I am always amazed at how a few simple ideas, offered with compassion, can turn into something extraordinary. A small group of volunteers from Turner Broadcasting recently gave their time and talents to teach refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong about photography. They had no idea that they would make such an impact!
The project was set up in co-operation with Christian Action's Chung King Mansions Service Centre for Refugees and Asylum Seekers. The volunteers taught their eager pupils as much as they could about photography. The cameras used by the refugees and asylum seekers were also donations!
Three students proved to be a cut above the rest. Their work was so remarkable that Turner Broadcasting decided to showcase the most exceptional photographs in a photographic exhibition, which they called ‘Soul in a Metropolis’. Then, in an act of generosity far surpassing their talent, the three photographers agreed to sell their work to raise money for a future 'Arts Initiative Programme', also facilitated by Christian Action. Donations made by Turner Broadcasting and Clifford Chance set the precedent for the evening, which others willingly followed.
The Arts Initiative Program includes photography, music, and performing arts. For refugees and asylum seekers who are very vulnerable in Hong Kong, art is an alternative form of therapy and a meaningful way to heal, learn, and grow. I am so grateful to Turner Broadcasting for helping us make this project a reality, and I hope many people are moved to assist refugees and asylum seekers as a result of this exhibition.
Participating in this photo exhibition is a tremendously empowering experience, not only for the photographers involved, but also for other fellow refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong. No matter how much assistance Christian Action provides, we simply cannot resolve the situation they find themselves in. Through our basic support services, and additional programmes like the arts initiative, we can help make their journey towards a resolution easier.
Volunteer opportunities and updates about programs for refugees and asylum seekers can be found on our website. In the meantime, if you want to know more about other programmes for refugees and asylum seekers that also need funding, please contact me via the comments box below.