Eman Villanueva, Mentor of Syed
Vice Chairperson, Filipino Migrant Workers' Union
Syed M. Agha
Syed arrived in Hong Kong from India for the first time 14 years ago as a tourist, and decided to stay and build a life here as a migrant worker. He sees Hong Kong as his home and is determined to make it equal and fair in its treatment of all those who call it so, for all ethnicities and people and to make a caring society for everyone, which empowers the weak, the disabled, the elderly and the marginalized sections of the society, for those who need support but do not seek it.
Whether it be interpreting for refugees at Justice Centre Hong Kong, volunteering at a suicide prevention association, or coordinating food collection for other volunteers and the economically disadvantaged, Syed is constantly working to improve the social, economic and mental welfare of people from all walks of life in Hong Kong. He also regularly volunteers in an organizing capacity with the ethnic minority concern group called “Voices of Diversity”which, often in collaboration with Hong Kong Unison, campaigns for greater integration of ethnic minorities in Hong Kong through policy changes such as equal access to public services, removing the segregation in teaching of Chinese to ethnic minorities at schools, expanding ethnic minority students’ post-secondary options in education, and more. Apart from issues affecting ethnic minorities, Syed also gives his time and attention to causes related to the greater Hong Kong society such as welfare, economic inequality, and limited general and mental health treatment facilities. Syed aims to continue working to make Hong Kong a place where every human being gets treated with dignity and respect, and is afforded with basic welfare and dignity of life. He strongly believes in the value of education, and is himself a lifelong learner, spending his free time discussing new things from a variety of fields.
In Syed’s Words:
“Unlike expats who come here to make money and leave, I came to Hong Kong as a migrant and started life from a scratch. I settled here in 2006 with less than US$200 in my pocket, and now call this city my home. My future is here and hence the interest in making the society equal and better for everyone.”
無論是在Justice Centre Hong Kong為難民翻譯，在防止自殺機構進服務，還是與其他義工及有經濟需要人士收集食物，Syed都展現出不斷的努力，改善所有人的社會、經濟及精神福祉。他也恆常為少數族裔關注組Voices of Diversity義務籌劃活動，並與融樂會攜手合作，為種族共融倡議，推動政策改變，例如平等使用公眾服務、廢除教授中文時的種族隔離、拓寬少數族裔在中學畢業後的出路等。除此之外，Syed亦投身於影響社會整體的種種議題，例如福利政策、貧富懸殊，和一般及精神復康設施不足。Syed希望能繼續為香港努力，好讓所有人皆可以活得有尊嚴、尊重，並能享有生命中的基本福利。他確信教育的價值，善用閒時持續學習、討論。