Refugee Connect is a student-led organisation based in Hong Kong. Our mission is to empower and support refugees and asylum-seekers, particularly women, in Hong Kong. As refugees cannot work and are stuck in limbo with little certainty, we host projects and workshops to help return a sense of purpose in their lives. Our overarching theme, Connect, aims to help refugees stay in touch with family, society, and most importantly, themselves.
Sha Tin College
Chinese International School
Hong Kong International School
Victoria Shanghai Academy
St. Paul's Co-educational College
Harrow School (UK)
Choate Rosemary Hall (US)
We believe all women can embrace who they are,
can define their future, and can change the world.
After volunteering with the Refugee Union and interacting with refugees and asylum seekers, founder Sophia Zhang saw that the challenges they face extend beyond physical issues such as food and shelter. Asylum seekers can wait up to decades for their claims to be processed, and during this time they cannot work at all. Many refugees are highly educated professionals (teachers, architects, software engineers) but do not have any channels to direct their time and energy. Instead, they struggle to survive with the meagre aid provided by the government.
"I feel worthless" - "I am wasting my time" - "I am a burden to society"
These are some of the common phrases refugees and asylum seekers use when interviewed by Sophia. It is heartbreaking to watch as time passes them by, while they remain stagnant. Refugee Connect hopes to alleviate some of this stress and return dignity to their lives.
Challenges refugees face:
Inability to work legally
Long waiting process for asylum claims (HK has an acceptance rate of 0.6% compared to the global average of 43%)
$3200 per month in government aid
$1500 for rent
$1200 for food coupons
$300 for utilities
$200 for transportation
Limited access to quality healthcare (emergencies only)
Government reimbursement of school fees only until end of high school
© 2020 by Refugee Connect HK