Reflections by Mary Mulcahy (APMM intern)
I am very excited to be interning at Asia Pacific Mission for Migrants this summer. So far I have enjoyed being introduced to the APMM team at the office, meeting my fellow interns, and assisting with the Flag Day fundraiser. I look forward to beginning work in earnest, helping with the organization’s ongoing projects, interacting with migrant communities in Hong Kong, and learning how to be a listener, supporter, and advocate for them.
There are many factors that inspired me to apply for this position at APMM. For one thing, current events such as the refugee crisis, contentious debate on immigration during the American presidential race, Pope Francis’ and the Church’s many calls for compassion toward migrants, and, locally, Erwiana Sulistyaningsih’s fight for justice, have opened my eyes to the struggles faced by migrants in our world today. It is impossible to ignore the difficulties faced by migrants in Hong Kong, Asia Pacific more broadly, and on a global scale—including desperate circumstances at home, long-term separation from family, poor working and living conditions, and discriminatory laws and regulations. As an American expatriate born and raised in Hong Kong, I recognize that the situation I occupy as the daughter of parents who came to this city in pursuit of economic opportunity is different from that of men and women who migrate out of economic necessity, or for other reasons whereby they are left with few or no viable alternatives. So, I hope by working at APMM to play a small role in serving individuals who confront challenges such as these.
In addition, the opportunity to learn during my time with APMM is a very valuable one. I hope to learn about the inner workings and administrative side of a nonprofit organization, and about the contemporary issues affecting migrants in our society. The migrant community in Hong Kong with which I have interacted since childhood is that of foreign domestic workers, namely those who have been employed by my family and friends, and those who are members of the Catholic community in Hong Kong, in which I was raised. I look forward to hearing more about the stories and the concerns of individuals in this demographic, as well as those of marriage migrants and undocumented migrants, with whom I know APMM also works closely. Understanding the lives and experiences of migrants is so important because migration will continue to be one of the most significant issues of the 21st century in an increasingly globalized world. Finally, I wish to express my gratitude for the chance to work at APMM, and my eagerness to welcome these and any other opportunities to learn or to serve that may arise in these next couple of months.