Volunteer in Hong Kong – make the most out of your year abroad!

As the wise Ralph Waldo Emersen put it:

“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”

While you are in exchange, I want you to get a chance to do to something greater, and invite you to volunteer in this amazing project that I can truly recommend.

Volunteering for Michael Mike Manio, MD-PhD at the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, has been an absolute pleasure. He is very passionate about improving the quality of life of the Filipino domestic workers in Hong Kong and does that inspirationally!

The Guardian reports that there are 53 million domestic workers worldwide, of which many are migrant workers travelling from poor to rich countries to clean, cook and drive cars for private households. In Phillipines, many families struggle to pay school fees for their children, as 25% of the country lives under the poverty line. Naturally, a large amount of women and men travel to countries such as Hong Kong to work and provide for their families.

In Hong Kong, as much as 50% of the domestic workers come from Philippines and make up almost 180 000 people, of which most are women. However, the life in Hong Kong is not a fairytale, and the bright skyscrapers often bring darkness and misery. The domestic workers are not only far from home and their families, but they are also a subject to exploitation, abuse and exclusion from labor laws. Unfortunately, there is very little support for them out there, making their conditions even harder to bear.

The Domestic Workers Empowerment Program (DWEP) was created to provide an opportunity for both women and men to receive education in general and cultural knowledge. This excellent opportunity allows them to obtain a “Certificate of Completion” from a prestigious institution, The University of Hong Kong, that helps them elevate their importance and value at work. Many of those who successfully complete this program, have a chance of a better working life, and more respect at work. The workers are educated in topics such as health, legal rights, recycling, biodiversity, CPR & AED, fair employment, amongst other.


During my time with DWEP, I learned a lot as a person and got to know so many genuine, kind and caring people. This is a great project, and I cannot recommend it enough! The photo above photo was taken at the Mental Health lecture, where my friend and I held a presentation on wa13734731_10154506599856178_76160286_nys to reduce stress.

Get in touch with Michael today to make a difference and become a part of this amazing project!

Email: mikemd03@hku.hk

Check out their facebook page for more information:



2 thoughts on “Volunteer in Hong Kong – make the most out of your year abroad!

  1. I am so grateful for being a part of DWEP students batch 1&2. I am so impressed with all the people taking the same journey as me on this program. I am so lucky and blessed. Thank you so much Dr. Mike Manio for allowing us to learn more and learn such informative things! We are especially greatful for the Healt and Awareness Program. I learnt a lot!!
    Looking forward to more projects. Thanks to all the students and ambassadors from different countries for all the supports and understanding. God Bless us all.


  2. Im so thankful to be a part of this program for DWEP, wherein good values, awareness, self-worth/self-respect towards others are among the core values and benefits of the program! Where dignity and morale boosting is truly appreciated and observed.
    We sometimes feel down falls, get degraded and experience other things that affect our confidence, yet here at DWEP you learn how to regain self-confidence. This program lets you discover your capabilities as a person where positivity overcomes negativity.. You’ll see life in a lighter and brighter aspects…
    Armouring yourself with self confidence, dignity, self-worth, friendship, love and respect for others…
    I entered DWEP with a heavy heart, but throughout the weeks and months of being with the lovely people and learning I became more confident. Setting aside my burdens, I have learned to face life with positivity and a light heart. It puts a smile on my face when I develoved friendship not only with my co students but with my greatest mentor Dr. Miguel Mike Manio, who helped me a lot to overcome my burdens in life by simply showing a great gesture of being a friend whom you can rely on, whom you can shre your thoughts about life… I truly admire his greatness, unselflessness and his great love and compassion for others! He will always have a soft spot in my heart….no matter what!
    I am so thankful and grateful that once in mylife I was given a chance to be a part of this amazing program.. Godbless!!!


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