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Jane Engelmann’s Unsung Heroes

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On March 30, Jane Engelmann won the HK Women of Inspiration Award 2019 in the Performing Arts category at the Women’s Empowerment Forum Hong Kong for her work with the Unsung Heroes. The Women’s Empowerment Forum event aims to celebrate the accomplishments and achievements of women throughout Hong Kong.

The Unsung Heroes is a free choir for domestic helpers in Discovery Bay, which Jane found in 2014. The choir has now grown to encompass over 70 choir singers and the Unsung Heroes share their passion and talent for singing through regular performance at community events across Hong Kong and Discovery Bay.

In 2017, the choir was featured in The Helper, a documentary featuring the stories of domestic workers in Hong Kong. The Unsung Heroes have performed at Clockenflap alongside Nile Rodgers in 2017, and more recently at the Hong Kong Rugby Sevens 2019.

Jane established the choir to empower domestic helpers through giving them a voice. Through performing, domestic workers are able to showcase their talent, which recognises their value as human beings. Additionally, the weekly choir practice have created a community of support amongst domestic workers.

Jane and the Unsung Heroes perform songs that reflect the experiences of domestic workers in Hong Kong. According to Jane, their performance of ‘I Wish I Could Sing You Goodnight’ illustrates the sacrifice many domestic workers make by putting “other people’s children to bed instead of their own”.

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