Unbearable Heaviness

Justice Centre, Hong Kong

Zeshan Foundation supported Justice Centre Hong Kong (“JCHK”) in providing mental health counselling to Hong Kong’s refugees and asylum seekers, a critical area of relief work in which there has been a significant funding gap amid the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020. 

 JCHK is a non-profit organization which brings holistic services to some of the most marginalized communities in Hong Kong, providing direct support by enabling access to legal information, quality legal representation, counselling and social welfare. 

Addressing mental health issues that otherwise have the potential to escalate, JCHK’s in-house psychotherapist has been able to, through this grant, help vulnerable migrants overcome trauma and other mental impacts from experiences of persecution, torture, and displacement. Without this support, vulnerable individuals would more likely struggle to tell their story clearly, hindering their ability to effectively engage with legal asylum processes, further increasing their risk of being returned to their home country where they could be in danger of torture, persecution, or even death.

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Asylum seeker meeting case worker

Case Study & Testimonial

Forty-year-old Lenya comes from a tribe in Africa where Female Genital Mutilation is forced upon female members as an initiation rite. As a family member of the chief of the tribe, Lenya was expected to adhere to the rules of the tribe without exception. Fearing a punishment of death for refusing to go through with this traumatic practice, Lenya fled her country and ended up in Hong Kong.

In the beginning, Lenya had difficulty living in Hong Kong, unable to move on from the trauma from her past experiences. She was emotionally fragile, would break down when faced with even the slightest bit of stress, and was unable to form lasting friendships due to past betrayals by people whom she thought she could trust. She avoided people, preferred to stay at home, and would often ruminate over her losses, putting her in a depressed state. Lenya sought help at Justice Centre, where her case officer referred her to counselling. 

Lenya started counselling in November 2020, attending sessions every week with Justice Centre’s in-house psychotherapist. With a safe environment to share her story and learn healthy coping skills, she has become more confident, cheerful, and hopeful over time despite her difficult circumstances as a refugee in Hong Kong.

 Feedback from Lenya:

“I just want to appreciate all that you guys are doing for me. I’m so thankful for the counselling at Justice Centre because this counselling therapy really helped me a lot! I was finding it difficult to let my past relationship go… I was unable to make new friends, I was having trust issues and I was so bitter and unhappy. But since I started the counselling Classes at Justice Centre, my inner peace is okay! My life is moving forward in a good direction. Now I can value myself ... I still have hope in life. Now I can make new friends and share my secrets with someone that I truly trust.”

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It is a long established fact that a reader will be distracted by the readable content of a page when looking at its layout. The point of using Lorem Ipsum is that it has a more-or-less normal distribution of letters, as opposed to using ‘Content here, content here’, making it look like readable English. Many desktop publishing packages and web page editors now use Lorem Ipsum as their default model text, and a search for ‘lorem ipsum’ will uncover many web sites still in their infancy. Various versions have evolved over the years, sometimes by accident, sometimes on purpose (injected humour and the like).

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