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Sixth batch of Child Development Fund projects to start early next year
     The Social Welfare Department (SWD) is inviting interested non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to submit proposals for operating the sixth batch of Child Development Fund (CDF) projects, which are to be launched in the first quarter of 2017. The projects will provide children from disadvantaged backgrounds with more personal development opportunities to reduce intergenerational poverty.

     A spokesman for the SWD said today (July 18) that to assist NGOs to better plan ahead in terms of resource allocation, starting from the fifth batch of projects last year, the Government has adopted a "one-plus-one approach", under which each selected NGO would be awarded two three-year projects in one go but the confirmation of the Second Project is subject to the satisfactory performance of the NGO in implementing the First Project.

     This "one-plus-one approach" is also expected to enable NGOs to "bring over" their mentors from the First Projects to the Second Projects, thus helping to build up a quality pool of experienced mentors, the spokesman said. So far, 88 CDF projects in five batches operated by NGOs as well as 30 school-based pilots in three batches operated by schools have been rolled out, benefiting over 11 000 children. The third batch of school-based projects will be rolled out in the 2016-17 academic year.

     "A total of 25 projects will be launched in the first quarter of 2017, providing service quotas of 2 500 to 2 875. A maximum amount of $24,200 per participating child (comprising a $22,000 training subsidy and $2,200 for administrative expenses) will be allocated to the selected NGOs for conducting the training/programmes for the participating child, his or her parents/guardians and mentor. These projects will help participating children draw up and implement personal development plans as well as develop an asset-building habit, thus preparing them for long-term development," the spokesman said.
     The SWD is now inviting NGOs to submit proposals to operate the sixth batch of CDF projects. An applicant must be a charitable organisation exempt from tax under Section 88 of the Inland Revenue Ordinance (Cap 112), with a track record in the provision of children and youth services in Hong Kong in the past five years.

     Selected NGOs are expected to start recruiting participants for the First Projects in January next year.

     The CDF, launched in 2008, aims at promoting the longer-term development of children aged between 10 and 16 from a disadvantaged background through collaboration of the family, the private sector, the community and the Government, thereby reducing intergenerational poverty.

     Each participating child will be assigned a volunteer personal mentor. The operators will provide training programmes, which will cover topics such as self-awareness, personal development and financial management, to help participating children formulate personal development plans with specific targets.

     The participating children will also take part in a two-year targeted savings programme. With the support of the business sector as well as individual donors, the operators will provide matching contribution for the targeted savings accumulated by the participating children. In addition, the Government will provide a special financial incentive at a 1:1 ratio to the participant's targeted savings, with a maximum of $4,800 for each participating child who can complete the two-year savings programme. In the third year of the project, the participating children will, under the guidance and supervision of the operators and mentors, use the money concerned to implement their personal development plans.

     Application forms and guidelines are available on the website of the SWD (www.swd.gov.hk/en/index/site_whatsnew/). A briefing session for prospective applicants will be held on July 27 at Queen Elizabeth Stadium, 18 Oi Kwan Road, Wan Chai.

     All the proposals, together with the duly completed application forms, should be submitted by hand to the Child Development Fund Office, Social Welfare Department, Room 942, 9/F, Wu Chung House, 213 Queen's Road East, Hong Kong, on or before 5pm on August 29.
Ends/Monday, July 18, 2016
Issued at HKT 10:00
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