Universal Children’s Day on 20 November Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF launches Child Rights Advocacy Project 2012 continues joining hands with NGOs and call for Hong Kong people to vote for children

 

Universal Children’s Day on 20 November Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF launches Child Rights Advocacy Project 2012 continues joining hands with NGOs and call for Hong Kong people to vote for children

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HONG KONG, 20 November 2011 –The Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF (HKCU) announced the opening of application for the ‘Unite for Children. Unite for Hong Kong.’ Child Rights Advocacy Project 2012 today, the Universal Children’s Day. Projects of local non-governmental organisations (NGOs) will be selected and supported by HKCU to improve the life of local children who have long been neglected and marginalised. Moreover, to arouse the public awareness of the state of local children, HKCU will launch the ‘Vote! Focus on the most neglected!’ Public Voting Campaign in its official facebook fan page on 20 December, inviting the public to vote for the child welfare related area which they considered to be the most neglected in Hong Kong.

In June, HKCU announced for the first time the three selected NGOs of the ‘Unite for Children. Unite for Hong Kong.’ Child Rights Advocacy Project 2011, including: Against Child Abuse, End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation and Youth Outreach. Each of the 3 NGOs have received HK$500,000 (the three NGOs received HK$1,500,000 in total) from HKCU to work on three one-year-projects related to child welfare. The projects are Against Child Abuse – ‘Well Adjusted, Better Inclusion Project’, End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation – ‘Sexual-Abuse-Preventive Programme for Intellectually Impaired Children’ and Youth Outreach – ‘UNICEF Hang Out Express – Street Rover’.

The Child Rights Advocacy Project has already been run for almost half a year with significant progress. For instance, 37 cross-border and new arrival families have registered the ‘Well Adjusted, Better Inclusion Project’ of Against Child Abuse, with nine families referred for follow-up and further services, reaching 70 per cent of the target number of families. With support from HKCU, 47 volunteers are successfully trained to enhance knowledge of parents of cross-border and new arrival families, help them better integrate into the community, striving to reduce domestic violence cases in Hong Kong.

On the other hand, the ‘Sexual-Abuse-Preventive Programme for Intellectually Impaired Children’ of End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation has provided sex education to 1,043 intellectually impaired students from 10 schools, representing almost 90 per cent of the target, and the number of beneficiary is expected to keep on rising. The programme has applied multi-media and interactive teaching approaches to teach students the ability to protect themselves, in order to protect them from sexual abuse.

Another project supported by HKCU is Youth Outreach – ‘Hang Out Express – Street Rover’. In the past several months, ‘UNICEF Hang Out Express’ has gone out 29 times to Wong Tai Sin, Tung Chung, Tin Shui Wai and Yuen Long and reached more than 700 suspected street wandering youth from both local and ethnic minorities groups, with nearly 50 youngsters accepted referrals of further services. The number of beneficiaries has reached 50 per cent of the target level.

Against Child Abuse
‘Well Adjusted, Better Inclusion Project’
End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation
‘Sexual-Abuse-Preventive Programme for Intellectually Impaired Children’
Youth Outreach
‘Hang Out Express – Street Rover’

“We are glad to see the encouraging achievements of the three projects supported by us in the past few months. They have already served many children being marginalised and neglected in Hong Kong.” said Ms Leonie Ki, Vice-Chairman of HKCU and Chairman of Advocacy and Public Relations Committee of HKCU, “At the end of July, Mr Kenneth Chen, Under Secretary for Education, one of the judges of the project and I met young night drifters in the ‘Hang Out Express’ until 3 a.m. one night. This experience further convinced us on the importance of the project, as well as that of our effort to protect youngsters and children in Hong Kong. There are still many waiting for our helping hands; we should keep moving forward and never be hesitated to strive for their rights!”

To further arouse awareness of children’s rights and introduce the Child Rights Advocacy Project to the general public, HKCU joins the Child Rights Advocacy Project 2011 – ‘Hang Out Express – Street Rover’ Roadshow organised by Youth Outreach, one of the selected NGOs on the Universal Children’s Day today. Experiencing by themselves the tailor-made services for young night drifters in the Hang Out Express, the public can then understand more about the various social problems and challenges facing today’s children and youth. Besides, the event also aims to attract children and youth of different races to play together, promoting a harmonious society.

“The application for ‘Unite for Children. Unite for Hong Kong.’ Child Rights Advocacy Project 2012 starts from today until 20 January 2011, welcoming applications from all the NGOs in Hong Kong. The three selected child rights related projects will each receive HK$500,000 and the result will be announced in mid-March next year,” said Leonie.

The public have the opportunity to access to the Street Rover, which usually appears at night, to know more about the tailor-made services provided by Youth Outreach especially for young night drifters, while the excellent performances of BMX, skateboard and breakdance in the workshops during the event attracted many passersby. HKCU also set up a booth and displayed UNICEF emergency supplies beside the ‘Hang Out Express’, opening for the public to experience by themselves the living of children in developing countries and regions.
Child Rights Advocacy Project 2012 will launch the first-ever ‘Vote! Focus on the most neglected!’ Public Voting Campaign. One can join the voting by visiting the official facebook fan page of HKCU during the period of 20 December 2011 to 20 January 2012. Vote the child welfare related issue you consider as the most neglected in Hong Kong out of the five areas stated in the application requirement of the project, including: ‘realising children’s rights’, ‘providing poor children with survival and development assistance’, ‘providing children of ethnic minorities with survival and development assistance’, ‘helping children affected by drug abuse’ and ‘helping children suffering from physical, mental, sexual abuse and being neglected’. The results will be taken into consideration by HKCU during the screening of the project.
‘Unite for Children. Unite for Hong Kong.’ is a Child Rights Advocacy Project designed to realise and promote child rights in Hong Kong. Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, Hong Kong Committee for UNICEF hopes to raise overall awareness of child rights through this project. We hope to work with the community to directly benefit local children and make Hong Kong more child-friendly.
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