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A Success Story

Alex (middle) is one of the first few cohorts of the Employability Programme of CFR

Refugees are one of the groups of people that have inspired my work in Christian Action. They face a multitude of challenges every day, and their responses should be an inspiration to all of us. Our involvement in the plight of the Vietnamese refugees became the foundation of all our programmes. They range across different groups of people in need in Hong Kong and China. It is so rewarding and affirming whenever I hear stories of their success.

I want to share with you the story of Alex, who is one of our service users. He has been with CA for a long time, and his story of perseverance and resilience has been a source of strength for many other refugees.

The ongoing civil war that has ravaged Sri Lanka for more than 20 years led Alex to flee his homeland. He left behind his family, friends, and most especially, his fiance, and arrived in Hong Kong alone in 2007. Life in Hong Kong was an ordeal for him. Like other refugees, opportunities and options were limited, so he was idle most of the time. In 2009, he heard about Christian Action's Centre for Refugees (CFR) through a friend who was also CA's client.

Through CFR, Alex was able to find a support system in Hong Kong. The support he was given helped him meet his basic needs, provided him with additional education and training, and that improved his overall welfare. He also joined our football team and enjoyed the times we organized cricket matches. Most importantly, he found a home away from home.

After seven years, he reunited with his fiancé, who also arrived in Hong Kong as a refugee. They got married, and both received refugee status. It allowed them to remain in Hong Kong with their daughter. Through CFR's Employability Programme, Alex recently found work as a runner in one of the top five international hotel chains in West Kowloon. In his new work environment, he has been welcomed with open arms by his colleagues and supervisors. He is excited at the possibilities of new opportunities, and he is filled with hope as he is able to fully support his family.

Even though resettlement options for refugees are bleak, people like Alex remind us that there is always hope. It truly is a blessing to journey with the refugees as we help to give them a sense of purpose. It is my prayer that one day all the refugees in Hong Kong will achieve their dreams of a better life for themselves and their families.

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