Four domestic helpers from the Philippines have signed up for the annual fundraising hiking event organized by Oxfam, news website hk01.com reports.
Aleli, Bernadette, Beverly and Marian call their team “Maid of Heart and Sole”, the first of its kind that is formed by foreign maids to join the charity hike challenge since it was launched in Hong Kong by the world anti-poverty group in 1986.
This year’s Oxfam Trailwalker, one of the largest fundraising sporting events in Hong Kong, will be held from Nov. 17 to 19.
Participants have to complete the 100km MacLehose Trail from Sai Kung to Yuen Long within a 48-hour time limit.
Aleli, 37, who has been working in Hong Kong for 14 years, said the reason she and her teammates are joining the event is not just to help Oxfam to raise funds for the needy but also to encourage other foreign maids to spend their leave outside the urban areas. She is the team captain.
She said she, like most foreign maids in the city, used to spend her leave days in parks downtown, but that has changed since she began hiking four years ago.
The experience of climbing up to High West on Hong Kong Island and seeing for the first time the breathtaking panoramic view made her decide to go to the countryside as much as she can during her holidays, Aleli said.
Marian, 43, is the oldest member of the team, but she insists that “age is just a number”. She has been participating in hiking events and helping pick up garbage on hiking trails at the same time.
A committee member of Hong Kong Hiking Meetup and an experienced hiker, who also contributes his part in assisting this team of foreign domestic helpers, said he believes the all-female team has some advantages, including the fact that all of the members are from the same country helps with their unity and that they should already be accustomed to Hong Kong’s sultry weather.
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