From domestic worker simulations, crafted board games to text-based virtual adventure tournaments all serve as an agent for young people to learn about the troubling issue that migrant workers face in Hong Kong
HELP for Domestic Workers (HELP) is a nonprofit that has provided free advice and assistance on employment, immigration, and human rights issues to migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong since 1989.
They recently launched a six-session programme called “FirstHand” that aims to inspire primary and secondary school students to broaden their channels of empathy, as they immerse themselves into the hypothetical lives of migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong.
The suite of experiential learning activities for young people in Hong Kong can be conducted in English, with inclusion of Chinese materials to follow. The programme differs from traditional presentations because it is not a simple classroom presentation.
This two-way programme offers a refreshing, strategic, and sustainable alternative to a one-way talk, which can far more easily fall prey to the wandering attention of a student.
The name of the programme comes from the “first-hand” experiences the students will gain through role play as a domestic worker in a series of scenarios designed to challenge their perceptions about domestic work.
This exposure will help them learn about the issues faced by domestic workers, trigger thoughts, and change perceptions all delivered in a fun and interactive way.
According to two surveys in 2015 of domestic workers seeking help and assistance at an NGO in Hong Kong, 66% of domestic workers in Hong Kong felt they were exploited to various degrees (Frection, 2017; Anderson & Otero, 2016).
While HELP focuses on empowering domestic workers to enable them to stand up for their rights, the program serves to challenge the perceptions and address the negative attitude towards domestic workers among employers and the community at large.
To do this, engaging with young people — the next generation of employers. Through our programme, will encourage them to be agents of change, helping form a positive perspective towards domestic workers at an early age.
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