Youths' voices to be heard on-line
A Web site launched by a youth organisation aims to offer young people a channel to express themselves and encourage them to take part in extra-curricular activities.
Developed by the Hong Kong Council of Social Service (HKCSS), Youthnet is an 18- month project backed by the Quality Education Fund, which will provide it with $1.2 million between July and December.
Besides enabling young people to exchange their views on the Internet, the site will also provide schools with support material for information technology (IT) teaching.
Information on activities to be held by the council's 250 service units - children and youth centres, integrated teams and community centres - will be posted on the Web site (www.hkyouthnet.org).
The first project provided by Youthnet was called Youth Wishes towards New Millennium.
Visitors to the site could choose e-cards from eight cate gories - family, environment, IT, health, love, desire, friendship and dreams - to send to friends and family.
At the launching ceremony, Jeffrey Chau Sze-ngai, chairman of the council's working group on IT applications, said: 'We not only aim to reach young people in the SAR, but all Chinese around the world.
'Feedback from our members said that society did not have enough channels for young people to express themselves and for their voices to be heard. Therefore Youthnet should be a good channel for sharing.' Through the Web site's e-card service, society could get a better understanding of the needs of young people because messages would be posted on the site.
'[Visitors may] even send a card to the Government to express [their] views on its policies,' Mr Chau said.
At least 500 members from each of the council's service units were expected to visit the Web site.
After learning how to upload information to the Web site on training courses, staff at the service units would then teach members to develop their own homepages.
Chui Ka-ying and Chan Koon- yu of Fu Shin Lutheran Integrated Team were among the first to use the e-card service.
Ka-ying, 19, sent a card to members of her family to wish them good health.
She said the Web site made good use of animation and the layout was colourful and user- friendly. It was convenient to look up information on centres' up-coming events as well.
Koon-yu, 18, sent an e-card to his best friend wishing their friendship would last for ever.
Youthnet's e-cards allow young people to express themselves