Spearheaded by its visionary founder Dr. Michael Manio, a member of the HKU Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine, together with David Bishop from the FBE, Lindsay Ernst from the Faculty of Law and HKU students, and in partnership with numerous government and non-government organizations, EmpowerU has already contributed greatly in transforming the lives of migrant domestic workers in many ways.
In Hong Kong, there are more than 385,000 domestic workers, representing 10% of the city’s working population. Many are mothers who leave their families, working six days per week to provide for their loved ones.
EmpowerU (formerly known as Domestic Worker Empowerment Project) is a nonprofit educational and empowerment platform. At EmpowerU, we firmly believe that these workers deserve better. And since most of these workers are the main earners for their families, helping them access education will have a cascading effect.
We created EmpowerU to help connect domestic workers with opportunities to learn from top education partners, including NGOs, companies, and even top university professors. Our program is held at The University of Hong Kong (HKU), and many of our facilitators and instructors are HKU professors and students.
Through EmpowerU, participants have exposure to practical knowledge necessary to improve not only their own lives, but also their employers’ well-being. Additionally, we focus on aspirational knowledge that makes life beautiful and worth living - literature, arts, culture, etc. We also hope to help them prepare for the future, whether in domestic work, a different career field or even as an entrepreneur.