Initiative Focused on Helping Underprivileged Young People Develop Soft Skills and Build Tangible Assets
HONG KONG SAR - Media OutReach - 3 September 2021 - The prolonged COVID-19 pandemic has adversely affected many people's livelihoods and further entrenched inequalities of income, health and education across the city. Hong Kong is one of the wealthiest cities in the world, yet the city's poor families have doubled in number over the past two years, with almost 302,000 people living in low-income households at the end of March 2021. To help address the issue of intergenerational poverty and other deprivations, as well as reduce inequality and spur economic growth, Chinachem Group (the Group) has donated a matching sum of HK$960,000 to the Child Development Matching Fund (CDMF) to benefit 200 young people in the Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing Districts for the year 2019/20, equivalent to HK$4,800 each. The Group takes seriously its role as a partner and supporter of local communities and strives to bring positive change to those in need and support the community through the challenges brought about by the pandemic.
Photo 1: Four beneficiary youths from the Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing Districts presented on behalf of CDMF a written poem to Chinachem Group which celebrates the 60th anniversary as a token of appreciation. Pictured here are Sylvia Chung, Chief Business Impact Officer of Chinachem Group (7th from right), Amy Chan, Chairman of Child Development Matching Fund (6th from right), Mary Wong (8th from right), Director of Legal of Chinachem Group, Mason Wu, Director of Child Development Matching Fund (7th from left) and representatives of Chinachem Group, CDMF and representatives from The Praise Assembly (Tsuen Wan).
Photo 2-3: CDMF beneficiary students, James and Stella present their journey and their experience gained during the programme and soft skills and tangible assets they gained.
The Group has been a long-time supporter of the CDMF, which was founded in 2009 to address the issue of intergenerational poverty in Hong Kong and support and complement the HKSAR Government's Child Development Fund (CDF). The CDMF provides valuable support for underprivileged youth in society. It runs three-year programmes during which the participants, aged 10 to 16, are required to make personal savings of HKD200 per month for two years, amounting to HKD4,800 in total. These personal savings are matched by community donations, including the Chinachem matching fund, plus a Government bonus of equal amount. This means that the young people will ultimately have a total of HKD14,400 (HKD4,800 x 3) to spend on areas that support their personal growth and development.
To connect with some of the outstanding beneficiaries in the Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing Districts and mark the finale of the 2019/20 programme, four participants along with their families and their mentors were recently invited to a tea gathering ceremony at Nina Hotel, where they were joined by the Chairman and other officers of CDMF, as well as representatives of Chinachem Group and CDF operator The Praise Assembly (Tsuen Wan). During the ceremony the four youngsters shared how they used their matching fund to support their growth and development, ranging from computer programming, language learning to the purchase of facilitating equipment. James Cheung wishes to become a computer engineer in the future. He spent part of his matching fund in a computer programming and game design course. Stella Kao wants to work in the medical field after her graduation. Her wish is to join an international rescue service. She spent some matching funds to enrich her foreign language abilities so she can have better communication skills when working overseas. Wing Wong wishes to develop her future career in the art and multi-media industries. She applied for a course in film-editing and bought some related software to enhance her computer to practice the relevant skills. Another youth Yen Wong, on the other hand, used part of her matching fund in a music course to improve her flute performance skill.
Sylvia Chung, Chief Business Impact Officer of Chinachem Group, noted during the tea gathering that the prolonged pandemic had continued to deal heavy blows to local economic activities. "We have supported the CDMF since 2018. As a part of the community, the Group understands the importance of being inclusive and supportive of the needs of its neighbours, in this case young people in the Tsuen Wan and Kwai Tsing Districts," she said. "Two key areas of our community programmes focus on relief of poverty and the advancement of education. Through this programme, we hope our targeted youths can develop good savings and financial habits, to make better planning for their future. We always aim to make a positive contribution to society through our adherence to the 'Triple Bottom Line', a commitment that all our activities will benefit People, bring Prosperity to the community and preserve the Planet."
Explaining the work of CDMF, its Chairman Amy Chan said "CDMF helps youths build 'tangible assets' through building a savings habit and learning wealth management. CDMF also opens opportunities for them to build 'intangible assets'. All CDMF beneficiary youths, once they reach the aged of 16, will be placed with different industries for work experience arranged by the Child Development Initiative Alliance, a CDMF strategic partner, to widen their exposure and horizons, and enhance their soft skills for upward mobility, eventually enabling them to come out of poverty. We are extremely grateful to Chinachem Group for supporting this poverty alleviation policy. This will bring a positive impact to our needy youths and help them develop talents for the sustainable growth of our economy. This is made possible by the tri-partite co-operation between the Government, business and the community to nurture our next generation."
For more information on how the Chinachem Group is caring for local communities, please visit its website here.
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Since 1960, Chinachem Group has been a leading property developer in Hong Kong, with a portfolio covering residential, commercial, retail and industrial buildings for sales and investment, in addition to operating hotels and property management services. The Group actively seeks to make a positive contribution to society through its adherence to the "Triple Bottom Line", a commitment that its activities will benefit People, bring Prosperity to the community and preserve the Planet.