Last Sunday, domestic worker NGO Enrich administered a survey amongst 100 migrant women. While the overall atmosphere at Charter Garden was cheerful with colourful dancing parades the survey painted an alarming picture of the financial situation of many migrant women in Hong Kong.
Most migrant women arrive in Hong Kong to work and save money in order to secure a better and brighter future for themselves and their families. Generally women save for things like their children’s education, a house, capital for business or a comfortable retirement.
However, the survey revealed low savings rates among migrant women with more than half of the respondents having less than $5000 in savings. Moreover, 20% of the migrants responded that they have more than $6000 debt. Only 3% of the migrant women reported to being debt free.
In addition to the low levels of savings and varying levels of debt amongst the migrants, 30% of the women reported that they do not have a clear grasp of their personal finances and do not know how much they owe or how much they have as savings. According to Enrich Executive Director Lenlen Mesina these figures are alarming. “Most migrants come here to work and save for their future. However, with low savings and lack of knowledge and ability to manage their salaries and personal finances, this seems to be an elusive goal to achieve”.
To help migrant women achieve their goal of securing a brighter and better financial future for their families and themselves, Enrich provides financial literacy and personal development training for migrant women.
“We hope that we can encourage more women to attend our workshops so more migrant women will be able to fulfil their long term plans returning home and securing a better future for their families” said Lenlen Mesina, director of Enrich.