South Asians who have
long resided in Hong Kong are also members of
the Hong Kong family. However, their needs have
always been neglected owing to the language barrier.
Hong Kong Christian Service has conducted a survey
on 'Community Knowledge of South Asians in Hong
Kong' to find out the extent of their community
knowledge and the difficulties they encounter
while living in Hong Kong. 133 South Asians were
According to the findings, 70.54% of the respondents
agreed or strongly agreed that services provided
by government departments can be trusted. 80.31%
agreed or strongly agreed that the Police can
be trusted. 79.93% agreed or strongly agreed that
social service organizations can be trusted. These
responses indicate a high level of trust.
10.99% would seek employment through the Labour
Department, while 5.5% would resort to NGOs. 60.16%
would approach social service organizations for
help when they felt unhappy. When facing financial
difficulty, slightly more than half of them would
seek help from the Social Welfare Department (SWD)
whereas 45.08% of them would definitely not.
In spite of the positive impression on the government,
the findings revealed that South Asians did not
have sufficient knowledge on community resources.
Concerning government departments, 59.02% of the
South Asians interviewed reported that they did
not know or were unsure as to who could help them
find a school place for their children. 58.37%
had no idea or were unsure about whom they should
approach when finding a job. Their knowledge on
government resources in financial assistance was
also limited. More than six-tenth (63.28%) reported
that they had no knowledge or were not sure where
to go for help.
Among the respondents, 32.06% said that they
knew nothing about community resources, while
22.09% knew only a little. The language barrier
had hindered their use of community services and
brought adverse effects on their community lives.
In view of this, Hong Kong Christian Service
urged the government to increase resources to
enhance South Asians in Hong Kong to use community
resources so as to improve their quality of life.
We initiated the launching of an Interpretation
Service for South Asians to assist them to seek
for suitable services. This Interpretation Service,
with languages including Urdu, Nepali and Hindi,
was also made available to government departments,
schools or NGOs in order to facilitate effective
communication with the South Asians.
In fact, it is not only the South Asians who
need interpretation support but also those who
work with them, such as social workers and teachers.
Previous experience showed that interpretation
support has served as an effective connection
between school personnel and the parents for the
students' welfare. It has also facilitated social
services personnel to offer suitable assistance
to their clients.