On the heels of a wave of personal tragedy, including the loss of her home and the kidnapping of two of her children by her former spouse, Andrea Gutwirth started SoulTalk Foundation, a charity for women in emotional and relationship crisis. Dedicated to helping women in times of trauma, Andrea began with a small support group 18 years ago and today through her dedication SoulTalk has evolved into a solution based foundation helping empower women to regain their lives. SoulTalk provides temporary shelter and full service support through face to face counseling, workshops and seminars, educational assistance, assistance in finding a new home, a new job and more. The latest miracle is the launch of a second centre, SoulTalk Women’s Centre, which is an extension of their Chinese and English Hotline / Counseling Services, training Facility and Walk- in Centre. Part of their goal of this new center is to train women in our community as ‘Women Ambassadors’ who can help more women help themselves and advocate our best practices on a neighborhood level. SoulTalk works with 2,000 women a year and all their services are free. Of course like any charity the running, operations and fundraising is always a major part of continuing to make a difference in the women of our community.
Before Andrea started SoulTalk full time she was the Fundraising Director as a Volunteer for MacDonalds Charitable Foundation. Her results from this 5 years giving was the building of the current Ronald McDonald House from scratch and the fitting both inside and out of all materials, from windows to kitchens, to appliances, furniture, gardens and toys for 20 families to live in the 20 bedroom, 4 kitchen house and the employment of a live-in Manager.
Prior to this time Andrea, asked by the Fred Hallows Foundation in Australia to help them get into China and arranged all meetings with health officials and be their full time liaise person. Fred Hallows did setup in China a few months later.
I know Andrea was instrumental in a number of other charities that had their start here in Hong Kong from the late 80’s early 90s.
Andrea has certainly given of herself selflessly for over 20 years of her 35 years here in Hong Kong. She is the most giving, dedicated person that you can 100% rely upon and know that what she says, she means and what she means, she does. This is a person that cares for others without boundaries and even though not highly recognized due to her quiet behind the scenes nature, this is one person that deserves to have her life back in full!