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Learning Together in Hong Kong

Posted 02 November 2021 in EMpower News, Grantee Partner News   |   Share

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EMpower believes in the profound power of cross-learning. We learn from and with our partners, combining their local expertise with our global knowledge to create new possibilities for marginalised young people.

We recently hosted an in-person exchange (adhering to local COVID-19 health protocols) in Hong Kong for our six local grantee partners: Hong Kong Unison, KELY Support Group, Teach Unlimited Foundation, Teen’s Key, The Women’s Foundation, and The Zubin Mahtani Gidumal Foundation. The session was grounded in principles of participatory grantmaking and trust-based philanthropy—our grantee partners decided the topics to be discussed and led the conversation.

After the disruption and social distancing of the pandemic, the meeting provided the organisations with the opportunity to share experiences, build alliances, and potentially increase the impact of their work. They used the space to initiate conversation around common needs and the challenges they faced during the pandemic in implementing programmes for marginalised young people in Hong Kong. Among the challenges they identified included the emotional distress among both young people and the organisational staff serving them and the adverse effects of school closures.

As a result of the discussions, they agreed to implement a project jointly in 2022, which would address two major priorities:

  • How to better support the mental well-being of staff who work on the frontlines every day
  • How to engage differently with young people given the COVID-19 context (the shift to digital learning, etc.)

This meeting is the first of more and paves the way for collaboration between our grantee partners in Hong Kong, enabling them to share their work and best practices with each other. We look forward to other opportunities to learn from and with them.

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