UNICEF HK Global Handwashing Day “Soap for Good” project was successfully held in the newly opened SoCO New World, 2,000 recycled soap bars were given to families in Shum Shui Po Promoting the importance of handwashing with soap

 

UNICEF HK Global Handwashing Day “Soap for Good” project was successfully held in the newly opened SoCO New World, 2,000 recycled soap bars were given to families in Shum Shui Po Promoting the importance of handwashing with soap

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HONG KONG, 14 October 2012 – The Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation and the Society for Community Organization (SoCO) announced today the official opening of the SoCO New World Community Centre. The new community centre supports underprivileged families with wide-ranging services, including training and employment opportunities, to help lift them out of poverty.
This project is funded by a HK$12 million donation from the Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation to cover establishment costs and the operating expenses for the first five years. Run and managed by SoCO, the SoCO New World Community Centre is located at 1/F, Fuk Kiang Building, 208A Fuk Wah Street, Sham Shui Po. It serves the residents of Lai Chi Kok, Cheung Sha Wan, Sham Shui Po, Shek Kip Mei and Tai Kok Tsui, an area with around 100,000 households living in poverty. The centre’s services include children’s learning and adult employment support services, a pilot scheme for campus-based after-school child care, personal training and value-added services, consultation and counselling, outreach programmes and community initiatives, together with a series of community mutual aid services. Around 30,000 people are expected to benefit each year.
The opening ceremony of the SoCO New World Community Centre was officiated by Mrs Carrie Lam, Chief Secretary for Administration; Dr Henry Cheng, Honorary Chairman, Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation; Prof Fung Ho Lup, Chairman of the Board, Society for Community Organization; and Mr Ho Hei Wah, Director, Society for Community Organization.

 

In his speech, Dr Cheng said, “As its name suggests, the SoCO New World Community Centre signifies a new-found driving force for the local community, creating a ‘New World’ for the children who will benefit from its services. I believe that the community centre, under the capable management of the Society for Community Organization, will give schoolchildren from underprivileged families a better learning environment. Single parents can entrust their children to the day care service here while receiving training to acquire value-added skills and become more upwardly mobile. Together, they can shape a better future with their own hands.”
Cheng further said he hoped the set up of the Centre could enhance the communication among the government and the business sector and the community which would then benefit the underprivileged families eventually.

In his address, Prof Fung thanked the Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation for working with SoCO in setting up the community centre within just a few months. “We hope that this centre is only the beginning for driving more policy improvements, more care and support from the business community, and more effort from various community sectors to reduce the wealth gap and eradicate poverty.”

To mark Global Handwashing Day, which happens to fall on 15 October, the Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation, SoCO and local charitable body Soap Cycling used the occasion to promote the Soap for Good project organised by Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (UNICEF HK). Highlighting the project’s ‘Wash with Soap, Live with Hope’ message, the guests of honour demonstrated the seven steps of hand washing and encouraged the people of Hong Kong to wash their hands with soap to prevent the spread of infectious diseases like Sars and H1N1.

The Soap for Good project, initiated by UNICEF HK, collected hotel soaps through the supporting organisation Soap Cycling. The soap bars were then distributed to the public to recreate new, clean ones for children. Over 2,000 bars of recycled soap have been made since the project was launched about 2 weeks ago and most of them will be distributed to deprived families in Hong Kong through SoCO. The rest will be given to children and families in need in developing countries through field visits of UNICEF HK.

In her introduction of the Soap for Good project, Ms Leonie Ki, Vice-Chairman of Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF, said, “Today’s Global Handwashing Day Soap for Good project, led by UNICEF HK and supported by various sectors of society, is the biggest event in Hong Kong in support of Global Handwashing Day. By recycling good quality soap destined for landfills and transforming it into cute and lovely pieces of new soap, we can help those in need, as well as raise the levels of hygiene and knowledge among children and families in third-world countries. I hope through the publicity event today, everyone will remember the important message – ‘Wash with Soap, Live with Hope’!”

 

After the Soap for Good event, Ms Leonie Ki, together with Mr Gilbert Mo, council member of Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF and other guests also distributed cakes of soap to Sham Shui Po residents in the vicinity of the SoCO New World Community Centre, and encouraged them to wash their hands often.

 

 

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