Quenching the thirst for knowledge

Post Date: Jun 4th, 2011 | Categories: Advocacy | COMMENT

Perhaps one of the worse enemies for our members is, time. The wait between the time that a case is accepted for consideration to when a decision is made may linger for years, and this is without counting the time it takes to be resettled after refugee status has been granted. Some of our members, for example, have been in Hong Kong for over seven years, waiting for an initial decision, while others that have been given refugee status have had to wait for over five years. During this time, however, they do not have governmental authorization to work, or support for attaining technical or tertiary education that will undoubtedly help them in their future resettlement. Instead, many face constant boredom and consequent depression because of the lack of intellectual stimulus and a sense of achievement which work and education can provide.

The UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights particularly advocates for the fundamental right to education, but tertiary certification programmes cost a considerable sum, and thus, without governmental subsidy and permission to register in Hong Kong’s higher education institutions, this useful and necessary human right is kept from the deserving population. Many of the local NGOs have indeed risen to this challenge over the years by providing languages courses, but recently our members have shown an increasing thirst for other educational opportunities. Despite the near-impossibility of finding certificate granting courses from tertiary institutions, however, there are still many self-study options available on-line from some of the world’s top universities that share courseware for subjects ranging from anthropology and physics to marketing, philosophy and many more—all free of cost! A list of these institutions is attached below. VF also helps to provide guidance for selecting courses and linking interested members with mentors including students, teachers, and professionals in relevant fields.

Aside from this, VF now also has a growing library of fiction books at our homebase with new titles coming in every week courtesy of the Flow Organic Bookshop. There are also many websites that offer free e-books ranging from fiction to non-fiction, text-books, reference books and audio books; some of these can be reached through this link:

Download free books:

Free Books Online

Self-learning Programs without Certification:

Free Distance Learning Programs