Foreign domestic help accounts for five percent of Hong Kong’s population. With almost 400,000 caregivers in the city, this silent workforce that strengthens the productivity of Hong Kong’s economy are among the most vulnerable groups of workers – especially when it comes to personal development and building finances. Seeking to advance financial literacy and protect the wellbeing of these migrant workers, a local nonprofit educating helpers is looking to expand their operations and target a wider reach of women that comprise a significant part of our city’s infrastructure.
Uplifters, a community NGO that provides online education courses to foreign domestic workers, is organizing a speed-funding campaign to provide helpers with free money management classes. Running now until Saturday, February 9, 2019, the Uplift’HER Campaign is inviting the public to help raise HKD100,000. Formerly self-funded, the organization aims to sponsor 1,000 helpers once the funding goals are met. A donation of HKD80 will subsidize one domestic worker with access to one free e-course where participants learn how to analyze income, save, and budget. Students are also enrolled in a private Facebook group for lesson discussions, exercises and support.
“I’ve been working abroad for seven years and I admit, I did not spend my salary wisely,” according to Maylene, a Filipino domestic worker from the program. “The first time I learned to plan and budget was in Uplifters’ course. It has changed my life. I am so grateful.”
Founded in March 2018 by Marie Kretz Di Meglio, the free series is a three-module curriculum that lasts for one year. Focusing on personal finance and self-development, the online course guides students to utilize money management knowledge and includes a coaching program with interpersonal communication skills. Since inception, over 270 domestic workers have gone through Uplifters’ education program.
Plagued with shocking stories of illegal treatment and loan sharks, without proper money management or financial knowledge, many domestic workers fall susceptible to debt cycles and exploitation. On a mission to empower migrant workers to take control of their fiscal matters, Uplifters is poised to refine an educational setting that fits the needs of Hong Kong’s overworked and underpaid backbone. Vocational courses such as baby and elderly care will soon be implemented to the Uplifters’ program to meet the needs of the local market.
Support the Uplift’HER Campaign here!
Image courtesy of Uplifters