"Empathy and compassion should not exist only between people with the same values; true compassion is universal."
“I have been an outreach worker at Teen’s Key since 2019. My outreach work involves me visiting young, vulnerable girls working in the sex industry at nightclubs and bars. It has been challenging to do these visits in the midst of COVID, but I also do regular outreach online through different social media platforms. I remember my first outreach visit at a nightclub, I felt so embarrassed and shy; I didn’t know where to look or what to say. Things have changed a lot and I feel totally at ease now in these situations – the bouncers know us, the girls know us. During our visits we would give the girls some basic health tests, leave some condoms, and try to engage and connect with them. My work has really brought out the value of compassion. To me, empathy and compassion should not exist only between people with the same values; true compassion is universal. There are good people and bad people in every industry and to me, sex work is the same as any other kind of work. Last year when we were handing out COVID supplies at the nightclubs, the girls expressed their concern about our wellbeing and how we are coping. I felt so touched – true compassion goes both ways.” 「我由2019年開始喺青躍做外展服務，我會去夜總會同埋酒吧探訪一啲從事性行業嘅弱勢青少女。疫情令到我哋好難去做探訪，但我定期都會喺唔同嘅社交平台做網上外展。我仲記得我第一次出外展，去到夜總會，覺得好尷尬，唔知望邊好，又唔知講咩好。而家就唔同哂喇，可以好自在咁行入去，保安知道我哋係咩人，啲女仔都同我哋熟咗。出外展嘅時候，我哋會同啲女仔做簡單嘅健康測試，俾啲安全套佢哋，嘗試同佢哋傾計熟絡下。我嘅工作好反映到咩係同理心，對我嚟講，唔應該只係關心同自己有相同價值觀嘅人，真正嘅同理心係一視同仁嘅。每一個行業都有好嘅人，有唔好嘅人，對我嚟講，性行業同其他行業一樣，只係一份工作。上年我哋喺夜總會派防疫物資嘅時候，啲女仔好關心我哋，問我哋有冇事，搞唔搞得掂，我覺得好感動，真正嘅同理心係雙向嘅。」
“My experiences here have really broken down stereotypes and assumptions. A lot of people assume that girls enter the sex industry because they are materialistic; but the reality is that many girls are forced into the industry because of insecurities, external pressure and circumstances. We may all see what’s on the surface, but what’s underneath is so much more complex and nuanced. I have learned to cast away judgment and to listen openly. The girls that we work with are generally between 13-29 years old – an age group that falls squarely within the exploration stage; they are confused, lost and searching for their own identity. Sometimes the girls share stories of sexual harassment, abuse and aggressive behaviour. I try to stay strong when listening to these heartbreaking stories; because what they need is courage and someone to walk through these challenges with them. There has been a slight mindset shift in Hong Kong in recent years, but there is still a lot of stigma around the topic of sex workers and sex generally. At Teen’s Key we are really working to mobilise this change in perspectives, and to influence and educate our society. We are currently an all girls power team of eleven, and we are like family!” 「我喺呢度嘅經歷真係打破咗好多既有嘅觀念同假設。好多人會假設女仔從事性行業係因為佢哋貪慕虛榮，但其實好多時，佢哋係因為覺得迷惘、外間壓力同埋個人處境，迫於無奈入咗呢行。我哋可以睇到件事表面上係咁，但其實背後有好多嘢唔係咁簡單。我學識喺呢啲時候唔去批判，只係用心去聽佢哋講。我哋服務嘅女仔通常由13歲去到29歲，佢哋喺呢個年紀正正係摸索嘅階段，喺度認識緊自己，會覺得困惑同迷惘。有時佢哋會講起自己被性騷擾、性侵犯同埋暴力對待嘅經歷，聽到呢啲令人心酸嘅事，我要保持堅強，因為佢哋需要嘅係勇氣，同埋知道有人可以陪佢哋去面對。近呢幾年香港社會嘅風氣有咗少少改變，但對性工作者同埋性呢樣嘢仍然係有好多偏見。我哋喺青躍嘅工作，正正係希望去推動社會觀念上嘅改變，去教育同埋影響社會大眾。我哋目前嘅工作團隊係全女班，有十一個女仔，好似一家人咁﹗」
“I am 26 years old and I would not say that I am a very girly girl – perhaps because I grew up with a big brother! I don’t think girls should need to fit into a single mould or ideal or have to be a certain way. I studied Sociology at university, and have always been drawn to feminist topics. My first contact with Teen’s Key was as a teenage student, and I joined the organisation as a volunteer intern. I felt like the values and mission of the organisation really resonated with my own; and I have not looked back since. Every day at work, I just want to give the very best that I can to every girl I meet. I would love to have the opportunity to visit other countries in Asia to learn more about what is being done in this space, and to use these experiences to drive positive change in Hong Kong. I don’t want to dream too big, but my hope is that our work can help our city to gradually accept this group of marginalised girls that we are serving; openly and with compassion.” 「我今年26歲，我唔會話自己係一個好『女仔』嘅女仔，可能因為我同阿哥由細玩到大﹗我唔覺得女仔需要符合某一個形象或者一定要係點樣。我喺大學讀社會學，對女性主義嘅議題好有興趣。我第一次接觸青躍嘅時候仲係一個學生，喺佢哋度做義工實習。我嗰時覺得佢哋嘅價值觀同埋使命同我嘅睇法好一致，就一直參與到而家。每日做嘢嘅時候，我只希望盡力去幫每一個我遇到嘅女仔。我希望有機會去亞洲其他國家，吸收下其他人點樣做相關嘅工作，將呢啲經驗帶返嚟香港。我唔想諗得太遠大，但我都希望我哋做嘅嘢可以令到個城市逐漸放低偏見，用同理心去接納呢班女仔。」