Traditional Chinese Simplified Chinese Email this article
SWD to inject $100 million into 3E's Project for persons with disabilities (with photos)

     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) today (December 5) held a forum on the 10th anniversary of the "Enhancing Employment of People with Disabilities Through Small Enterprise" Project (3E's Project) to share with non-governmental organisations (NGOs) the development of the Project in the past decade and the successful experiences of rehabilitation agencies in creating job opportunities for persons with disabilities through funded businesses.

     Speaking at the forum, the Director of Social Welfare, Mr Patrick Nip, said that the setting up of social enterprises was by no means incidental but was a new operation mode incubated by a group of enthusiastic people through years of thoughtful and unfailing attempts, while the SWD also endeavoured to provide the best support.

     "In the past 10 years, the 3E's Project of the SWD has undertaken a clear mission to fund social enterprises for the purpose of providing persons with disabilities with sustainable employment, leading to self-reliance," he said.

     "To further enhance the support for persons with disabilities, the Chief Executive has announced in his Policy Address in October that $100 million will be injected into the 3E's Project to sustain the momentum of creating more job opportunities for persons with disabilities.

     "We have also planned, as from next year, to provide employment support to employees with disabilities through subsidies to employers for procurement of assistive rehabilitation devices and workplace modifications to enable employees with disabilities to enhance their work efficiency."

     The SWD launched the 3E's Project in 2001 with an allocation of $50 million. Through a maximum grant of $2 million as seed money for each approved application by NGOs, the Project supports the setting up of small enterprises or businesses with the requirement that the number of employees with disabilities should not be less than 50 per cent of the total number of employees of the business in order to directly create job opportunities for persons with disabilities.

     So far the Project has provided $46 million to fund the setting up of 70 small businesses in areas such as cleansing, eco-tourism, catering, car beauty, mobile massage, retailing and cafˆms. These businesses have created over 770 job opportunities, of which over 550 are for persons with disabilities.

     To encourage more NGOs to take part in the Project for creating more job opportunities for persons with disabilities, while making a further injection of $100 million, the Government will lower the threshold of the length of participation in welfare and charitable activities required for non-SWD-subvented NGOs from five years to two years, and extend the funding period for each business from two years to three years. The SWD will seek funding approval from the Finance Committee of the Legislative Council in January 2012.

     Sharing experiences at the forum today were institutional and disabled employee representatives from the Tung Wah Group of Hospitals, the New Life Psychiatric Rehabilitation Association, Caritas - Hong Kong, the Mental Health Association of Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Society for the Deaf.

Ends/Monday, December 5, 2011
Issued at HKT 16:01


Photo Photo
Print this page