Mr Jabez Lam 林懷燿先生


Date 6 March 2014 Interviewed by Rosa Kurowska
Language English Audio Edited by Ben Fielden
Venue Ming-Ai (London) Institute    

Jabez Lam was born in Hong Kong and came to the UK to study for his GCE O-Levels in the 1970s. When he first arrived he also worked at a takeaway shop and as a motorbike courier to fund his studies. After he completed his certificate in Community and Youth Work he went on to train as a Social Worker and during his studies became involved in campaigning and voluntary activities in the community. Jabez was a member of a workers support group, Chinese Workers, which was established in 1975 and ran a magazine under the same name. In the late 1970s and early 1980s they became involved with another workers group, the Chinese Action Group and in 1982 they decided to merge together to form the Chinese Information and Advice Centre (CIAC).

The CIAC was founded to provide advice and support to Chinese living in London and other parts of the UK and to develop the Chinese community in London. The CIAC was very active in working with Chinese women in London and set up the National Federation of Chinese Women. Today the centre still runs many programmes for women providing support and advice in cases of domestic violence.

In 1989 Jabez left the CIAC and then began working for Hackney council as a social worker. During his time working for Hackney Council he has been involved in many different campaigns to protect the rights of Chinese workers in the UK and was a founding member of Min Quan, a leading anti-racism charity in London.