My images in this project tell a positive story of how domestic workers in Hong Kong live a fulfilling life with love, dignity, and perseverance.
Foreign domestic workers began coming to Hong Kong in the 1970s, after the city transformed from a poor manufacturing hub to a modern financial center. Presently there are nearly 400,000 of them in the territory, mostly from the Philippines and Indonesia.
Required by law to live in their employer’s residence, migrant workers are exposed to long working hours, a lack of privacy, and even abuse. Making up 10% of the city’s labor force, they are one of the most vulnerable communities.
Even though their life is challenging, the vast majority of the helpers have a high spirit and are hopeful for their future. On their days off, some of them would learn a useful trade or do part-time cleaning to save more money so that they can start a business when they return home; others would dress in their finest clothing and have an enjoyable time with friends. Like all of us, they play an integral part in building a better future for our city.