Launch of 51 new Child Development Fund projects to benefit over 4 000 underprivileged children (with photos)
***************************************************************

     ‚ÄčThe Child Development Fund (CDF) Kick-off cum Certificate Presentation Ceremony 2017 was held today (September 24) to officially launch 51 new projects across the territory. The Ceremony also bore witness to the positive changes in project graduates who participated in CDF projects.

     The Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, said that the Government attaches great importance to the CDF and has injected a total of $600 million into the fund, which would benefit around 20 000 children.

     "A study by the University of Hong Kong commissioned by the Labour and Welfare Bureau indicated that the CDF projects could effectively enhance underprivileged children's ability in resource management and future planning, expand their personal networks and help them develop a persistent saving habit. These benefits are important for their academic and future career development," Dr Law said.

     Following the successful completion of seven school-based pilot projects from the first batch launched in 2014, together with a further 21 projects operated by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) during the same period, there were over 2 600 project graduates in this round.

     Project participants have successfully achieved their two-year Targeted Savings, and were offered one-to-one matching donations and financial incentives from corporate/private donors and the Government respectively. In addition, they put into action the goals set in their Personal Development Plans. Some 1 700 volunteer mentors have joined the mentorship programme to serve as participants' life guides for three years. Nominated by mentees and endorsed by project operators, 30 of them received awards as Outstanding Mentors at today's ceremony.

     Dr Law said he was pleased to know that all project participants in the ceremony today had acted as CDF ambassadors to receive the guests or took up different roles on stage or behind the scenes to showcase what they learnt.

     "This indeed shows that the CDF projects have offered participants the opportunities for learning and growth, enabling them to make a significant step towards their own aspirations, and at the same time exemplifying the positive effects of the collaboration among the community, the business sector and the Government on the participants' long-term development," he said.

     More than 70 enterprises and organisations were presented with certificates at the ceremony in recognition of their all-out efforts to promote the development of children. Also officiating at the ceremony were the Permanent Secretary for Labour and Welfare and Chairman of the Steering Committee on CDF, Ms Chang King-yiu, and members of the Steering Committee on CDF.

     Since its establishment in 2008, the CDF has rolled out a total of 156 three-year projects. More than 14 000 children, including children from ethnic minorities, with disabilities or living in cubicle apartments, have benefited. Each project comprises three key components, namely Targeted Savings, Personal Development Plan and Mentorship.

     Among the 51 new projects, 24 are school-based projects from the third and fourth batches. The remaining 27 belong to the sixth batch of projects operated by NGOs. Over 4 000 underprivileged children are expected to benefit from these projects.

Ends/Sunday, September 24, 2017
Issued at HKT 14:46

NNNN