Global Reach: East and Southeast Asia

EMpower in China and Hong Kong

Ethnic minorities In Hong Kong are largely ignored by the government, with no assistance to integrate them into the education system. Ethnic minority students are often segregated from mainstream society with few interactions with Hong Kong Chinese students. The schools provide a relatively low quality of education and students are not provided with opportunities to learn spoken Cantonese or written Chinese. This was worsened by the pandemic as many ethnic minority families could not afford the digital devices young people needed to participate in e-learning.

EMpower focuses on providing marginalised young people from ethnic minority communities with access to inclusive learning to open gateways for future employment opportunities and better health. Our grantee partners are equipping young people with crucial life skills and providing vocational training, career planning, and exposure to new and different work sectors. This encourages learning for life and increases school completion. Additionally, our grantee partners provide young people with critical, age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health and rights information and resources.

Our partners in China and Hong Kong:

Hong Kong Unison Limited

Hong Kong | Funded Since: 2018

Hong Kong Unison Limited seeks to improve the lives of ethnic minorities through mentoring and skills training, so they can set and achieve their life and career goals.

Ruili Women and Children Development Center

Ruili, Yunnan Province | Funded Since: 2023

Ruili WCDC provides sexual and reproductive health education to primary school ethnic minority students, trains teachers and collaborates with young peer educators in Mangshi, Yunnan Province, Mainland China.

Teach Unlimited Foundation Limited

Hong Kong | Funded Since: 2017

Teach Unlimited Foundation supports the education and personal development of financially and socially disadvantaged students by enhancing their self-esteem, learning attitude, and motivation.

Teen’s Key

Hong Kong | Funded Since: 2021

Teen's Key provides a safe space where girls and young women can address their sexual and reproductive health and rights, providing holistic treatment for young women in crisis.

The Women’s Foundation Limited

Hong Kong | Funded Since: 2021

The Women’s Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of women and girls by challenging gender stereotypes, empowering women in poverty, and increasing the number of women in decision-making and leadership roles.

The Zubin Mahtani Gidumal Foundation Limited

Hong Kong | Funded Since: 2020

Zubin Foundation aims to improve the lives of Hong Kong’s ethnic minorities by reducing suffering and providing opportunities, through direct outreach to the community and by driving systemic change.

Yunnan Peili Youth Development Centre

Kunming | Funded Since: 2011

Yunnan Peili Youth Development Centre provides sexual and reproductive health education and counselling to young people from ethnic minority backgrounds in schools.

EMpower in Indonesia

Indonesia is the world’s largest island country with over a quarter of the population made up of young people. Rapid urbanisation and economic growth have resulted in one of the fastest-growing rates of inequality in the world.

Young people in Indonesia often lack access to sexual and reproductive health care and information, and a recent law is only worsening the situation—especially for girls, women, and LGBTIQ+ individuals. The law criminalises the cohabitation of unmarried couples, criminalises abortion, limits access to contraception, and restricts information relating to sexual and reproductive health and rights.

Through holistic programmes, EMpower’s grantee partners focus on providing young people with safe, accurate, and non-judgemental access to sexual health resources and services.

Indonesia’s young people have vast potential to build better futures. EMpower supports organisations that focus on opening up livelihoods opportunities through a variety of programmes that incorporate vocational training and youth empowerment. Providing young people, especially girls and women, with both sexual health education and employment training and opportunities, will help to challenge and tackle ongoing gender inequity.

Our partners in Indonesia:

Arus Pelangi

Central Jakarta | Funded Since: 2023

Arus Pelangi is dedicated to advancing human rights and equality for marginalised young people facing oppression and discrimination due to their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression, and sex characteristics.

Lensa Masyarakat Nusantara (Photovoices International)

Denpasar | Funded Since: 2022

Photovoices International empowers organisations to engage meaningfully with young people so that they can freely express their concerns through photographs and advocate for positive change in their communities.

Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi

Jakarta | Funded Since: 2015

Perkumpulan Pamflet Generasi provides young people with information on their sexual and reproductive health and rights and mental health.

ROLE Foundation

Nusa Dua | Funded Since: 2015

The ROLE Foundation enables young women to improve their life, job-readiness, and vocational skills, creating a pathway to skilled and formal employment in the hospitality sector.

Yayasan Ekoturisme Indonesia (East Bali Poverty Project)

Amplapura | Funded Since: 2015

East Bali Poverty Project helps disadvantaged communities achieve self-reliance and sustainable socio-economic development through holistic, community-driven development programmes.

Yayasan Kusuma Buana

South Jakarta | Funded Since: 2015

Yayasan Kusuma Buana empowers young people with sexual and reproductive health and rights education, counselling, and referrals to youth-friendly services, both online and in-person.

Yayasan Savy Amira Sahabat Perempuan

Surabaya | Funded Since: 2022

Yayasan Savy Amira Sahabat Perempuan is a crisis management centre for women who are survivors of gender-based violence, addressing sexual and gender-based violence in schools and universities by providing young people with education, social development, and psychosocial support.

EMpower in Philippines

The Philippines has experienced swift economic development and urbanisation. However, marginalised communities still suffer due to persistent poverty and socioeconomic inequity. Young people often have limited opportunities, accounting for nearly half of all unemployed people in the country.

Adolescent pregnancy rates have consistently risen, resulting in a national emergency. The Philippines currently ranks 13th in the world for the highest adolescent fertility and pregnancy rates. In addition, there are high levels of gender-based violence.

EMpower supports organisations in the Philippines working to provide young people, especially girls and women, with access to comprehensive sexual and reproductive health education and services so they can make decisions about their bodies, lives, and futures. Some of the organisations we support also provide training to young men and women on gender equity and preventing gender-based violence. And some provide training on different livelihoods and employment opportunities, opening up worlds and better options for young people.

Our partners in Philippines:

BagoSphere PH Inc.

Bacolod City | Funded Since: 2023

BagoSphere aims to develop the next generation of talent for the next generation of business, equipping marginalised youth with professional, digital, and life skills.

Bahay Tuluyan Foundation, Inc.

Manila | Funded Since: 2018

The Bahay Tuluyan Foundation works to fulfill children’s rights and to prevent and respond to abuse and violence against children.

Lunas Collective

Quezon City | Funded Since: 2022

Lunas Collective is a volunteer-powered care space and helpline supporting survivors of gender-based violence and those with reproductive health concerns and questions, normalising the discussion of teen sexuality.

Passerelles Numériques Philippines Foundation, Inc.

Cebu City | Funded Since: 2018

Passerelles Numériques Philippines empowers young people, especially young women, with life, employability, and vocational training skills in IT—so they can secure jobs in the digital industry.

Virlanie Foundation, Inc.

Makati | Funded Since: 2017

The Virlanie Foundation equips young people in residential care and/or living in resource-poor communities with skills, knowledge, and career guidance to transition safely to independent living.


Davao City | Funded Since: 2023

Virtualahan employs an award-winning impact formula that empowers persons with disabilities, solo parents, and communities to be employment ready.

EMpower in Vietnam

Vietnam is the third most populous country in the Southeast Asian region, with the majority of the population living in rural areas. However, over the past decade, there has been a rise in migration to cities.

There has been significant economic growth, with Vietnam recovering as the best-performing economy in Asia in 2022, post-COVID. Despite the country’s economic advancement, there is high economic disparity, especially among ethnic minorities. There are 50 minority ethnic groups in Vietnam, and these communities account for 70% of Vietnam’s extreme poverty. This disparity extends into health, livelihoods, and education.

Although Vietnam took a proactive approach to containing COVID-19, schools were still closed and young people’s education significantly impacted. This also resulted in a rise in unemployment amongst young people. EMpower focuses its work in the country on supporting inclusive education, providing career training, and ensuring young people—especially ethnic minorities and those living in rural areas—can lead safe and healthy lives.

Our partners in Vietnam:

ICS Center (Ct Tnhh Tu Van Va Dao Tao ICS)

Ho Chi Minh City | Funded Since: 2024

ICS Center (Ct Tnhh Tu Van Va Dao Tao ICS) is carrying out a research on the mental health needs of LGBTI+ youth and use the findings to develop a practical mental health support programme for the community.

Kidspire Vietnam

Ho Chi Minh City | Funded Since: 2021

Kidspire Vietnam empowers orphans to take control of their futures, building their life and digital skills so they can continue their education or pursue employment after leaving care.

Passerelles Numériques Vietnam (PNV)

Da Nang | Funded Since: 2024

Passerelles Numériques Vietnam (PNV) empowers young people, especially young women, with life, employability, and vocational training skills in IT coupled with mentorship so they can secure decent and skilled jobs in the digital industry.

Research for Education and Career Help Institute (REACH)

Hanoi | Funded Since: 2022

REACH supports the most vulnerable youth with the vocational training, life skills-building, and job opportunities they need to create a better future for themselves and their families.

WeGrow Education Vietnam

Hanoi | Funded Since: 2022

WeGrow Education aims to deliver comprehensive sexuality education to young people, so they can live to their full potential.

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