Operation Santa Claus

Help us find out what Hong Kong public needs from government, welfare chief tells NGO leaders

  • Law Chi-kwong addresses forum for training programme sponsored by Operation Santa Claus
PUBLISHED : Friday, 07 December, 2018, 10:02am
UPDATED : Friday, 07 December, 2018, 10:02am

Hong Kong’s welfare chief has urged NGOs to help the government by airing their views on what people want and need from its policies.

Addressing a forum at Chinese University on Tuesday, Law Chi-kwong, himself a former social work academic, said officials and charities could work together. He said NGO leaders, who represent different segments of the community, should tell the government what members of the public expect.

“I don’t expect everyone to understand the dynamics or complexities of making public decisions or policy decisions,” Law said.

“But the job of the [NGO] leaders is to tell us what your perspectives are, so that we can listen to all the diverse views in the community.”

200 golfers in full swing for charity at Hong Kong Golf Club

That would help the government make much better decisions, Law told the gathering of NGO executives and academics at the NGO Leadership Industry Forum.

The event was organised by the NGO Leadership Programme – a training programme sponsored by Operation Santa Claus, the annual fundraising campaign set up jointly by the South China Morning Post and public broadcaster RTHK.

Global finance company UBS and the university’s department of social work also backed the course.

Rob Stewart of UBS said the course was designed to give NGO executives corporate knowledge encompassing budgeting, branding and marketing skills.

Gary Liu, CEO of the Post, noted the leadership programme had trained more than 100 participants since its launch in 2015, and that many needy people had benefited from their work.

The industry forum invited a number of individuals who run NGO projects in the city and abroad to share their experiences.

Leung Ka-wing, head of broadcasting at RTHK, said the session had given attendees an opportunity to learn international best practices.

One speaker was Andrew Shirman, who co-founSded the Education In Sight project in China’s Yunnan province in 2012.

“Poor vision is China’s most urgent education problem,” he said.

Shirman worked with county governments and local medical institutions to help rural students get the glasses they needed.

“We brought eye care professionals, such as optometrists, to the children,” he said, adding that the county governments there had helped to connect his team with the villagers in need.

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