A team of Filipino domestic workers have been spending their days off picking up garbage and cleaning coastal areas in Hong Kong.
The Filipino Dynamo Dragon Boat Team, a dragon boat team formed by domestic workers who are also amateur sports lovers, joined a sports challenge – Adventure Clean Up Challenge – the first sports challenge in Hong Kong with a mission to clean coastal areas which are difficult to access to raise awareness about pollution in the city.
A total of six teams formed and pledged to clean specific, less accessible coastal area on Hong Kong, then record and share evidence of their actions throughout a month starting April 27.
So far, 10 members of the Filipino Dynamo team have carried out two missions and collected three big oil barrels and a total of 143 bags of garbage along the coastal area of Big Wave Bay on Hong Kong.
Liza Avelino, the team leader of Filipino Dynamo, had done coasteering in Clearwater Bay, Po Toi Island and Lamma Island before. Although she enjoyed rock scrambling and trekking along the water line, she saw massive amounts of trash accumulating in the hard to access coastlines in Hong Kong. “I felt sad and wanted to do something about the coastal trash,” she told Asia Times.
When Esther Roling, the co-founder of Adventure Clean Up Challenge, asked if she was interested in participating and forming a team for the coastal clean-up challenge, Avelino did not hesitate and said she would.
In fact, the Filipino Dynamo is more than a dragon boat team. The group likes to see itself as a platform of self-improvement and a partner of positive change.
Avelino said the clean-up task was tedious and physically demanding and the difficulties were the variety and size of the trash accumulated in the cove – big oil barrels, refrigerators, fishing nets, plastic bottles, broken glass bottles, flip flops, plastic containers, wrappers, syringes, disposable cigarette lighters and styrofoam.
The Filipino Dynamo wanted to make an appeal to the government and the community to support the initiative as it was a collective effort and they said we are all responsible for preserving our planet.
“It is a beautiful cove everyone would love to visit once it is clear of trash,” Avelino said.