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Migration Success Story: Hong Kong

January 2014, 29
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Migration Success Story
A woman, named Luci Chi, emigrated from Hong Kong when she was just a child. She led a good life in England with her family but always had a niggling feeling that the UK was not her home and so she travelled to Hong Kong many times on Temporary Visas. Each time she returned to Hong Kong she avoided the tourist areas and headed for the traditional coastal market areas that were once her home. Her family managed to leave their humble beginnings due to a job offer her father had in the UK but had they not had this break, she too could have been one of the many women and children she saw begging in these areas.

Begging can be a profitable business, it can also be something which desperate people turn to when they literally have no choice as is the plea for many of the people she witnessed. Hong Kong men are statistically more likely to emigrate abroad for work purposes, the same options are not readily available for women especially mothers and so many are left behind to keep house and home and raise their children, often with very little financial support. To earn the most money in begging you need to be unique, stand out, and many do this by putting their children on the streets to beg. This is no life for a child and something which troubled Luci greatly.

Whilst in her comfortable home in the UK she fought with many different ideas of how best to help these women and children. Flying over there with money and food, while help in the short term would do nothing to better the lives of these desperate people in the longer term. In order to live a higher standard of living they needed a skill, a trade, a business. And this was something that Ms Chi could give them.

Luci Chi made a trip to Hong Kong with a suitcase full of beads. She gave these beads and bits of string to the women on the streets and taught them how to make jewelry such as bracelets, necklaces and earrings. This would be jewelry that they could sell as authentic hand made jewelry and with their profits they could buy more wares and continue selling until they established their own business, by purchasing a market stall or renting a small shop. This has been a huge success and this one woman has transformed the lives of many in her home country by just having the will. Her migration success story is one of many whom have returned home to give back.

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