Did you know May is domestic helper appreciation month? We’ve put together tips and resources to help you empower your helper.
We at Sassy Mama think domestic helpers need to be applauded every single day! After all, they work tirelessly through the year, often putting our and our family’s needs ahead of their own. As much as they contribute to daily life in the city, domestic helpers, especially foreign domestic workers (FDW) in Hong Kong often face many challenges – from stress, heavy workload and homesickness to financial issues and beyond.
So what can we do to help? A good way to make a difference in a domestic worker’s life is to provide them with all the resources they need to empower themselves to achieve emotional, mental and financial stability. Read on to discover where you can find these resources in Hong Kong.
Emotional And Mental Support For Domestic Helpers
HELP For Domestic Workers
HELP ensures that domestic workers feel comfortable with their mental health and well-being. It encourages them to seek support and enrol for free in its mental well-being support programme. HELP offers private and group counselling, and forms peer support groups that provide an opportunity to share personal experiences, express emotions and be heard in an atmosphere of acceptance and understanding.
Since 1993, Christian Action has provided service programmes for migrant domestic workers to help them understand their rights. It also provides psychological counselling and assistance to address their emotional problems and mental health, plus it also organises regular recreational activities to help them build their social circles.
One of the challenges that your domestic helper may face is juggling pregnancy and maternity leave. PathFinders is a non-profit organisation that ensures the mother, baby and you as the employer, have the smoothest transition possible.
Read More: Sassy Mama Supports – PathFinders Hong Kong
Financial Literacy For Domestic Helpers
Talking about finances with your helper can be challenging, especially if they encounter difficult financial situations. This is where financial education comes in. Check out the below organisations that provide financial literacy workshops to empower domestic helpers.
Enrich allows you to ensure the well-being of your helper proactively. You can sponsor your helper by simply selecting from its affordable workshops and the rest will be taken care of! It also sends you notifications via email when your helper has finished a workshop.
Uplifters have a six-month free online programme for domestic workers where they can learn about money management, personal development and mental health. Since everything is done online, courses are available based on your helper’s schedule!
An education platform by The University of Hong Kong, EmpowerU provides online and offline training to migrant domestic workers. Courses are taught by expert educators who have designed this program based on the unique needs of domestic helpers. Your helper can select from various courses including Business & Finance, Entrepreneurship & Leadership, Information Technology and more.
Empower U, www.empoweru.io
Hobbies And Interest Classes For Domestic Helpers
Another way to show your support is to assist your helper in finding and growing their own circle. Domestic helpers can build their own community through shared interests, which means they’ll have their own support system. Below are some classes for domestic helpers that you could help them enrol in.
Dee Dream Life
Dee Dream Life provides super affordable (classes start from $50!) Zumba, yoga, dance, fitness and life coaching classes for adults and children from all walks of life. It aims to make fitness and fun accessible to all members of society across Hong Kong, regardless of race, gender or social status.
Read More: Where To Buy Athleisure In Hong Kong
Martial arts is said to develop strength, coordination and, most importantly, confidence. Kick action provides opportunities for domestic workers to learn self-defence whilst being introduced to new skills that will challenge their minds and bodies. Each session lasts one hour and helps domestic workers to relieve stress by keeping them engaged in something they enjoy.
Splash has learn-to-swim adult programmes primarily for migrant domestic workers and refugees. All your helper will need is a swimsuit and a pair of goggles (rashguards, swim shorts and burkinis are okay too as long as it is made from swimsuit material).
Andiappan Yoga Community
A volunteer-based nonprofit organisation, Andiappan Yoga Community offers therapeutic yoga classes to those in need.
Andiappan Yoga Community, 801, 1 Lyndhurst Tower, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong, www.yogacommunity.org
A female-specific strength and conditioning gym, Pherform created Pherform Dream Team membership class in 2016 to provide domestic helpers with the opportunity to train for free. Classes are held at Tamar Park every Sunday.
YWCA Cooking Classes
YWCA offers two cooking classes designed specifically for domestic helpers – Cooking with Rehana (she teaches Pakistani curries focusing on how to use spices) and Cooking with Renu (she teaches international cuisines and desserts).
YWCA Cooking Classes, www.clle.ywca.org.hk
Editor’s Note: “Domestic Helper Resources: How To Help Your Helper” was most recently updated in May 2023 by Najuka Redkar.