Making a difference

PUBLISHED : Monday, 13 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 13 June, 2011, 12:00am


Unicef Hong Kong celebrated its 25th anniversary on Friday. Over the past quarter century, Unicef's local chapter has raised HK$1.6 billion to help children in need across the world.

Three non-government organisations (NGOs) - End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation, Against Child Abuse Limited and Youth Outreach - received HK$500,000 each from Unicef's Hong Kong Committee to carry out projects to improve the lives of needy local children.

It is the first time the Child Rights Advocacy Project has been initiated. Unicef chose the three from among 22 applicants after careful consideration. End Child Sexual Abuse Foundation officials said they planned to use the fund to teach around 1,200 mentally challenged children about sexual abuse through workshops, cartoons and puppet shows. The NGO will also distribute VCDs and worksheets to children and their teachers in special education schools.

Executive director Michelle Tam explained that such children need help because they lack the ability to react to molestation. She added that there are about 4,000 mentally challenged children in the city.

Against Child Abuse Limited will use the money to help immigrant families.

Director Jessica Ho Oi-chu said about 30,000 children are born to new immigrant families every year. Most of them face problems.

'Some of them experience discrimination,' she said. Ho added that parents sometimes take their frustration out on their children.

The organisation will pay regular visits to needy families and take them on family tours.

Youth Outreach's acting assistant executive director Tam Chung-ho said the organisation will spend the money on projects to get teenagers off drugs and off the streets.

The group will transform a truck into a colourful mobile game centre that will provide video games for troubled teens. Its team of social workers will also reach out to them.