A FLUSH of ''green'' has brightened the world for the young people at Begonia Road Boys' Home, thanks to a highly rewarding environmental project. The boys, who are serving time for various offences, had an opportunity to act as good citizens and contribute to the community with a six-month programme that ranged from beautifying their home to cleaning up beaches. Twenty juvenile offenders, under the guidance of 10 students from the Northcote College of Education and the Lee Wai Lee Technical Institute, started their green community project in July last year. The boys took part in anti-smoking talks and Friends of the Earth seminars on environmental protection, worked on an organic farm, and cleaned up beaches in Sai Kung. One of the project highlights was painting an 8 x 50-metre mural near the Boys' Home in Tai Hang Tung Road to spread the environmental protection message in the district. Twin brothers Ah Hoi and Ah Chiu, 16, said they felt more confident about integrating themselves into society after joining the voluntary service. ''This is the first time I have taken part in voluntary work,'' Ah Hoi said. ''At first, I disliked it, and I skipped meetings. But the more I understood the nature of the job, the more I liked it. ''Besides, the student volunteers are really nice and now we have become good friends.'' The twins come from a broken family. Their mother is a Thai who left them when they were still young, and their father was too busy to look after them. Lacking parental love, the pair went astray and were detained in several boys' homes for shoplifting offences. ''We will never commit crimes again,'' Ah Chiu said. ''We will do our best to help society, and we hope people will give us another chance.'' Northcote College of Education student volunteer Fung Pik-shan believed the boys would return ''to the right path'' if given support and the proper opportunities. ''They are not really bad. They have a kind heart and are willing to help others. They need to feel accepted by society,'' Pik-shan said. The third-year student started doing projects and holding extra-curricular classes for the young people at Begonia Road Boys' Home three years ago, and found the job ''challenging and interesting''. Her junior, Yammie Chen Chih-lie, said young offenders needed extra attention and patience. ''They don't have much confidence in others,'' she said. ''But once you build up a relationship with them, they become talkative and are willing to share with you their ups and downs.'' Speaking at a recent ceremony to mark the end of the project, Mr Chan Wai-kwan, Assistant Director of Social Welfare (Youth and Rehabilitation), said: ''With suitable education, counselling and training, as well as support from their parents and other members of society, most youngsters can correct themselves and start a new life.''