WHAT OUR CAMPAIGN IS ABOUT
Ms Chan is an unmarried single mother, and Ah Ming is 3 years old. Ms Chan has been charged with a low level criminal offence. She is likely to receive a short custodial sentence at her sentencing hearing next week. She is also being pressured by the family of Ah Ming’s father to hand Ah Ming over to them for care and has been given some papers to sign. In this situation, what would you do?
Read about Ms Chan's story and why this campaign will make a real impact in the lives of people like her and her son.
ABOUT THE CENTRE AND HOW YOU CAN HELP ITS FUTURE
Our mission at the Hong Kong Centre for Pro Bono Services Ltd (“CPBS”) is to improve access to justice for those who can't otherwise afford it and we are hoping to establish the first, independent, community legal centre in Hong Kong over the next year. To trial this goal, we have been operating a community legal clinic in Sham Shui Po on a pilot basis since May 2017 (“Legal Centre”). The trial was run in partnership with the Society of Community Organisation ("SoCO") who provides welfare services to families in Hong Kong's poorest neighborhoods.
While the trial was intended to run for only a 6 month period, it has been very successful and the Legal Centre continues to run regularly to the present day. Over the last 18+ months, the Legal Centre has served over 60 underrepresented and vulnerable individuals in the areas of family law, probate, criminal law, immigration law, employment law to mention but a few. Importantly, it shows that there is a clearly identified need for increased legal assistance to the very poor and disadvantaged in our community, particularly, victims of domestic violence, migrant mothers, low income individuals and families, and domestic workers. The individuals and families we help (who are subject to financial means assessments) would otherwise not be able to afford private legal services, and their legal needs would have gone unmet, which further perpetuates the cycle of poverty and disadvantage.
CPBS runs all its projects,
including the Legal Centre, with no paid or full time staff, so our work has
only been possible through the generosity of our volunteer law students, volunteer
lawyers, and the partner law firms who provide the free legal services. But as
a result of this successful trial, we recognise that the Legal Centre needs to
employ a case manager and have proper resources in order to be
able to expand its services and to be run on a permanent and sustainable basis.
Therefore, we need your help by donating at least HK$500 to our campaign! This
campaign aims to get at least 500 people to donate $500 to raise sufficient
funds for at least one part time staff member together with related costs and
resources to establish and run the Legal Centre on a permanent basis for the
next 12 months.
The case manager(s) will be able to help screen clients and cases, better leverage the help of our volunteers, assist the volunteer lawyers with training, administration and risk management, as well as provide better care for our disadvantaged and vulnerable clients through the process of finding, getting and acting on legal assistance. They will also be able to further continue to develop the Legal Centre's resources to enable long-term sustainability.