Ten talented and inspiring domestic workers in Hong Kong were given awards in a competition launched to recognize their achievements and contributions to the communities in which they live and work.

The Migrant Stars 2018 Competition aims to raise awareness of domestic workers’ achievements and talents, as well as the significant contributions they have made to local communities, according to Enrich HK, the charity which organized the event.

The organizer received 90 nominations for 40 individuals whose diverse talents and contributions included charity work, education, art, fashion, culinary skills, entrepreneurship, journalism, photography and sport.

Kocho Hei, an Indonesian domestic worker and award-winning masterchef who has filmed a series of cooking shows with Hong Kong newspaper Apple Daily, was one of the ten winners.

She said she was very happy to receive the award and to learn of and understand more about other domestic workers’ achievements in the community. These, she said, inspired her to develop her talent more.

Another winner, Jennifer Gallo Palomo Debaja from the Philippines said she was amazed to receive the award. As a poet, songwriter, volunteer journalist, community leader and founder of ‘RMN Iloilo Fans Club HK’, Jennifer’s reports have raised awareness of the abuse of domestic workers in the Middle East and have even helped reunite missing workers with their loved ones in the Philippines.

Debaja said she felt privileged to have made a contribution to the community and to think that it may have had an impact on the chaotic world we are living in today.

The competition was held in Hong Kong and run simultaneously across the region in collaboration with charities One-Forty in Taiwan and Aidha in Singapore.

Lucinda Pike, Executive Director of Enrich said that, given the growing numbers of domestic workers in Asia, especially in Hong Kong, Singapore and Taiwan, the charity wanted to draw attention to the stories about positive contributions they make to their communities.