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Migrant moms, kids star in beach bash

02 June 2017

Fifty migrant mothers and their children bonded in the annual beach party organized by PathFinders for its beneficiaries.

By Vir B. Lumicao

About 50 migrant mothers and their babies gathered at Golden Beach in Tuen Mun on Saturday, May 20, for a beach party organized by non-governmental organization PathFinders for its beneficiaries.

The gathering, called “Cross Cultural Social Inclusion Day Beach Party 2017,” was an afternoon of fun featuring food, games, gifts and interaction among the mothers, their children, and volunteers.

US investment bank Goldman Sachs, sponsor of the event, sent its Community Teamworks volunteers to help oversee the event.

A few showers did not spoil the fun as three big yellow tents were set up by the organizers on one side of the beach to provide cover just in case the weather turned bad.

The cloudy and breezy weather was a blessing, nevertheless, as its cooled temperatures and spared the guests and hosts of the summer holiday from the searing heat of the noonday sun.

PathFinders, a private charitable group with a mission “to ensure that the most vulnerable children born in Hong Kong and their migrant mothers are respected and protected”, had been organizing similar parties for the past eight years, according to senior program manager Carmen Lam.

The NGO focuses on providing protection for migrant mothers and their children, and helping them get access to justice and healthcare. Lam estimated that PathFinders helped about 900 moms and kids last year, some 29% more than its 700 clients in 2015.

“Fifty moms with their kids, some bringing their babies, are here for the party,” Lam told The SUN at the sidelines of the event. Fifteen of those present were domestic families all of which were helped by the NGO with various issues.

She said this year’s party was the most attended because it was held on a Saturday, a family day.

Lam said this was the third year that Goldman Sachs sponsored the summer beach party, taking over from another corporate sponsor.

“We do this once a year, with or without sponsors. Sometime we do it with our own budget… because it’s good for the kids,” said Lam, who has been with PathFinders for the past three years.

She said the gathering was initially held to celebrate Indonesia’s Independence Day, which falls on Aug 17, as most of its clients then were Indonesians. But when the group began to have Filipina clients, it moved the party to other dates.

Most of the guests, sponsors and organizers gathered at PathFinders’ premises on Tung Chau St in Tai Kok Tsui, Kowloon, and left at past noon by shuttle bus for the one-hour ride to Gold Coast on Castle Peak Road.  

The party started under the tents with lunch of beef rendang and vegetables packed in lunchboxes by an Indonesian restaurant.

The fun followed after 2pm with about a dozen children under 10 years old and their parents participating in various games and winning various presents.

A handful of the children played in the water under the watchful eyes of the volunteers. When showers interrupted the games, fish and meat ball soup was served by the organizers.

At about 5pm, all the participants gathered next to the tents for group photo-taking and tidying up of the site before the party broke up.

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