About Us


The Domestic Worker Empowerment Project (DWEP) is a civic organization under the auspices of The University of Hong Kong that provides free lectures, trainings and workshops mostly to migrant domestic workers in Hong Kong on Sundays. The ultimate aim of the program is to create positive image for domestic workers, their family, and their employers. It teaches domestic workers lessons on practical Health and Nutrition, Basic Rights and Women Empowerment, Nature Appreciation, Physical Fitness, Performance Arts, thus upgrading their knowledge and skills for their respective work environments, and in preparation for their homecoming.

DWEP formally began in January 2015, initially launched as "HK Pinoy Project" at HKU with nearly 500 domestic workers who registered in the program and with 20 HKU students. The name "HKU Pinoy Project" was then changed to "Domestic Workers Empowerment Project" after a few months to cater to the other groups of Migrant Domestic Workers in Hong Kong. Interest for the program grew as more and more Filipino drivers, Filipino residents, and Indonesians Domestic Workers participated in the program that year. Currently, we have nearly 5000 members and around 150 student ambassadors from 27 countries.

Spearheaded by its visionary founder Dr. Michael Manio, a member of the HKU Faculty of Medicine teaching staff, together with volunteer HKU students, and in partnership with numerous government and non-government organizations, DWEP has already contributed greatly in transforming the lives of migrant domestic workers in many ways.

At DWEP we:
  1. Take a leadership role in the organization of different activities for the domestic workers 
  2. Enhance understanding on domestic workers and their culture through direct interaction 
  3. Be empowered to become cultural ambassadors for domestic workers 
  4. Help promote cultural understanding, respect and appreciation of domestic workers in Hong Kong 
  5. Help nurture a positive and constructive working relationship between the domestic workers and their employers 
  6. Come up with an inspiring documentary video about the life stories of Domestic Workers and our students. 
  7. Formulate new policies that would uplift the lives of the domestic workers and eliminate social boundaries and discrimination.
For the domestic workers, they will:
  1. Be empowered physically and emotionally through a series of educational activities
  2. Be equipped with new knowledge, skills and ideas that can be useful in their daily lives and beyond 
  3. Cultivate a positive attitude towards their current work and future aspirations or endeavors and lead a healthy lifestyle 
  4. Learn the basic rights and responsibilities as employees and the safety concerns related to their working environment 
  5. Be provided with educational opportunities that promote knowledge, understanding and appreciation of nature, environmental sensitivity and significance, and the associated conservation needs
Visit our Facebook page for the most up-to-date events and information.


http://www.hongkongpcg.dfa.gov.ph  https://www.facebook.com/thewanderingvoice/?hc_ref=ARRooT-27Gz3F3jkuOcjUFQzeTzBczkSaRJExfgFbhKsGLwJiYCrMAhS8Wbx3qbkSGA

DWEP Testimonials. Where are they now?

Cita Vargas waited for her graduation at DWEP before she went home for good. She has been an OFW for 30 years and 17 years with her last employer. She believes that education is important and a powerful tool to get you somewhere. As a worker, she empowered herself by purchasing a three-door apartment back home, as well as by sending her nieces and nephews to school. Recently, at 61 years old, she got married to her long time sweetheart in Virac, Catanduanes. According to her, DWEP gave her the platform to learn new things and meet new friends. Thus, making her days off meaningful.

Gina Marie Flores
is a Criminology graduate from the Philippines but opted to be a Domestic Worker in HK for 19 years. She’s been active in sports and usually leads her classmates to some activities. As a member of the DWEP third batch she represented the Class in Jakarta, Indonesia. She believes that DWEP has taught her on how to become a good leader and encourages her friends to join DWEP.

Susan Del Rosario Loria
, working in Hong Kong for 25 years, Computer Secretarial Graduate. One of the luckiest OFW worked with 4 employers who are very nice with her. Working for 15 years with her current employer taking care of 2 kids. She usually tells the kids the value of education and respect for elders.
Aside from the health topics and fun-filled lectures, she now serves as mentor of DWEP Batch 3 and recently enrolled in Video Editing Class.

Videos of Past Activities
Courtesy of HK Pinoy TV

First Graduation Ceremony

HKU DWEP 2nd Phase

HKU DWEP The 1st Health Talk Awarding Ceremony

See more in Archives.

For more information, please contact:

Michael M. Manio, MD, MHPEd, PhD
Department of Anesthesiology
Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine
The University of Hong Kong
Email: mikemd03@hku.hk / mike.dwep@gmail.com