show our appreciation and support our helpers with essential money management skills and tools.

‘Super Auntie’ t-shirts are available at Lantau Ren: here.

by Shirley Johnson, Owner of Lantau Ren

*Name has been changed for privacy reasons.

2017 is Enrich’s 10 Anniversary year. For 10 years we have been educating and empowering migrant domestic workers to change the ways they and their families manage money to achieve a more financially stable future. Learn more about our programmes: here.

Thank you to Shirley for sharing her story and for supporting the economic empowerment of migrant domestic workers. Purchase a “Super Auntie” t-shirt: here.

Why I Enrich…Sofia, Enrich Student Advisor

This post was written by Sofia Singer, HKIS high school student and Enrich Student Advisory Committee member. Sofia has been volunteering with Enrich since 2015. 

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Student to Student, Changing the World

Sitting at a small Starbucks, at the close of 2016, Ella and I were asked by Victoria to become Enrich’s first Student Advisory Committee. We were both very excited and ideas began whirring away for the task ahead of us.

Ella and I started with Enrich as an eighth grade Compassion Project for our school. Enrich opened our eyes to things we wouldn’t have known or found out about hadn’t we gotten engaged as volunteers. We were learning about a group of people and individuals that plays a significant part of our lives and our city, Hong Kong. It became something more than a school project to us and we decided to carry on volunteering with Enrich. We started out with desk work, which included encoding surveys, through which we learned that some helpers come to Hong Kong not knowing when they will return, and stay here for 20 years or more. Then we got involved in street outreach activities and participating in the Balance on a Shoestring fundraising challenge. Later, we moved on to managing social media accounts and coming up with ways to reach and influence a younger crowd and maintain a wider audience.

Within a few days since our meeting at Starbucks, Ella and I created our little brainchild; a short course for students to on the situation that many domestic workers face in Hong Kong and how students can make a difference. It was good that we had started right away with talking and planning it because when I brought up our involvement with Enrich at my teacher-student conference, we were asked to represent Enrich at the Service Summit at HKIS.

I was super excited. This was such a big achievement to connect Enrich with HKIS, and creating a course – the first of its kind – for students in Hong Kong! Ella and I worked hard and asked ourselves what was it we wanted to say: Who was the audience we wanted to reach? What did we want to present to our fellow students? Where would we hold our classes? When? Why are we doing this and why is it important for our classmates? How are we going to do it?

As the date got closer, I started feeling this lump of anxiety in my stomach. How was the audience going to react? How many people are going to come? I mean, I can count on my dad and my mom and possibly my teacher – but that wasn’t the audience we wanted to reach. When the day came, I was so nervous And it certainly took a lot of confidence to stand up and present our idea. I kept repeating in my mind: ‘Confidence is key. Put on your best smile and don’t shake or rock, and speak slowly.’

On the day, to our surprise, the room wasn’t able to fit the amount of students and teachers coming to watch us speak. Students and teachers squeezed in at the back of the room and even sat on top of tables! Surprised and pleased at the turnout, both Ella and I felt much more confident in what we were about to share. We were happy to have the opportunity to talk in person to this many people about the work we had been doing for months for a cause we feel so strongly about.

Ella and I presented our carefully crafted speech to the crowded room. It was nerve-racking to present but having Ella, by my side as partners in this project, made me feel calmer. When we were finished, I saw the eyes of eager and open-minded students, awaiting to make a change in the world. I am proud that I was able to present to them and hopeful that they will take what they learned from us and seek to get involved on these issues and with Enrich.

The Free The Children founder, Craig Keilburger, once said, “It only takes a child to change to world, and as children we can do so much.” Ella and I hope to make a wider and younger audience aware of Enrich’s mission, and we are thankful to be able to work for a cause we care so strongly about!

by Sofia Singer, Enrich Student Advisory Committee and HKIS student

We are grateful to have Sofia and Ella as our student advisors and volunteers. We are so proud of their achievement and initiative to engage themselves as well as their peers in community issues and solutions.

See also: Ella’s review of her time on the Balance on a Shoestring challenge: here

2017 is Enrich’s 10 Anniversary year. For 10 years we have been educating and empowering migrant domestic workers to change the ways they and their families manage money to achieve a more financially stable future. Help us to we reach our next 10,000: here

Let’s Talk About Money

Enrich is pleased to have participated in the Hong Kong Money Month 2017 initiative under the Hong Kong Strategy for Financial Literacy (HKSFL) to raise awareness of the benefits of financial education. The Investor Education Centre is the Secretariat of HKSFL. (This post was updated on 22 March 2017)

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This year, we join 100+ organisations from the government, finance, education, community and media sectors for Money Month, Hong Kong’s first territory-wide financial education campaign. The campaign took place from 18 February to 18 March 2017, providing a diverse range of financial education activities offering money management resources, tools, tips as well as fun learning experiences to help members of the public plan ahead, manage their finances and achieve their life goals. Find useful resources from the Money Month initiative such as financial health checks, retirement planner and budget worksheets: here, and the new Money Learning Directory, a one-stop access to a diverse range of money management events, programmes and resources to facilitate and promote the making of informed financial decisions.

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The theme of Money Month 2017 was Let’s talk about money. Enrich provided family members and the domestic workers they employ with ways to manage money issues together to ensure a stable and healthy working situation for the whole household.

We were able to speak to 800 members of the general public at the kick-off Education Fair for Money Month held at Diamond Hill. All who approached us were curious and interested how Enrich helps migrant domestic workers and how, as employers of domestic workers themselves, could help their workers.

Learn more about the Hong Kong Strategy for Financial Literacy: here.

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2017 is Enrich’s 10 Anniversary year. For 10 years we have been educating and empowering migrant domestic workers to change the ways they and their families manage money to achieve a more financially stable future. Join us as we reach our next 10,000: here. 

Why I Enrich… the McCoys: “Generosity from the employers is not enough”

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Enrich supporters are a diverse group of individuals – both employers of domestic workers and not, and of a wide range of ages and backgrounds. What they share is a common desire to see migrant domestic workers work in security whilst in Hong Kong and be able to comfortably retire after years of hard-work.

Eliza and Michael McCoy, Vice Chairman of CLSA Capital Partners, came to learn about Enrich, when their daughter, Ella, started volunteering with us. Longtime Hong Kongers, the McCoys had employed a few domestic workers. Despite their best efforts as a family – including once a retirement gift of HK$200,000, they cannot “remember one happy ending for any of the domestic workers who have worked so hard of us for years and years in Hong Kong”. None of their domestic workers were able to return home to a financially secure retirement. So the Enrich mission to equip migrant women with the tools to save, budget, and plan for a future with greater financial security was a personal one.

The McCoys feel much needs to be done to support the 340,000+ migrant domestic workers who enable for many Hong Kong families to do more whilst keeping our homes in order. Employer’s generosity is not enough, and “like all of us, migrant domestic workers need support and tools to develop good money management behaviour; otherwise they go home with no viable livelihood opportunities or retirement plans”. The McCoys shared their story in time for International Migrants Day in hopes of raising awareness and support for economic empowerment of migrant domestic workers through a Letter to the Editor, published in the South China Morning Post on 17th December 2016 “Migrant workers must be taught good money management skills”. (Read their full letter on SCMP: here.)

We are grateful to the McCoys for sharing their voice and speaking up for greater support for migrant domestic workers through financial and empowerment education. Please share the McCoys’ story and join us in promoting the economic empowerment of migrant women. Share your story with us: tell us why you support Enrich’s work at info@enrichhk.org.

by Victoria Ahn, External Relations Officer, Enrich HK

Read the full Letter to the Editor “Migrant workers must be taught good money management skills” on South China Morning Post: here.

2017 is Enrich’s 10 Anniversary year. For 10 years we have been educating and empowering migrant domestic workers to change the ways they and their families manage money to achieve a more financially stable future. Help us to we reach our next 10,000: here

Small Steps with Lai-See to Support your Domestic Worker to be Happier and More Secure in Her Work

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Small steps can support your domestic worker to have a financially successful 2017. This blog offers Enrich’s tips for how employers can support their workers. If you are a domestic worker, read our blog on how you can navigate a money-wise lunar new year: here.

In Hong Kong, the Lunar New Year celebrations are festive and vibrant celebrations to start the year with family and relatives. This year’s Lunar New Year includes three Statutory Holiday days: Lunar New Year’s Day (28 January), The third day of Lunar New Year (30 January), and The fourth day of Lunar New Year (31 January), as well as a Sunday (29 January). For the many people in Hong Kong who still follow the custom of gathering together with their extended family members, these several days will be spent visiting each homes of relatives, sharing delicious meals together, and wishing a prosperous and auspicious year to one another.

Many employers of domestic workers use this opportunity to show their appreciation for their hard work. This may be through the popular custom of lai-see gifting, and even choose this time to present their domestic worker with their annual bonus.

According to China scholar Professor Joseph Bosco, an anthropologist from the Chinese University of Hong Kong, ‘In offering gifts, people can define their social relationships,’ he says. ‘Especially when we come to consider to whom and what we should give. Gift-offering is a universal ritual to strengthen social ties.’ Read more about the background of traditional lai-see giving on South China Morning Post: here.

With the possibility of receiving a bonus, this is a great opportunity for domestic workers to grow their savings, add to certain funds that they have budgeted for, or make an important payment. On the other hand, with multiple days of holidays that might be spent out, there is much more temptation to spend money on restaurant meals, treats, and Lunar New Year sales!

As you prepare your gift of appreciation to your domestic worker this Lunar New Year, here are some tips from Enrich on how to make your gift have the most impact.

If you are considering gifting a lai-see bonus:

  • Check with your domestic worker if she has a bank account in Hong Kong – and if she doesn’t consider helping her open one. Read more about opening bank accounts: here.
  • Consider sponsoring your domestic worker for an Enrich Financial Education workshop so she can make informed decisions about her bonus. Enrich is running workshops during the Lunar New Year period, so please check with us to sign up for workshops. Email participant@enrichhk.org.
  • If you are planning to gift a larger amount, think about having a conversation with your domestic worker about helping her set up a separate savings account with some of the bonus. This may help her start saving for her retirement in the future.

Help your worker prepare for the consecutive holidays. She will be entitled to three days of statutory holiday and she may have four days off if Sunday is her usual day off:

  • Suggest to your worker to pack some snacks and meals ahead of time of the holidays so she will not have to pay for meals at restaurants which may have special holiday prices.
  • Provide access to use the apartment wi-fi and some free time to chat with family members back home. Internet access may be an issue for families back home – in this case, a phone card voucher will be useful;
  • If available, rent the karaoke room in your clubhouse so she can invite friends and sing their hearts out during the holiday – rather than having to spend the time at outside.
  • If your domestic worker enjoys the outdoors, suggest good hiking trails or nature spots she might want to visit during her days off.

At Enrich, we recognise the unique role that an employer has to support their domestic worker to achieve better money management skills. Thank you for taking the steps to support your helper in her financial and personal development.

If you are a migrant domestic worker, here are some of Enrich tips for navigating a money-wise Lunar New Year: here.

We wish you all a wonderful Lunar New Year!

by Victoria Ahn, External Relations Officer, Enrich

Donate and support a migrant woman to take control over her finances and begin her year unburdened by financial stress: here.

Did you know? Only 6% of migrant domestic workers return home feeling that they have saved enough money. Learn more about the truth about economic migration here.

Plan and Prepare for a Financially Successful Lunar New Year: Enrich tips for migrant domestic workers

This blog offers Enrich’s tips for migrant domestic workers for a money-wise new year. If you are an employer of a domestic worker, small steps can support your worker to have a financially successful 2017 – read more: here.

In Hong Kong, the Lunar New Year celebrations are noticeably more festive and vibrant compared to the New Year festivities.

This year’s Lunar New Year includes three Statutory Holiday days: Lunar New Year’s Day (28 January), The third day of Lunar New Year (30 January), and The fourth day of Lunar New Year (31 January), as well as a Sunday (29 January). This means migrant domestic workers are entitled 3 days off or 4 days off if their usual day off is a Sunday.

The Lunar New Year is celebrated by many Asian countries that also follow the lunar calendar. Because the Lunar calendar is based on the moon cycles and not coordinated with the Gregorian calendar, a solar calendar, the Lunar New Year always falls at a different time of year each year.

Whilst many banks, business and shops are closed, many restaurants and shops remain open and even extend hours during this holiday. It is a time for families to get together and honour ancestors. The customs and traditions vary by region and often involve reunion meals with family, spring-cleaning of the house, and wishing good luck on each other.The giving of red packets or “lai-see packets” is a prominent custom in Hong Kong. These packets of money are given out by married couples or elderly to the youth. Often, red packets are also given by families to domestic workers with their year’s bonus or a gift of gratitude for their work.

With the possibility of receiving a bonus, this is a great opportunity for domestic workers to grow their savings, add to certain funds that they have budgeted for, or make an important payment. On the other hand, with multiple days of holidays that might be spent out, there is much more temptation to spend money on restaurant meals, treats, and Lunar New Year sales!

To enjoy the Lunar New Year whilst keeping your finances on track, preparation and planning is key.

If you receive a bonus or lai see packets, ask yourself: how would I benefit from not spending this cash?

  • Could you save up towards long-term goals, such as your children’s education or a large purchase for your home or business?
  • It could go towards an emergency fund which would save you a lot of trouble and heart if ever a surprise payment or an unfortunate accident were to happen.
  • If you have any outstanding debts to pay, prioritise paying off your debts first with this money and reward yourself to freedom from these debts.

During your days off over Lunar New Year, try to avoid the temptation of spending the holidays in shopping malls or restaurants.

  • Instead, join free activities, such as hiking or visiting Hong Kong many public parks.
  • Prepare and pack your meals and snacks ahead of time so that you won’t need to pay for marked up restaurant meals during this peak season.
  • Enrich is running workshops during the Lunar New Year period, so please check with us to sign up for workshops!

We wish you all a wonderful Lunar New Year!

 

by Lucinda Pike, Senior Programme Manager, Enrich HK

Read our previous blog post “How far will the $131 salary and food allowance increase go?” to learn about how spending, saving, or investing extra cash leads to different outcomes.

Enrich turns 10: Join us in the economic empowerment of migrant domestic workers

logo-10-anniversary-square-1-01Since Enrich’s establishment in 2007, we have grown and developed our programmes whilst remaining true to our mission to empower migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong, regardless of nationality or background, to transform their lives through financial education and personal development programmes. 10 years on, we are ambitious as ever. Our Financial and Empowerment Programme is impactful and making a change in the lives of migrant women and their families. We have developed our programme offerings to cater to the migrant woman at each stage of her migration journey: before she leaves her home country, after she has arrived in Hong Kong, whilst she is working here, and when she is ready to plan for return or reintegration to her home.

None of this would have been possible without our supporters and partners. This upcoming year, CLSA Capital Partners and another family foundation are partnering with us to reach newly arrived migrant domestic workers so that we can support them to make money-wise decisions early on in their time in Hong Kong. Fu Tak Iam Foundation is fuelling our work to tackle debt management through financial education intervention and through empowering peer educators and leaders. The Equal Opportunities Commission continues to be long supporting of Enrich with access to education about rights and responsibilities for migrant domestic workers. LUSH is working with us through their Charity Pot programme to empower migrant domestic workers to work towards their goals and have the courage to communicate effectively for their rights. With the help of Operation Santa Claus, we will be reaching out to hundreds more women through large street outreach initiatives throughout the year. We are so thankful for these partners along with many other organisations and individuals who collaborated with us as we set out to achieve record participant numbers at our workshops again this year.

Now, more than ever, we need you in the delivery of Enrich programmes through which 74% of our participants are more confident about managing debt and 70% of participants leave our workshops armed with a plan for the future. Make a direct impact on a woman’s life by sponsoring a domestic worker’s scholarship to the Enrich Full Financial and Empowerment education programme. Get in touch with us to learn about ways you can make a difference.

Thank you for being a partner in the vision of a world in which migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong are empowered and financially capable, achieving their life goals and creating positive long-term impact for themselves, their families and their communities.

by Victoria Ahn, External Relations Officer, Enrich

Donate a scholarship: here. Learn more about “the truth about economic migration” here.