Volunteers needed

Posted by Peter MUIR

CKMSC logoEach Monday 11 refugee and asylum seeker women attend pre-intermediate and beginner English classes at the Chungking Mansions Service Centre. Here are some words from Marie, who joins these lessons:

“I have never thought about moving to another country and speaking a different language.  Forced by circumstance, I had to flee from my country with my family and came to Hong Kong.  I used to have a 2 hour session a week for English in my home country, and that’s all I need to deal with English.  It was never important to me.  French and my own language were all the languages I need to know.

When I arrived at Hong Kong, French and my own language were not enough for me to survive anymore.  In Hong Kong, I have to use English or Chinese for communication.  I have no idea about Chinese, so English becomes crucial for me.  I started to learn English in Christian Action, knowing it is an international language which I can use everywhere for business, school and daily life.  It also applies to my home country- another language I can use besides of French and my own language.

I like Monday English Class very much.  It is good in all aspects, especially our teacher.  She is professional and knows how to teach.  She taught me British English, as well as American English. She told me where to use British English and where to use American English.  It is interesting to me and good to know…”

We currently have a similar program me running at Discovery College, with students planning and then delivering Cantonese, English and Design lessons to refugee and asylum seekers. With many of our student-teachers now graduating, we are in need for more students to continue these lessons. We need YOU to help give these refugee and asylum seekers the power to communicate. To give them the opportunity to learn and to feel a sense of accomplishment.

We will also be looking for sponsorship to help us cover the cost of this weekly program. Each session costs more than HK$500 for the participant’s transportation to/from our school, which is the most significant cost as these people are prohibited from working while awaiting the outcome of their protection or resettlement claim.

 Please help!  Email Mr Muir asap if you are keen to hear more about how you can get involved.