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'A Decade of Realising Dreams' Series (Ep 4)

Episode 4: Eva Wong & Bosco Ng from WEDO GLOBAL

WEDO GLOBAL Co-founders: Ethnic Minority Deserve More Choices

與少數族裔同行 WEDO GLOBAL共同創辦人:他們值得有更多選擇

A minority cultural ambassador realised after being a tour guide that many students are curious about her culture – this is an opportunity for them to speak up, to have a ‘Be the Star’ moment, and to appreciate her own culture.

有位少數族裔文化大使擔任導賞員後,才發現有不少學生對她的文化十分好奇——這是一個讓她們發聲的機會,令她有「Be the Star」的感覺,亦讓她懂得欣賞自己的文化。

Eva WONG 黃靜虹

Co-founder, WEDO GLOBAL 愛同行共同創辦人

Bosco NG 吳宗麟

Director, WEDO GLOBAL 愛同行董事

www.wedoglobal.com

In the self-proclaimed international metropolis of Hong Kong, misunderstandings about ethnic minorities still prevail and the options for minority jobseekers are very limited. Therefore, Eva and Bosco set up WEDO GLOBAL, a social enterprise providing multicultural workshops and guided tours to educate the public about the minority cultures and their stories as part of Hong Kong, meanwhile offering training to the minorities to facilitate their social integration in future.

於貴為國際大都會的香港社會對少數族裔仍存有不少誤解,導致他們能夠選擇的工種少之又少。有見及此,Eva及Bosco 成立社會企業「愛同行」(WEDO GLOBAL),以多元文化工作坊及導賞,讓大眾瞭解少數族裔的文化及居港的生活故事,同時為他們提供培訓,有助日後投身職場、融入社會。

Eva and Bosco met in ‘The PolyU Volunteers’ when they were studying at PolyU. Back then Bosco participated in a three-month multicultural training programme in Canada, meeting young leaders from 18 different countries and regions. This training has made me realise that there are actually many ethnic minorities in Hong Kong, and their lives are facing difficult circumstances.’

Eva及Bosco早在理大就讀的時候,在義工組織認識。Bosco曾於加拿大參加為期三個月的多元文化培訓活動,認識到來自18個不同國家及地區的青年領袖,此培訓令我留意到香港其實有很多少數族裔,而他們的生活正面對著種種困難。」

Unlike Bosco, Eva has always been drawn to the exotic cultures of different ethnic groups. She explained that she had earlier organised a volunteer service group to visit Sri Lanka, where the locals’ way of living and culture had a profound impact on her. ‘I’d got many shocking moments. The reason for eating with hands, for example, is not due to the lack of resources or poverty, but because they think using five fingers to eat is more efficient than any tableware, especially in mixing food.’ Eva believes that different ethnic cultures have their own wisdom of living, and hopes Hong Kong people could have the opportunity to learn more about them. Since then, the duo began to dig deep into the ways of living and cultures of ethnic minorities, making new friends of different ethnicities.

與Bosco有別,Eva則是被不同族裔的文化吸引。她解釋,早年曾組織海外義工服務團到斯里蘭卡探訪,當地人的生活文化對Eva影響甚深,「當時我有很多Shocking Moments(驚訝時刻),例如他們用手吃飯的原因,並非缺乏資源或貧窮,而是他們認為運用五隻手指進食,比任何餐具來得有效率,亦方便混合食物。」Eva認為,不同種族的文化各有生活智慧,她希望香港人有機會瞭解更多。自此,二人開始著手瞭解少數族裔的生活文化,甚至結識到不同種族的朋友。

Eva and Bosco hope that by providing training and employment opportunities to members of ethnic minorities, and by encouraging them to ‘share their own stories in person’, they can narrow the gap between ethnic minorities and the general public.

Eva及Bosco希望透過提供培訓及就業機會予少數族裔,推動他們「親身分享自己的故事」 ,能拉近少數族裔與普羅大眾之間的距離 。

From a Sideline to a Whole-heartedly Career

由副業到全情投入

In 2011, Eva and Bosco established WEDO GLOBAL with financial support from the PolyU Micro Fund Scheme. However, they kept their full-time jobs soon after inception and it remained a part-time venture. ‘In the beginning, we were in charge of youth activities at the Student Affairs Office of PolyU to promote communications among local, Mainland Chinese and overseas students,’ continued Bosco. ‘We also worked at the Social Enterprise Summit to build networks and gain related knowledge.’ Eva recalled, ‘then I thought if I had made up my mind and was determined to grow the business, I must devote myself to doing it.’ So they decided to quit their day-time jobs to run the social enterprises full time.

2011年,Eva及Bosco成立「愛同行」,項目獲批理大微型基金計劃的資助但二人坦言成立初時他們還有正職,「愛同行」份屬兼職性質。Bosco接著說:「一開始,我們在理大的學生事務處負責青年活動,促進本地、內地及海外學生溝通,也曾於社企民間高峰會工作,累積人脈及相關知識。」Eva形容:「當時覺得既然下了決定,如果想發展得好,就要全心投入去做。」因此他們決定辭去正職,全身投入社企的發展。

Having abandoned stable jobs, they were bound to face many uncertainties on the road of entrepreneurship. Did they struggle at that time? ‘Sure, livelihood was the main concern,’ said Bosco. ‘But we soon discovered once we were committed to it. We would keep finding ways to tackle problems. The company was growing so fast that it was beyond our expectation.’ The philosophy that underpins WEDO GLOBAL has given rise to a distinct operating model – members of ethnic minorities are trained to become tour guides and are engaged in the design of community guided tours, which enable participants to understand their cultures. After institutions and schools purchase the service, participants can join the tours for free. They believe that by providing training and employment opportunities to members of ethnic minorities, and by encouraging them to ‘share their own stories in person’, they can narrow the gap between ethnic minorities and the general public. As such the minorities are empowered to become self-reliant and cultural ambassadors who connect and contribute to the communities.

放棄穩定的正職,創業路途上往往會遇上很多未知之數,難道那時候沒有掙扎嗎?Bosco笑說:「當然有,最主要是擔心生計,但我們很快發現,當全情投入去做的時候,就會不斷找方法解決問題。公司因此發展得很快,這是我們意想不到的。」「愛同行」的理念亦幫助他們建立不一樣的營運模式——培訓少數族裔成為導賞員,並共同設計社區導賞,讓參加者瞭解他們的生活文化,而機構及學校購買服務後,參加者則能夠免費參與。他們相信透過提供培訓以及就業機會予少數族裔,推動他們「親身分享自己的故事」,能拉近少數族裔與普羅大眾之間的距離,讓他們自力更生,成為可以連結社區和貢獻社會的文化大使。

Members of ethnic minorities are trained to become tour guides and are engaged in the design of community guided tours, in order to strengthen their self-confidence and self-identity and let them appreciate their own culture.

少數族裔經培訓後成為導賞員,並共同設計導賞路線 ,藉此增強他們的自信心及自我認同感,亦讓他們懂得欣賞自己的文化。

Multicultural Education to Let Women ‘Be the Star’

多元文化教育 讓婦女「Be the Star」

At present, WEDO GLOBAL has cultural ambassadors of different nationalities with women accounting for 80%, including secondary school graduates, university students and housewives. After training and practising, they will have the opportunity to take part in the design of community guided tours to strengthen their self-confidence and self-identity. Eva hopes to change the public opinion and encourage minority women to work outside, share their ideas, and even pursue dreams. ‘A minority cultural ambassador realised after being a tour guide that many students are curious about her culture – this is an opportunity for them to speak up, to have a ‘Be the Star’ moment, and to appreciate her own culture,’ added Bosco.

現時「愛同行」有不同國籍的文化大使,女性佔了八成,當中不乏中學畢業生、大學生或主婦。她們經過培訓、練習,更有機會參與設計社區導賞路線,藉此增強他們的自信心及自我認同感。Eva希望改變大眾的看法,提倡少數族裔女性也可以外出工作,分享自己的想法,更可以追夢。「有位少數族裔文化大使擔任導賞員後,才發現有不少學生對她的文化十分好奇——這是一個讓她們發聲的機會,令她有『Be the Star』的感覺,亦讓她懂得欣賞自己的文化。」Bosco補充。

Eva and Bosco consider that tolerance, respect and communications are the most important elements when working with people of different races. Eva pointed out the colleagues of Islam faith spend the month of Ramadan every year during which they do not eat or drink between dawn and sunset. ‘Most of them would start the day at 4am and fast all day after having a Suhur meal. To show our understanding, we would arrange for flexible working hours so that they can continue their religious activities while taking care of their work.’

跟不同種族的人共事,Eva及Bosco認為最重要是包容、尊重及溝通。Eva舉例解釋,信奉伊斯蘭教的同事每年均有「齋戒月」,即每天由日出至日落都不能飲水進食。「他們大多由淩晨四時開始準備,吃『封齋飯』後,整天就不能飲水進食。為了體諒他們,我們特意安排彈性工作時間,好讓他們繼續宗教活動的同時,也能兼顧工作。」

Educate from a Young Age with Continuous Support

未來目標:從小教育 持續支援

Eva said they will work with more companies and institutions to provide more diverse multicultural training with themes including Diversity Sharing and Unconscious Bias to promote cultural integration in workplaces. She stressed that WEDO GLOBAL would hopefully become a transit point and help ethnic minorities build long-term career goals. ‘Some members who have participated in the training have become teachers or even entrepreneurs. This is the result we are hoping to see earnestly because most members of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong can only get the so-called “3D” (i.e. dirty, dangerous and demeaning) jobs. They deserve more choices to realise their full potentials.’

Eva表示未來會與更多不同的企業和機構合作,提供多元文化培訓如多元化教育(Diversity Sharing)與摒棄偏見(Unconsious Bias)等專題,從而促進職場上文化融合。她強調希望「愛同行」能成為中轉站,協助少數族裔發展更長遠的工作目標。「有些參與過培訓的少數族裔及後成為了教師,甚或創業,這是我們最希望看到的結果。現時少數族裔在香港大多只能從事俗稱『3D』的工作:Dirty、Dangerous、Demeaning(骯髒、危險、低下),但他們理應有更多選擇發揮所長。」

As one of the first 20 accredited social enterprises in Hong Kong, WEDO GLOBAL has been established for 8 years. Eva and Bosco have not only assisted many friends from ethnic minorities, but also got their fair share of valuable opportunities: Eva is currently a member of the Commission on Poverty, whereas Bosco is a member of the Advisory Committee on Racial Equality and Integration of the Equal Opportunities Commission. They are now able to propose more minority-related policies to the government. When it comes to future developments, Bosco hopes to provide training to young minorities, so they can adapt to the local culture sooner and faster. ‘In addition to on-job training, WEDO GLOBAL also provides free Chinese classes to minority groups in primary and secondary schools. I hope education can be done at a young age.’

「愛同行」成立了八年,作為香港首20間獲得社企認證之社會企業,Eva及Bosco不只協助了很多少數族裔朋友,同時亦獲得不少機會,例如Eva現時為扶貧委員會委員,而Bosco則是平等機會委員會(種族平等共融顧問委員會)成員,能夠向政府倡議更多與少數族裔相關的政策。談到將來的發展,Bosco希望能夠從小培訓少數族裔,讓他們更快適應本地文化,「除了在職培訓,『愛同行』更提供免費中文班予中小學的少數族裔學生,希望教育能從小做起。 」

 

 

 

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