Opportunities for the Elderly Project builds neighbourhood support networks and age-friendly community (with photos)

     The Opportunities for the Elderly Project (OEP) implemented by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) promotes community involvement of elderly persons in various aspects and encourages them to unleash their potential to contribute to society and cultivate a sense of self-worth, the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, said today (September 14). He expressed the hope that cross-sectoral collaboration would continue to build an inclusive and caring society to enable elderly persons to lead a meaningful life with a sense of security.

     Speaking at the 2017 OEP Award Presentation Ceremony, Dr Law said that the OEP was extended in 2016 to merge with the Neighbourhood Active Ageing Project formerly under the Elderly Commission to ensure better use of resources. To foster mutual care in the neighbourhood and build an age-friendly community, the first biennial theme of the merged project is to develop neighbourhood support to promote care for the elderly and active ageing.

     "Since the launch of the OEP in 1998-99, a total subsidy of over $60 million has been granted in support of some 5 000 district programmes, with more than 3 million participants benefiting. I am glad to see some elderly volunteers have been actively involved in the planning and implementation of activities, not only displaying their outstanding organisational ability and leadership but also demonstrating the worthiness of elderly persons," Dr Law said.

     Also officiating at the ceremony, the Chairman of the Elderly Commission and Chairman of the OEP Advisory Committee, Dr Lam Ching-choi, said he was happy to see that with the joint efforts of the participating organisations, the OEP has assisted more elderly persons to take part in community activities and make contributions in a wide variety of fields.

     Today's event was organised by the SWD's Working Group on OEP. Awards were presented to commend organisations and elderly participants for their outstanding performance in implementing one-year projects in 2016-17. The event also aimed at enhancing inter-generational harmony, promoting respect and care for elderly persons and cultivating a sense of self-worth among the senior citizens.

     At the ceremony, the Director of Social Welfare, Ms Carol Yip, together with Dr Lam, also re-appointed Anderson Junior as the OEP's Ambassador to help promote OEP activities and spread the message of active ageing.

     To tie in with the 20th anniversary of the establishment of the Hong Kong Special Administration Region, a luncheon and a variety of performances were specially arranged and more than 300 elderly persons and their carers from across the territory were invited to join the event to share the happiness with the awardees.

Ends/Thursday, September 14, 2017
Issued at HKT 12:25