June 18, 2020


Robert* came to Hong Kong as an asylum seeker from an African country. When he first arrived, he did not know anyone in the city and ended up stranded on the street. Fortunately, he was directed to our organisation by a stranger he met there who knew about our work with refugees.

Soon after being referred to us, Robert attended an ARISE fellowship and with the financial subsidy from Branches of Hope, Robert was ableto leave ‘survival mode’ and think about his future. He dreamed of developing new skills and learning another language, eagerly enrolling in our language lessons, management and computer skills, and vocational training courses in warehouse. He met other African refugees. ‘I was soexcited to see a community in Hong Kong that supported, encouraged, and cared for one another,’ he shared.

ROAD staff met Robert after he was recommended by a friend to apply for financial assistance. He was unableto legally work as a refugee, and the government subsidy was not enough to pay for rent. He was nearly evicted by the landlord just as the financial subsidy from Branches ofHope came through.

After a few years, Robert’s dedication paid off; he had learnt valuable new skills and learnt to speak English. And shortly after that, he was recognised as a mandated refugee, giving him the ability to apply for a work permit in Hong Kong. With the newly mastered skills he learnt from our programmes, it was no time at all before Robert successfully found work and becameindependent of nancial subsidies.

Despite the hardships he had faced coming here, Robert was able to get back on his feet and strive for a better future. All he needed was the support and care of a local community.

*Some names and identifying details have been changed to protect the privacy of individuals