ALTHOUGH many youngsters may consider the Solar Project as a channel to meet their idols, Solar Ambassadors see it in a different light. To them, the project is a means to understand and serve the needy. One of the 20 leaders of the Radio Television Hong Kong project, Jimmy Fung Tat-hon, said he never knew that some of the plastic cutlery packages used in fast food restaurants were produced by the disabled. 'They can be productive, like everyone else,' the 23-year-old said. Lan Wong Kam-lan, a special school teacher and a participant in the project, said voluntary workers should treat their clients as friends. Ms Lan added that the skills she had acquired through voluntary service helped to improve her relationship with her mother. 'I used to be afraid to talk with the elderly, including my mother, but my voluntary service experience has helped me overcome this obstacle. Now I know that all I have to do is listen patiently.' The Solar Project, started in 1988, aims to encourage young people to make good use of the summer vacation by taking part in community projects. Artists in the territory have given their full support to the project. Project co-ordinator Dawn Tsang Yuen-ming said volunteers were categorised according to their social service experiences and their skills. About 200 young people over the age of 16 were chosen from more than 3,000 applicants as Solar Ambassadors this year to take part in 10 service projects this summer.