“If you were in our shoes, would you not also ask to be given a chance to live a dignified life?”
This year, eight of our girls began taking ballet classes at the Chinese Language Arts and Culture Academy. For all of them, it was their first time in a prestigious school like this, to experience the rigour, discipline and expectations of Beijing Conservatory certified instructors.
Regardless of status, this is not only an amazing opportunity to be treated like any other student in Hong Kong, but also to receive the quality instruction all other kids have access to. The parents appreciate that their children are given the opportunity to expand their horizons beyond their academic schools.
The parents took time to share their thoughts with us.
Malory*: “Ballet class has been a big help in boosting my child’s self-confidence, realising the importance of time management, and most importantly, developing self-discipline. It is also a big step, as it makes her explore doing things outside of her comfort zone.”
Clara*: “My child told me that she became like a popular student at school, because in the beginning of the class, Ms. Jennifer took a picture of them, and my daughter posted it on Instagram. The next day her classmates knew that she has ballet class, and she was really happy.” Jennifer is Branches of Hope’s Education Officer who has worked closely and tirelessly with the kids of our community.
Experiencing a dignified childhood, filled with hope and opportunity to flourish and learn is invaluable to human development.
Mary* shared: “My kids have become friendlier through the ballet class, and have developed the confidence to communicate with other children, especially those who are older.”
We received a few words from our new ballerinas and their parents.
“We are also human beings like you. We are also parents like you, who wish and struggle for the sake of our children. We are all humans with dignity and respect, and have love and faith inside our hearts. It is not our choice to be asylum seekers and refugees; we do not wish to cause any disturbance or be a nuisance to your society, as some assumes of us. Our wish is for freedom and dignity, and for our children to see the value of responsibility and build good relationships with their instructors and peers. We also have talents and skills that we can offer, if we are given a chance. Our children… they also show talents and potentials that need to be nurtured and developed, which will benefit Hong Kong society too!”
*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals.