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Path Builders youth care initiative launched (with photos)

     A youth care initiative, Path Builders, was launched today (September 12) by the Government and the Action Committee Against Narcotics (ACAN) to mobilise the whole community to foster a drug free and caring culture.

     This is another new initiative recommended by the Task Force on Youth Drug Abuse led by the Secretary for Justice, Mr Wong Yan Lung, SC.

     Officiating at the ceremony, Mr Wong said the initiative would provide a platform for those who care to "help pave the way for a positive generation" and help them say "no" to drugs.

     "Contributions may take various forms. Commercial organisations may offer visit opportunities, training places, internships or job opportunities to young people. They may also establish an anti-drug culture in their organisations or encourage staff members to be volunteers," Mr Wong said.

     "Doctors and lawyers could speak of the serious consequences of drug abuse. Other professionals could share their knowledge and life experience with young people through mentorship programmes or talks. Social bodies and individuals could contribute their talent, reach out as Anti-drug Ambassadors, or provide sponsorship or donations for the anti-drug cause," he added.

     Mr Wong was glad that some commercial organisations, chambers of commerce, professional and district bodies as well as individuals had already pledged to be "Path Builders". Their good examples demonstrated that there were many ways to help young people.  

     Explaining the need for such an initiative, Mr Wong said drug addiction was only a facet of some deep-rooted problems of young people. To tackle these problems, the community would need to help young people lead a positive life, to show them care, and to encourage them, and to bring them back from the dark.

     ACAN Chairman, Dr Choi Yuen-wan, commended the "Path Builders" at the ceremony today for demonstrating how different sectors could help pave the way for the young generation. He believed that today's appeal would generate enthusiastic response from various sectors of the community.
     CITIC Pacific has offered free advertising sites and sponsored the production of advertisements. It will also help disseminate anti-drug messages by distributing leaflets and sending SMS messages through CITIC 1616 hubbing service. The corporation will not only offer internships and vocational training to young people, but also encourage its staff to be Anti-drug Ambassadors and to form mentorship groups to reach out to vulnerable youth.

     The Super Star Group will organise cookery training sessions for rehabilitated abusers to help them regain self-reliance and self-esteem through vocational training.

     The Federation of Hong Kong Industries, Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, the Chinese Manufacturers' Association of Hong Kong, and the Chinese General Chamber of Commerce also pledged to join the ranks of Path Builders. They issued a joint press statement today on their commitment in encouraging member companies to offer internships, vocational training and job opportunities to young people.

     Representatives of the legal and medical professionals will use their professional knowledge and experience to share with students the dire consequences of drug abuse and encourage them to rise up to life challenges.  

     District commercial, medical, sports, educational and youth services groups in Tai Po and North also demonstrated their concerted efforts by running a sports development programme for young people in their regions. Participants would learn to lead a healthy way of life through sport activities and visits to drug treatment centres in the Mainland.

     Anti-drug Ambassador Miss Shavon Chan, who suffers from cerebellar atrophy, also pledged to use her paintings to help spread anti-drug messages.  

     "Any person or organisation who wishes to become a "Path Builder" is welcome to contact the Narcotics Division," Commissioner for Narcotics, Ms Sally Wong said. "We are ready to assist in finding the best way for him or the organisation to help youngsters."

     An exhibition showing different ways to help the younger generation will be held at the Park Court of Pacific Place until September 21. Brochures and postcards of Path Builders are also available at the exhibition. Ms Wong thanked Pacific Place of Swire Properties for providing the free venue to stage the ceremony and the exhibition.

     Information on Path Builders can be obtained at Narcotics Division's website ( For enquiries, please call us at 2868 5916 or 2867 2750, or send us an email (

Ends/Friday, September 12, 2008
Issued at HKT 19:27


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