May 2016 Entries

About Helper Appreciation Month

Helper Appreciation Month is a positive initiative that ‘brings out the best in everyone’ and inspires public and private acts of gratitude and appreciation towards HK’s domestic workers.

This May we want to show our love and appreciation for all the foreign domestic Workers who come to Hong Kong to work tirelessly for our families.

Being separated from their families in their home countries can be tough for them. That's why we want to support one domestic worker this year, by giving a free trip home!

It is our own simple and practical way of appreciating what domestic workers add to our lives and the sacrifices they have made to be here in Hong Kong

 

Campaign 2016 Closed

Take a Selfie with your domestic helper and appreciate them!

Win a free round way trip back home for your domestic worker

  1. Take a selfie together with your domestic worker

  2. Add a nice text to appreciate your helper

  3. Send it to us on snapchat (@the24hourrace)

  4. We will screenshot your snap

  5. On May 22nd we will upload all submissions in a designated album on our Facebook page

  6. The picture with most positive reactions until May 29th wins the campaign and gets a free round way trip for the worker

We'll work in with your family and your helper and book the tickets for a time that works well for you all

 

What helper Appreciation Month is Not

It’s not a protest movement.
It’s not a political movement.
It’s not an opportunity to cast blame.

Awareness of Domestic Workers’ working conditions, their sacrifices, their social and legal challenges, can (and should) be raised, however, Worker Appreciation Month is not focused on pulling down any person, organisation or government. It is about raising the barometer of collective goodness and drawing out the best of willing people within the community.

 

Background Story

24 Hour Race & Foreign Domestic Workers in Hong Kong

Since its inception in 2010, the 24 Hour Race has supported NGOs across Asia to combat child-slavery in many different forms such as sexual exploitation, forced labour, and "orphan businesses" just to name a few. Most of our beneficiaries are working in countries where modern slavery is most prevalent, including Cambodia, India, Malaysia, Nepal, and Vietnam.

In 2015 we wanted to help to improve the situation in Hong Kong, as there are certain deficits in the current way how human trafficking and forced labour is tackled here. We believe that human trafficking is an issue very rarely discussed in Hong Kong but one which the city needs tremendous progress in.

Photo Credit: Xyza Bacani

Photo Credit: Xyza Bacani

Therefore, we decided to fund Justice Centre on their research project "Establishing the Prevalence of Human Trafficking in Hong Kong" in order to gain a objective information and evidence on the reality in Hong Kong. The first phase of the comprehensive research project focused on the situation amongst migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong. The research outcome has been published on March 15th 2016 under the the title: "Coming Clean: The prevalence of forced labour and human trafficking for the purpose of forced labour amongst migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong"

One key finding of the report is that approximately 17% of foreign domestic workers in Hong Kong are under forced labour conditions, which others would also call: slavery.

More important findings:

  • The average working hours among all the respondents was more than 70 hours a week
  • 35.1% of respondents had excessive debt burden, that is, debt-to-income ratios equal to or in excess of 30% of their reported annual income
  • Over one-third of respondents were not given a full 24-hour rest period as per the requirements under Hong Kong law
  • 39.3% of respondents reported that their sleeping arrangements did not give them any personal space
  • 57.7% reported receiving less than the set Minimum Allowable Food Allowance at the time of the survey
  • Only 6.1% of employers were reported to be paying above the set Minimum Allowable Wage for MDWs at the time of the survey
  • 31.9% of respondents indicated that they did not feel free to quit their jobs
 

THIS IS NOT TO SAY THAT EVERYONE WHO EMPLOYS A DOMESTIC worker IN HONG KONG IS a BAD PERSON.

QUITE THE OPPOSITE!

THERE’S A LOT OF GOOD WE CAN ALL BUILD ON SO LET’S START BY SAYING A HEARTFELT ‘THANKS’ TO OUR Domestic Workers THIS MAY. TOGETHER WE CAN INSPIRE ONE ANOTHER TO MAKE OUR SOCIETY BETTER.

 

FAQ:

Why The Month Of May?

May already has a strong established holidays that are about family and labour:

  • The 1st of May is International Labour Day

  • The 2nd Sunday of May is Mother's Day (many foreign domestic workers are away from their family on this day).
  • 15th of May ­ United Nations International Day of Families

The ultimate goal is that Worker Appreciation Month becomes ‘self generating’, ‘community driven’ and ‘part of the annual calendar’ like Breast Cancer Awareness Month in October and Men's Health Month in November (Movember).

Why a trip home?

Domestic workers often safe a large amount of their income to send it home and support their families overseas. That gives them rarely the opportunity to spend money on flight tickets and have a vacation. Therefore, we thought it would be wonderful to provide one opportunity where we do something for them instead of them doing something for us. We want to give back to them.

Who sponsors or pays the trip?

An anonymous donor got very fond of the idea of Worker Appreciation month and agreed to bare the costs of this trip

What is included in the price?

A fully paid round way trip from Hong Kong to airports in Asia. The donor also provides for additional travel related costs (e.g. transport from airport to final destination).

How is the winning entry selected?

The community votes. We will upload an album of our Facebook page with all entries. The picture with most positive reactions ("Like", "Love", "Haha", and "Wow") will win the campaign. We only count reactions from the date the album was uploaded (May 22nd) until May 29th.