The Chief Secretary for Administration, Mr Matthew Cheung Kin-chung, officiated at the Social Capital Builder Awards Presentation Ceremony of the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund (CIIF) this afternoon (December 18) to give recognition to individuals, corporates and organisations for their outstanding contributions to the development of social capital. He appealed to professions and sectors across society for concerted efforts to respond to emerging community needs with innovative and collaborative models.
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Addressing the ceremony, Mr Cheung said the Social Capital Builder Awards presented today aimed to give recognition to outstanding CIIF-funded projects, collaborative partners, organisations and individuals who made significant contributions to building social capital. The number of awardees of Outstanding Social Capital Project Awards rose from three at the 2016 Awards to six this year, spanning cross-sectoral participation from the business, education and religious sectors and the Rural Committee. The Social Capital Builder Logo Award was presented to over 550 enterprises and organisations this year, representing a more than 60 per cent increase compared to the 2016 Awards. The increase also shows that the idea of social capital has gradually penetrated into different levels of society and is increasingly supported and recognised across various sectors, social strata and generations, building stronger social capital power in Hong Kong.
The Chief Executive's 2018 Policy Address announced that, with a view to ensuring that appropriate services are provided when residents move into new public rental housing estates, the Government will, through the CIIF, fund community network building projects, with the aim of regularising the support service for the new estate community to facilitate the integration of residents into the community as soon as possible.
Mr Cheung and the Secretary for Labour and Welfare, Dr Law Chi-kwong, respectively presented the Outstanding Social Capital Project Awards, the Outstanding Social Capital Partnership Awards, while both of them presented the Social Capital Builder Logo Awards. Awardee corporates/organisations and individuals were spread across the business sector, healthcare sector, education sector, non-profit-making organisations, district bodies and religious groups. Over the years, the award-winning CIIF-funded projects have been successful and effective in promoting the development of families, children and youths, elderly health and support, social inclusion and inter-generational harmony.
Prior to the ceremony, accompanied by Dr Law and the Chairman of the CIIF Committee, Dr Lam Ching-choi, Mr Cheung toured the Project Expo on CIIF-funded Projects to understand more about the projects' operations and beneficiaries. He expressed his thanks to the project teams from various organisations for their hard work in promoting social capital.
In the morning, Dr Law also attended the CIIF Forum on "Social Capital as a Solution". He said that the Government has injected $800 million into the Fund since its establishment, subsidising 375 programmes which support organisations from different sectors to implement diverse social capital development programmes. So far, the number of people with direct participation in these programmes exceeds 730 000. The enthusiastic participation of around 93 000 volunteers and 9 200 collaborative partners has built up some 2 100 mutual help networks, significantly promoting reciprocity among various sectors.
Dr Law, Dr Lam and the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, Mr Chua Hoi-wai, participated in the plenary session and exchanged views on how to converge cross-sectoral efforts to build a better community. Members of the CIIF Committee and SC.Net members hosted a series of concurrent sessions together with representatives from sectors including social welfare, business, healthcare, education and academia, sharing their experience to explore different cross-sectoral collaborative models.