[ ‘SHARE’ May-Jun 2013 – Seeing It with Our Eyes ] TAKING ACTION
Author> CHOW Tze
‘When I first came to Hong Kong I was very shy and dared not talk to anyone. Now I am keen to share my culture and story with others, and I have made many friends here!’ Refugee Jim (fictitious name) tells us excitedly.
Before coming to Hong Kong, Jim had fled two countries with people trying to track him down and kill him. In his hometown the dark-skinned Jim was hospitable to all visitors regardless of their race and ethnicity, so he expected the same friendly treatment when he arrived in the cosmopolitan city of Hong Kong. Sadly it was not so: no one would rent him a flat, and nobody would take the vacant seat beside him in a packed bus. For the first time Jim felt what it was like to be ‘discriminated against’ and realised that he was ‘different’.
I love drama and in my free time I would join ‘Playback Theatre’. The Theatre believes that everyone has a unique story to tell and that story is worth listening to. In this Theatre a story-teller gets to review his own story, and people in the community are connected through ‘one story inspiring other stories’.
In the past couple of years, refugees who are ‘Peace Maker volunteers’ of Playback Theatre share their experiences with churches, schools and community centres. From these stories the audience figures out that during the refugees’ stay in Hong Kong, what they need most is not material assistance but the community’s acceptance and inclusion.
Accepting someone may mean taking a moment to humbly listen and give support. Oftentimes Christian ‘peace’ requires one simple step, and it is up to you and I to take that step.
Chow Tze, a Christian social worker works at ‘A Generation’ which promotes caring for the needs of refugees and asylum seekers in Hong Kong. CEDAR has often invited ‘A Generation’ to share with secondary and tertiary students about African refugees in Hong Kong.