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PathFinders ‘Child Ambassador’ talks of special bond with ‘aunties’

25 November 2023

Russell Webb with Baby Jazlin and her mother, who were helped by PathFinders

Hong Kong professional rugby player Russell Webb, who has become PathFinders’ first Child Ambassador, cites his special relationship with his two “aunties,” or migrant domestic workers who helped rear him, as one of the reasons he wants to give back to the community.

Webb was appointed Child Ambassador earlier this year to help awareness for PathFinders’ work for the migrant worker communities.


"It's still a bit surreal when I get invited to give back as a Child Ambassador," said  Webb. "As cliche as it sounds, I was once one of these 'kids'. I understand the importance of a role model, to have someone to look up to. If I can positively impact one child, I'll be very happy."

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"The MDW community is special to me. I have a unique relationship with Blandy and Charit, who are motherly and sisterly figures moulded into one. Growing up, I went to them for advice. They took me to training, cooked for me, helped me with homework and school projects. I owe a lot of my upbringing - and sporting success - to them. They taught me work ethics and respect," said Russell.


PathFinders' chief executive officer Catherine Gurtin said of Webb’s appointment, "Russell is a superstar on and off the pitch. He is a key member of the HK7s rugby squad who took gold at the recent 2023 Asian Games. Off the pitch, Russell’s extensive experience working with children and young people to encourage them to shine and reach their full potential made him the perfect choice to be our first Child Ambassador.”

"Children sit at the heart of everything we do at PathFinders. All children matter, including the children born to migrant mothers in HK. No child should be without an identity, food, shelter, access to education and healthcare," said Gurtin.


“As we celebrate our 15th anniversary, we reaffirm our commitment to the protection and respect of children born to migrant mothers in Hong Kong."

In a recent visit to PathFinders, Russell took the opportunity to meet and speak with some of the migrant mothers  and children the group serves, to better understand the challenges they encountered and how PathFinders has supported them.


Among the children who recently got help from PathFinders was Baby Jazleen who stayed at their shelter while her mother processed all the papers she needed to be able to fly back to the Philippines. Both mom and baby have recently flown home.

Another was Baby Hamizan whose mother, a recognizance paper holder, was provided health care as this was not available to someone with her visa status. Both mother and child are now staying at PathFinders’ shelter, and should be on their way home soon.

Webb and Baby Hamizan
"To be able to see firsthand the impact of what PathFinders does was eye-opening and heartfelt," said Russell. "These women are so strong and brave. It's such a difficult time for them. They feel so alone, as the fathers are usually nowhere to be seen. Some of them have also lost their jobs and even became homeless as they have either been fired or asked to leave. The babies are just adorable. Why shouldn't these babies get the opportunities and fair starts in life?" 

Since 2008, PathFinders has helped over 10,500 mothers and children find a path to a brighter future. To find out more about PathFinders visit


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