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There are over 340,000 migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. Most have left family and children behind to work abroad in order to feed, clothe, educate and house their immediate and extended family. Earning a minimum of just over HK$4,300 per month, migrant domestic workers face enormous pressure to send most (if not all) of their money home. Sadly most are ill-educated in balancing a budget, and upon arrival in Hong Kong receive very little support to help them save or plan for their future. This often leads to situations in which women work in Hong Kong for decades with little or nothing to show for it.
On top of this, far too many migrant domestic workers are taken advantage of by unscrupulous recruitment and loan agencies that leave women in a cycle of indebtedness that they cannot break.
Enrich was born out of a desire to address these fundamental needs by providing financial education that: offers basic budgeting skills and financial tools to get out of debt or avoid getting into it; enables migrant domestic workers to effectively plan for their future; and offers the potential to end the cycle of poverty for their families and their communities.
Since our establishment in 2007, we have welcomed: 10,000+ participants to our 650+ workshops with 45,000+ family members in home countries impacted. We have developed our programme offerings now to support women at each stage of the 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.
We also provide one-to-one financial counselling service to address specific financial issues such as high-levels of debt. Our hotline is open to both migrant domestic workers and their employers.
Financial and empowerment education is the solution to the challenges faced widely by migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. Enrich’s internal 2016 impact evaluation has found:
- 95% of participants now know how to properly allocate their money on expenses and savings on a monthly basis
- 84% now completely understand the responsibilities, consequences and potential risks involved in borrowing money including calculation of interest rates on loans
- 84% now know and understand the risks, target returns and liquidity of different investment instruments/tools
- 100% now know their rights as a migrant domestic worker and know where to go for help here in Hong Kong
- 98%now know how to manage expectations of their family when it comes to sending money/gifts and inform them of their real situation in Hong Kong
- 74 % of participants now have a calculated list of all their debts and know how to plan and prioritise to pay them off
- 93% now do research before they decide which investment instrument to get
- 93% now have a clear plan and budget on how to set up their business idea
- 100% now talk to their family openly about money and include them in their financial planning
- 100% now express/communicate their concerns and issues effectively and say No assertively
Inter-agency working is a key success criteria for our work, we work closely with our partners and continue to reach out to new stakeholderse. Our partners include:
- Consulates and labour offices of migrant worker sending countries.
- Domestic worker NGOs including but not limited to: Helpers for Domestic Helpers; Mission for Migrant Workers; PathFinders; and Christian Action.
- Domestic Worker Employer groups and Ethical recruitment agencies such as the Fair Employment Agency.
- Migrant domestic worker community associations and faith groups.
Enrich has been recognised as a key organisation among migrant domestic workers themselves In turn, employers of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong have increasingly begun to contact Enrich on behalf of their workers.
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