Dear Parents –
Yesterday I found out hundreds of refugees live a squalid life in Hong Kong. I am a parent of two students at West Island School, where we went to celebrated Fair Day. In the gymnasium was a table that attracted considerable attention thanks to the charisma of a friendly African towering above everyone. I was dragged over there by my daughter’s desire for the “Sharkies” candy he offered. Against the wall two posters projected the distinctive logo of a refugee charity: VISION FIRST. One poster read: “Who are refugees? Everyone has the right to seek and enjoy in other countries freedom from persecution – article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights”. I was intrigued and needed to know more.
The guys at Vision First are doing a terrific job! They work for free. They operate from a donated office and shelter. They guarantee 100% of funds support directly the most vulnerable refugees. And, most importantly, they have a contagious passion to serve unparalleled in the community. I write to introduce this organization that serves enthusiastically where even the government fails. It is inspiring to discover that a group of friends developed this small charity into a force of change. I write to recommend Vision First for your support as they strike me as being both highly professional and thoughtfully compassionate. I had the chance to talk to refugees who spoke of it as their extended family – as people they depend upon and as friends they trust.
Dear Friends, I learnt that refugees are not allowed to work. Further, the United Nations refugee agency (UNHCR) cut support this year and shifted their welfare to the government, that only supports refugees with 1200 HK$ rent and emergency rations. The photos I saw said it all. Vision First’s beneficiaries are condemned to a miserable life, totally unacceptable amid the city’s prosperity. They beg for every necessity. They scavenge for food. They live in horrendous conditions at the bottom of society. Without the commendable effort of Vision First, their plight would not have reached my attention. What refugees urgently need are the items we discard: used clothes, used sneakers, pots and pans, bed sheets and books, toys and diapers. When your family grows out of these or when you buy new ones, please remember that nobody needs them more desperately. Recently my donations were turned down by the Salvation Army that asked for new stuff. Instead Vision First will come to your home and gladly collected anything you can spare. It doesn’t get any easier to make a positive impact in refugees’ lives! Please spread the word among your friends and send them this flyer: Vision First flyer