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Government strives to promote volunteer services (with photos)
     The Chief Secretary for Administration and Volunteer-in-Chief, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, said today (December 9) that with the Volunteer Movement promoted by the Social Welfare Department (SWD) approaching its 20th anniversary, the spirit and core values of volunteerism have been integrated into people's daily life. The Government will continue to step up the promotion of volunteer services, he said, adding that with concerted efforts of the Government and various sectors, volunteer teams would grow further to serve the community.

     Speaking at the 2017 Hong Kong Volunteer Award Presentation Ceremony organised by the SWD, Mr Cheung said that since the launch of the Volunteer Movement in 1998, volunteerism has become increasingly popular. The number of registered volunteers in Hong Kong has exceeded 1.28 million, which means one out of six Hong Kong people is registered. Participating companies and local organisations are also growing in number. Mr Cheung commended volunteers for their selfless giving that bespeaks great compassion and commitment. He said he trusted that an even more caring and inclusive Hong Kong could be built to help pursue the betterment of people's livelihood and a bright future.

     Also addressing the ceremony, the Director of Social Welfare, Ms Carol Yip, noted that it was encouraging to see that the number of registered volunteers and participating organisations in the Volunteer Movement has almost doubled from the figure a decade ago while the number of service hours has also been rising.

     She said that the Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service will continue to spare no efforts in encouraging every member of the public to take part in volunteer services. The Steering Committee will encourage volunteer service organisations to provide the public with more convenient volunteering opportunities by better utilisation of information technology. It will also strengthen the training of volunteers to enhance the quality of service, and invite people of all ages to join volunteer services in order to pass on the spirit of volunteerism.

     Ms Yip expressed gratitude to different sectors of society for supporting the Volunteer Movement, in particular to the Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service, its four Sub-committees on Promotion, the 11 District Co-ordinating Committees, District Social Welfare Officers and all committee members for their commitment in bringing the Volunteer Movement forward with depth and diversity, which also helped foster mutual aid and care among people. She also invited members of the public to take part in the series of events in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Volunteer Movement.

     Today's ceremony, organised by the Steering Committee on Promotion of Volunteer Service, aimed to further promote volunteerism by paying tribute to volunteers, to enhance people's understanding of volunteer services, and to promote a sense of caring and mutual help in the community.

     Awards were presented to volunteers from various sectors for their outstanding contribution in the previous year. They included 166 volunteers who have served the community for more than 20 years and the volunteer organisations from public and private groups with the highest number of service hours (see Annex for the list of awardees (Chinese only)).

     The officiating guests also held a launch ceremony in celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Volunteer Movement. The new thematic poster, themed "Volunteering - Make a difference in life", was unveiled and the theme song on the 20th anniversary of the Volunteer Movement was also performed at today's event.

     Also officiating at today's ceremony were the Under Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Mr Caspar Tsui; the Under Secretary for Home Affairs, Mr Jack Chan; the Convenor of the Sub-committee on Promotion and Publicity of Volunteer Service, Mr Lai Chi-tong; the Convenor of the Sub-committee on Promotion of Corporate Volunteering, Mr Kwan Chuk-fai; the Convenor of the Sub-committee on Promotion of Volunteering in Community Organisations, Mr Bevis Leung; and the Convenor of the Sub-committee on Promotion of Student and Youth Volunteering, Ms Theresa Tao.
Ends/Saturday, December 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 16:19
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