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Friday
Jan112019

CA Blessing Story Series: Two Nepali Women on Hardship and Happiness

The ethnic minorities form a colourful community, bringing diversity to Hong Kong. Like us, they also encounter challenges in their daily lives. For our ethnic minority friends, these include difficulties in communication due to language barriers and also cultural differences.

Christian Action began its work with ethnic minorities in 2003. Since then, we have served over 188,000, and launched two centres that have received government funding. I'd like to share with you the story of two Nepali women who overcame challenges and found fullness of life through our programme.

Bashubba and her daughter Bibi are members of the Gurung tribe of Nepal. As Bashubba's husband was once a Gurkha soldier stationed in Hong Kong, they were eligible for Hong Kong ID cards and to resettle before the end of British rule in 1997.

It wasn't easy for them starting life in a new city because the language barrier and cultural differences created challenges. One said, "Hongkongers didn't know much about Nepalese, so it was difficult to find a job and sometimes landlords refused to rent premises to us." Bashubba eventually landed a job as a cleaner. Unfortunately, she was hit by a car in 2003 and was unable to return to work due to persistent headaches.

After the accident, Bashubba's life was thrown into disarray. When she learned about Christian Action, she decided to seek help. With our assistance, she was able not only to receive compensation for the injuries from the traffic accident but also support for her and her daughter. Subsequently, Bashubba helped set up a group for seniors at Christian Action to unite the Nepali community and fight for equal treatment of ethnic minorities.

"We can dance and sing freely here. They treat us with love," Bibi said. For her, the most impactful part of Christian Action's programme was the love and acceptance she and her mother received. They are deeply grateful for the programme, as it has shaped their lives in a positive way, allowing them to serve their community.

It's amazing to see how our mission to serve the unserved becomes quite contagious to our service users. Once they have been loved and cared for, their own desire to love and care for others grows. I pray that more women like Bashubba and Bibi would be empowered, and that our community would learn to appreciate the beauty that a diverse Hong Kong brings.

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