Saleena was born in Hong Kong, but moved to Pakistan at a young age. Since returning to Hong Kong, she has been a community worker passionate about community, connection, and creativity, or the 3C’s as she calls them.
Saleena returned to Hong Kong in 1995, and was given pork congee at the hospital after giving birth to her second child. She did not know English at the time, and mistakenly ate the congee against her Muslim beliefs. This experience made her realize that English was imperative to living in Hong Kong, and she now speaks English and Cantonese in addition to Urdu, Hindi, Sindhi, Punjabi, Siraiki and Hindko.
In 2008, Saleena began working at the YMCA of Hong Kong as a Frontline Community Worker to help people access government resources. Saleena works with many ethnic minority youth in particular, encouraging them to pursue their dreams and letting them know about scholarships and funding. Saleena also manages Community Shop, a program where housewives teach their domestic skills to others or sell their creations. The skills, which may be underappreciated at home, are valuable contributions at the Community Shop, and the women gain confidence by helping others.
Saleena has also helped victims of gender-based violence(GBV) during the course of her work, acting as a sounding board to discuss their issues, even if they did not pursue legal action. In 2015, Saleena also joined the first sexual violence training conducted by Rainlily, an anti-sexual violence NGO.
Saleena would like to pursue a degree in social work and has recently applied for a program that provides ethnic minorities with a social worker degree, a program she initially helped to fight for and establish. She is also working to develop a project to raise awareness of GBV among children at a young age .To relax, Saleena enjoys henna drawing, coloring, and playing board games and also takes care of her pet cat and a parrot.
Benita Chick, Mentor of Saleena
Founder and CEO of Encompass HK