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

13 February 2017

Since Enrich’s establishment in 2007, we have grown and developed our programs while 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 programs. Ten 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 program 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 Tam 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 program 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 organizations 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 programs 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 program. 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


Plan and Prepare for a Financially Successful Lunar New Year:

Enrich tips for migrant domestic workers

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 to 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.

While 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 honor 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 while 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, prioritize 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
(Editor’s Note: Enrich is a Hong Kong charity that promotes the economic well-being of migrant domestic workers through financial and empowerment education. Enrich conducts workshops that equip migrant women with the tools to save, budget and plan for greater financial security)

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