The Helper, a documentary on the lives of domestic helpers in Hong Kong, was screened last night (2 May) at The Hive Wong Chuk Hang. It is an emotive film made by Joanna Bowers of Cheeky Monkey Productions. “We wanted to make something different, something positive, instead of focusing on abuse or negative aspects of their lives, we decided to focus on strength and inspiration,” Joanna said.
BUZZ asked Crystal Chan, manager of The Hive Sai Kung, if the film will be shown here. She said it is not scheduled at present, but “I’ll ask again”. Crystal said she hopes to work with Enrich, the charity that empowers helpers through education and financial guidance. Workshops for employers wishing to better their helpers’ lives are envisaged.
Enrich was founded 11 years ago by Myriam Bartu, Sophie Paine and Aruni John. It says 20,000 migrant workers have attended their empowerment workshops. Through Enrich employers can sponsor their helpers’ education. It produces Money Month guide and offers one-on-one financial counselling.
In its three-plus years of publishing SAI KUNG BUZZ has repeatedly written about the traps set by Hong Kong law enabling abuse by unscrupulous employers and agencies against helpers. See recently our interviews with Melville Boase, founder of St John’s Cathedral’s offshoot Mission for Migrant Workers.
For more about the charity go to enrichhk.org. Anyone who knows of a migrant worker in distress should help the woman contact the Mission for Migrant Workers or Christian Action. Both have counselling services, paralegal support and hostels.