The Centre for Refugees, a “home away from home” for our beneficiaries, suffered a fire on the morning of Saturday, the 29th of August. We were saddened and shocked to see our community centre, which was once a welcoming space for our beneficiaries to meet with caseworkers, reduced into ashes and dust. The safety and wellbeing of our staff, volunteers, visitors and beneficiaries are our primary concern and we are incredibly grateful that no one was injured.
A seemingly ordinary day for, Kalyan Rai, our medically trained caseworker went awry when he detected smoke emanating from an air conditioner. Despite his heroic attempts to extinguish the fire; the situation quickly became life-threatening and Kalyan called fire services and alerted neighboring units. Kalyan and all other tenants/visitors in Block E of Chungking Mansions were safely evacuated.
Our kitchen and counselling room was filled with smoke and soot, but are undamaged as well as our 16/F community room. However, our computer and telephone systems are temporarily down and we are currently operating with limited capacity. Our team, with the help of our colleagues from Christian Action head office and volunteers are working hard to restore our facilities and resume full services.
We have received an overwhelming response from our friends from both in Hong Kong and overseas - offering their support, love and inquiring for ways that they can donate. Your warm messages inspire us to continue persevering and remind our team that we are not alone—THANK YOU!