Reunion with their Hong Kong husbands has seen many women and their young children emigrate from China to Hong Kong, leaving everything they had in the mainland. These women know little about Hong Kong and need to adapt to a completely new environment, culture and system. New immigrants face social discrimination, lack of opportunities for self-development and must deal with the government's official differentiation policy that does not automatically recognize them as a Hong Kong resident eligible for social services.
SoCO espouses equal opportunity principles and assists new immigrants
to form mutual aid organizations. We follow up with new immigrants about their
difficulties in obtaining education, housing, employment, family reunions,
and integration into the wider society. We continue to urge the government
to abolish discriminatory administrative policies and to safeguard equality
of new immigrants' opportunities for advancement. SoCO provides training to
new female immigrants and their children about their rights and obligations,
and help them to become more independent and blend into the wider society.
- Successfully fought for greater government concern for child
- Successfully shortened the waiting time for family reunions
- Successfully fought for the relaxation of public housing application requirements
- Assisted thousands of new immigrants each year to resolve their difficulties and integrate into the community, helping hundreds of new immigrant children enroll into schools
- Recruited over 100 volunteers to set up learning centers within communities and provide learning opportunities for new immigrant women and children
Children are the group most affected by poverty in cosmopolitan Hong Kong with its widening gap between rich and poor. More than 300,000 local children struggle to survive in poverty, with 20,000 children living in caged homes or partitioned rooms and doing their homework on beds - with many trying to make ends meet by selling scrap paper that they collect on the street. SoCO safeguards poor children's rights and equal development opportunities through policy advocacy, service provision, and social involvement while helping them to improve their living conditions and developmental opportunities through a Child Mentorship scheme, a community learning centre, and a children's poverty fund.
SoCO successfully lobbied to extend the free education policy
from 9 years to 12 years.
SoCO has succeeded in focusing the Chief Executive's attention on impoverished children in his annual Policy Address.
SoCO successfully lobbied for Hong Kong-born children whose parents are new immigrants to have equal opportunities for public housing allocation.
SoCO provides learning opportunities and living assistance every year to more than 1,000 poor children.
Hung Zai relates his experience: "It was a long and tough time - my mother and I waited for quite awhile in mainland China before we were finally reunited with my father in Hong Kong. But not long afterwards my father lost his job. In his new job, he earns much less than the old one. Although Mum also found a job, the income was only enough to rent a small wooden cubicle room."
"Living in the cubicle is no fun. There's no space to study, no space to play. We must even stand in a queue to use the communal toilet. Our family can't really talk to each other because our neighbours will complain. I didn't want to go home every day after school, but I didn't have any money to do anything else. So I wandered in the streets, or looked after the newspaper stand so my father could earn some extra money."
"Luckily for us, the people from SoCO helped our family to move into a public housing unit. Here, I have made many new friends and now do many other activities. We appealed to the Chief Executive, urging him to take care of poor kids like us."
Hung Zhai finally received suitable housing and SoCO also arranged
a volunteer mentor offering him personal guidance. Hung Zhai and SoCO continue
to push the government to provide better protection for children living in
Contact address ：52 Princess Margaret Road, 3/F, Homantin, Kln., HK. Tel: (852) 2713 9165 Fax: (852) 2761 3326 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
(Kweilin Street Office ) Address: 1/F,
117 Kweilin Street, Sham Shu Po, Kln., HK. Tel: (852) 2307 9165 Fax: (852)
(Hai Tan Street Office) Address: 1B/F, Hai Tan Building, 149 Hai Tan Street, Sham Shui Po, Kln., HK. Tel: (852) 2725 3165 Fax: (852) 2720 4165