Enrich was founded in 2007 by a group of development workers and a finance professional who were motivated to do something to address the urgent needs and the lack of support available to migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. Enrich was started with the aim of creating a sustainable organisation that can run highly subsidised trainings in financial literacy and empowerment in the languages of migrant women.
Enrich’s workshops proved to be very popular and demand for the workshops grew. In response to this demand Enrich expanded to offer mentoring sessions and workshops in entrepreneurship in 2010. In 2013 a Financial Health Desk was added to Enrich’s programs to offer one on one support for migrant domestic workers who are in debt. Today Enrich has become Hong Kong’s premier training organisation for migrant domestic workers.
Myriam Bartu, Founder and Advisor
Myriam has worked with women’s empowerment and microfinance NGOs in the UK, China and Hong Kong since 2001. Having seen first-hand the opportunities afforded, but also the risks and damage that come with borrowing money, Myriam appreciates the powerful potential and safety of financial literacy and personal development training.
Myriam moved to Hong Kong in 2005 after spending two years in rural China. She was deeply disturbed by how, in a city with the wealth and glitz of Hong Kong, there was little support and services available to financially vulnerable migrant domestic workers.
In 2007 Myriam co-founded Enrich with a passionate team of trainers wanting to establish an organisation to empower migrant women towards financial stability. She was a leading member of Enrich’s board of directors from 2007-2015, bringing the organisation from a voluntary group to a staff-run charity.
Along the journey of growing and letting go of Enrich, Myriam started a regular meditation practice; it brought her beautiful and transformative benefits and she soon began sharing practices with others. She continues to include migrants in her work today, guiding heart-centered meditations and yoga nidra relaxation practices for well-being. Myriam is also a committed environmentalist, practicing and advocating for conscious consumption. Her environmental efforts include organizing beach clean ups and pre-loved sales to encourage families in Hong Kong to buy second hand. She continues to be involved with Enrich as an adviser.
Sophie Paine, Founder and partner through a+b=3
Sophie holds a DECF (Chartered Accountant) and two Masters in Finance. She has worked in Accounting and Training for 20 years, for multinational corporations and NGOs, in France, Italy, USA, Hong Kong, China and Cambodia. The daughter of teachers and the grand-daughter of an entrepreneur, Sophie’s vision is a world where financial hardships do not prevent children and adults from getting education, and where money is a tool to grow our most precious asset: ourselves.
In 2004, when Sophie moved to Hong Kong, she was moved by the ordeals of many migrant domestic workers who arrived in the city with huge debts, and their endeavours to make ends meet in spite of their salary. Sophie started to give a few financial education courses to Filipinas and Indonesians. She set up a+b=3 as a social enterprise specialised in financial literacy. In 2007, Sophie and Myriam worked together on how to reach more migramt domestic workers. They decided to create a new structure, with charity-status, to empower Hong Kong migrant women to be more in control of their finances. This is how Enrich was born. At the end of 2007, Sophie’s family was relocated to the US and Sophie stepped down from Enrich’s board. From 2012-2014, Sophie was re-invited to join at a critical growth phase of Enrich’s life, as finance director. She helped with accounts and developing financial literacy programmes. Sophie continues to be involved in Enrich as a partner through a+b=3.
Aruni John, Founder and Migration Specialist
Aruni holds an M.A. in International Economics and an M.St. in Forced Migration. Working with an international credit rating institute based in Hong Kong – in the financially turbulent times following Hong Kong’s return to Chinese rule in 1997 – first brought Aruni’s attention to the plight of migrant domestic workers. Promising herself that she would return to help when she could, Aruni moved to Nepal in 1998, where she helped to train migrant domestic workers in working together with the media, developing better negotiation skills and becoming advocates for change in their own communities. In 2005 Aruni joined Christian Aid in London as an Advocacy Officer for the tsunami programme in Indonesia, Sri Lanka and India, where she worked with migrant women who were the sole breadwinners post-disaster. Her husband’s job moved the family to Hong Kong in 2007, and thus a full decade later, Aruni found herself finally in a position to help Hong Kong’s migrant domestic workers.
Aruni helped to found Enrich in 2007, serving as one of Enrich’s Directors in Hong Kong until 2012. During this time Aruni played a key role in establishing Enrich’s programme in Hong Kong, by helping with recruiting, and slowly expanding the organisation in a sustainable way with the limited funds available. Aruni’s crucial contributions to Enrich include coming up with innovative projects such as a street theatre, impact assessment, and workshops on building businesses back in migrant domestic workers’ home countries. Aruni also drove Enrich’s fundraising efforts, editing project reports and writing funding proposals from 2007 until 2014, when Enrich was able to hire a fundraiser. Aruni now lives in Sri Lanka with her family. She continues to remain involved with Enrich as a Migration Specialist.