Co-founders, Learning Together
Harmony and Ilunga and Hemyar Saad founded Learning Together, an organization that runs an educational program for asylum seekers and refugees in Hong Kong aged 15 to 25, in 2016.
Ilunga is originally from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and moved to Hong Kong to join her father, who was living here as a refugee, in 2011. Saad came to Hong Kong four years ago from the Middle East to escape unrest in the region.
Both say they wanted to establish Learning Together due to difficulties they faced when they arrived in Hong Kong — neither spoke English. “I wanted to assist to help new arrival to integrate into a society of Hong Kong through language.” Ilunga says. “[We want to help new arrivals by providing them with a good education that would help them to stand by themselves… I do not want them to face what I have faced,” adds Saad.
Besides running Learning Together, Ilunga is a psychology student, works as a model, and is also the founder of the Harmony Fashion Show. Facing discrimination as a “model of color,” she established the platform to “spotlight and challenge the lack of diversity.” It works with minority talents, using fashion and music as a platform.
For Saad, who’s also a student, he says it’s all been “an incredible journey.” Going forward, he wants to continue to raise awareness of the importance of racial equality.
See the full list of The Loop HK’s 30 Under 30 Class of 2019.