The League of Women Voters heard from Peter Maize about the work that International China Concern does for abandoned and disabled children in China.
Peter has lived in Hong Kong for 30 years, initially working as a journalist, before he began working to help families struggling with poverty and disability. He lives in Sai Kung with his wife Wendy, a member and former president of the League of Women Voters in Hong Kong.
International China Concern provides care and opportunities to abandoned children and families who have children with disabilities. This organization was started in 1993 in response to children in China with disabilities being abandoned at birth. China Concern works with the Chinese government in communities to change attitudes toward disabilities and support families to care for their disabled children.
The story of how International China Concern received its NGO status --nobody seems to know how it happened--was like hearing about a modern day miracle. Many of us were secretly dabbing at the corners of our eyes as we watched the organization's video showing how they work to ensure that every child, no matter how disabled, reaches his or her potential.
The League of Women Voters gathered to hear Matt Friedman of The Mekong Club speak about the use of slave labor to make products we may use everyday. (This was a joint event with the American Women’s Association’s Lunch and Learn program. )
There are more slaves today than at any other time in history. That shocking fact, presented by Matt Friedman, summarizes the statistics: 45.8 million people in 167 countries are exploited every day for their labor, especially in South-East Asia. These people make the recognized name-brand products we buy and they harvest or process the food we eat. The Mekong Club is a leader in engaging and inspiring the private sector to lead the fight against the epidemic of modern slavery.
Matt explained how the Mekong Club works with corporations to ensure that their supply chains do not source from companies using slave labor. The more companies refuse to do business with suppliers using slaves, the demand for slave labor will do down.
Matt told some shocking stories that made many of us cry. But we are not helpless: we can help to end modern slavery by simply writing an email or a letter to one of our favorite companies and asking them whether their company has a policy of refusing to buy from suppliers that use slave labor.
Who could have imagined that deciding to do one act of kindness a month towards Hong Kong's homeless would have ended up in creating a charity that now lifts the homeless out of despair and poverty, employing them and giving them community?
Impact HK never started out with the intention of creating a charity. Three years ago, the founder – Jeff Rotmeyer – had the idea of doing one kind act per month for the homeless. This would mean a walk through the more impoverished areas of Hong Kong and handing out supplies to those in need. This initiative really touched the hearts of volunteers throughout Hong Kong, becoming quite popular and giving Impact HK the opportunity to make greater impact. They progressed to doing two walks a month, then four, and so on. They now do up to 50 walks per month in six locations across Hong Kong, and ImpactHK became a registered charity in March 2017.
You can go on walks with ImpactHK to extend friendship and kindness to the homeless by clicking here.
Thank you to everyone who attended our festive Holiday Lunch on Dec. 4, 2018 and an extra special THANK YOU to Patricia Cliff who spoke to us about her work supporting the Ronald McDonald House. Not a dry eye in the room!
League Members & Guests brought presents to the lunch which will be gifted to residents of the Ronald McDonald House during the monthly birthday parties.
The League of Women Voters enjoyed an interesting and educational visit to the Legislative Council of Hong Kong to learn how the Hong Kong government works. Fascinating and highly recommended!
The League of Women Voters visited Li & Fung to hear Karen Seymour, Executive Director of the Li & Fung Foundation, discuss 'The Power of Purpose":
'Why do each of us exist? Have you ever thought about what drives you to get up every morning,and how your personal purpose builds a better life for you and those around you?
Purpose is not only a powerful personal driver, it's also a key component to building competitive advantage in business and a more sustainable world. There's a growing movement around purpose worldwide, with more and more businesses focusing on doing well financially and doing good for society. Hear how companies focusing on purpose are not only building long-term potential but are also reaping immediate rewards in this disruptive and ever-changing world.'
This was a very thought-provoking meeting with lively conversation and questions. A huge thank you to Karen Seymour!
LWVHK held a voter registration event with the US Consulate, Republicans Overseas, and Democrats Abroad. Thank you to everyone who came and registered to vote!
If you still need to register, please go to https://www.fvap.gov/.
On April 10, 2018, Asbury Methodist Social Services took the League of Women Voters to meet families living in subdivided housing. These are apartments of 400 sq. ft. which have been further (illegally) divided into 4-5 apartments of 100 sq ft. or smaller. These apartments may share a kitchen and toilet, meaning that up to 25 people may share one toilet and one shower.
Want to help? Asbury Methodist runs programs to serve this community. Please visit their page.
The League of Women Voters heard from Archana Kotecha of Liberty Asia about human trafficking in Southeast Asia. For more information about the important work that Liberty Asia is doing to combat modern day slavery, please check out their website.
The League and our guests met at the Kowloon Cricket Club to celebrate the upcoming holidays along with the League having been in Hong Kong for 40 Years.
Our featured speaker, Rosann Kao, spoke about the 'Things that we touch in our lives.'
Click here for more photos.