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CS to lead Task Force to Lift Underprivileged Students out of Intergenerational Poverty
  The Government announced today (July 6) the setting up of the Task Force to Lift Underprivileged Students out of Intergenerational Poverty. The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Chan Kwok-ki, will lead the Task Force, supported by relevant government bureaux and departments, to take forward a scheme to lift underprivileged junior secondary school students, including those living in subdivided units, out of intergenerational poverty as a targeted measure of poverty alleviation further to the Chief Executive's manifesto.
     Mr Chan said, "Addressing the issue of intergenerational poverty requires the joint efforts and participation of all sectors of society. The Government will take the lead in mobilising resources of the community by promoting tripartite collaboration among the Government, the business sector and the public to support underprivileged junior secondary school students. We will help them broaden their horizons, reinforce their self-confidence, develop a positive outlook on life, set goals for their future and strive for upward mobility."
     The Government's initial thinking is that the Task Force will formulate a scheme with one year for each cohort of underprivileged junior secondary school students, namely those currently enrolled in Secondary One to Secondary Three. The scheme will contain three closely linked elements, namely mentorship, a personal development plan and financial support. The Government will co-ordinate the scheme, raise donations from the business sector and recruit mentors, in addition to selecting students and pairing each of them with a volunteer mentor. Volunteer mentors will share their life experience with the students and arrange visits, work shadow schemes or other activities to help the students broaden their horizons and strengthen their self-confidence to enable them to develop their personal goals in a proactive and positive manner. Furthermore, mentors will assist the students in developing positive financial planning and applying effectively the financial support provided by the scheme to achieve their personal development plan.  
     The purpose of the scheme is to enrich the learning experience of underprivileged junior secondary school students through mentorship and diversified activities, inspire them to explore more possibilities for personal development, develop action plans and make good use of financial resources to achieve their targets under guidance. The students will thus be able to establish a positive outlook on life and develop the drive to achieve upward mobility. These qualities will become their valuable assets and help lift them out of intergenerational poverty. While the mentorship will benefit both the mentors and mentees, the tripartite collaboration among the Government, the business sector and the community will be conducive to social cohesion.  
     The scheme will recruit 2 000 students as the first cohort. After the Government, the business sector and participating mentors have accumulated experience, the Government will review the implementation of the first round of the scheme and seek improvements in all aspects to enhance the effectiveness of the scheme.
     Mr Chan added, "I will lead the Task Force to co-ordinate the abovementioned scheme with the support of the Labour and Welfare Bureau and the Social Welfare Department, which will liaise with business organisations, schools and social welfare organisations interested in participating in the scheme to raise funds, nominate mentors and implement the scheme. We will formulate a precise plan as soon as possible, with indicators to evaluate the effectiveness of the scheme, brief the Commission on Poverty and seek its advice in due course."
Ends/Wednesday, July 6, 2022
Issued at HKT 18:58
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