Aimed at all those who are interested in young people, their problems and concerns, hopes and aspirations, Invest in Youth, shares with you the latest development of the Federation and young people. We sincerely invite you to join us as a partner in nurturing the younger generation.
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Flag Day

For the first time in our more than 40 year history, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups will host its first ever Flag Day. To be held on 29 May, the Flag Day will be a new effort to introduce the Federation to the wider public, while also soliciting financial support from the community.

The money raised from the Flag Day will support the Federation, not only in its ongoing programmes and projects, but also help it to develop new initiatives to meet the constantly changing needs of young people. You can read more about the Federation's professional and diversified services below.

We call upon all our friends and partners to support this effort. Not only will we gratefully welcome your generous donations to help us meet our target goal of HK$ 2 million, but we also call on you to help in other ways.

You can help us sell flags by providing staff. You can help us distribute the money collection bags amongst your staff prior to Flag Day for early donations. You can help provide or distribute prizes, souvenirs and even food and drink to the Flag sellers. In all, we are looking for at least 10,000 volunteers to help sell Flags. Find a way that suits you, but please, do join with us!

Please call our Partnership Office at 2123 9598 to learn more.

  Milestones of the Federation

Established in 1960, The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups has helped millions of young people face up to the challenges of growing up. For the past four decades, the Federation has been devising new programmes and projects in order to keep up with the constantly changing needs of youth. Some of the milestones are listed below.

The 1960s

  • Mr. George Stokes, who was sent to Hong Kong by the British Christian Welfare Council to develop local youth services, founded The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups in 1960.
  • The Federation set up youth centres in public housing estates and developed camps for recreational purposes on the outskirts of urban areas in the mid to late 1960s.
  • In 1967, the Federation set up the "Detached Work" programme - a pioneering project that provided services to those young people who were unwilling to participate in centre activities. This was the forerunner of the present Outreaching Social Work.

The 1970s

  • The forerunner to today's Youth Counselling Centre was the pilot Youth Guidance Project, started to help young people with emotional and adjustment problems.
  • The School Social Work, Outreaching Social Work and Family Life Education Units came into full service in 1979.

The 1980s

  • Youth Exchange projects were initiated in the mid 1980s. Study Tours were also arranged to China and a number of overseas countries to enhance the understanding of young people towards China and provide them with international exposures.

The 1990s

  • In 1993, "Youthline 2777 8899", the first hotline service for young people in Hong Kong subvented by the Government, was established. This provided an immediate and convenient channel for youngsters to express their concerns and emotions to qualified counsellors.
  • The monthly Youth Poll Series and the in-depth Youth Studies began production in early 1993 as a systematic form of in-depth research on issues concerning young people. The Youth Research Centre was established in 1995.
  • In 1995, the Lee Shau Kee Youth Exchange Fund was set up to support more long-term exchange programmes for a greater number of young people. The Youth Exchange Unit was formally established in the same year.
  • Competitions became a common feature of Federation programmes with the establishment of the Youth Exchange Unit. Each with a different focus, they covered such areas as creativity, application of scientific theories, enhancement of critical thinking and physical pursuits. Most of these competitions are organized in Hong Kong as local competitions, with winning teams being sponsored to attend competitions or forums abroad.
  • The Youth Support Scheme began as an experimental project in 1994 with the support of the Lotteries Fund and by October 1998, had become a subvented service. The Scheme aims to provide counselling services and support to young people who have been cautioned under the Police Superintendent's Discretionary Scheme.
  • Moving into the arena of providing education, the first Day Nursery, Ching Lok Nursery, was established in Sai Wan Ho in 1997. The second Ching Lok Nursery was set up in Yau Ma Tei in 1999.
  • In 1996, the Federation started to provide rehabilitation services with two Small Group Homes for mildly mentally handicapped children and teenagers between the ages of 6 and 18.
  • In 1998, the Youth Volunteer Network was established to promote volunteerism among young people.
  • In late 1990s, the Federation began a phased modernization process to its youth centres. It is hoped that through an attractive environment and innovative programmes, more young people will benefited by the services provided.

The 2000s

  • The first primary school was began in 2000 and is known as The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups Lee Shau Kee Primary School.
  • In the same year, Leadership 21 was established offering a variety of comprehensive and professional leadership training programmes for young people.
  • Since October 2001, the Jockey Club Tseung Kwan O Youth S.P.O.T. extended its service to Young Night Drifters in the Sai Kung and Tseung Kwan O Districts.
  • In 2002, all youth centres, teenager centres and integrated youth service centres were re-named Youth S.P.O.T., providing young people with the Space for Participation, Opportunities and Training.
  • In 2002, a Student Guidance Team was especially established to develop quality counselling services and programme packages to meet the needs of the different primary schools in Hong Kong.
  • In 2003, the Youth Employment Network was set up to address the issues of youth unemployment and to help young people with their career planning.
  • Partnership and Resource Development Office was established the same year to strengthen cross-sectoral collaborations.

We list all these milestones to share with you our consistent and constant updating of new programmes. Please help the support our efforts to raise funds to continue in this way. Support the Federation's first ever Flag Day on 29 May 2004! Only with your kind assistance, can we continue to devise new and innovative services for youth and reach more milestones in the future.


The Problem of Obesity in Children and Adolescents

Overweight and obesity have become major health hazards in many developed countries. According to the statistics of the Student Health Services, the number of overweight children in Hong Kong is on the increase. In the 1999/2000 academic year, 13.6% of primary and secondary students were found to be overweight. In the period 1998/99 and 2000/01, the number of newly opened cases of obesity in children was 13,973, of which 10,592 were primary students.

A survey, released in November 2003, by The University of Hong Kong showed that the activity rate of youth in Hong Kong lagged far behind that of other world cities, with primary students in Hong Kong only spending 3.8% of their day undertaking physical exercise, which is a major contributor to obesity.

How serious is the problem of obesity in children and youth in other countries? The first table highlights the longitudinal picture of the problem of overweight among American youth, with the second table projecting the worldwide picture.

  Table 1: The Weight of American Youth
  Percentage U.S. 6-11-year-olds overweight, c. 1963-65 4.2%
  Percentage U.S. 12-19-year-olds overweight, c. 1966-70 4.6%
  Percentage U.S. 6-11-year-olds overweight, c. 1971-74 4.0%
  Percentage U.S. 6-11-year-olds overweight, c. 1976-80 6.5%
  Percentage U.S. 12-19-year-olds overweight, c. 1976-80 5.0%
  Percentage U.S. 6-11-year-olds overweight, c. 1988-94 11.3%
  Percentage U.S. 12-19-year-olds overweight, c. 1988-94 10.5%
  Percentage U.S. 6-11-year-olds overweight, c. 1999-2000 15.3%
  Percentage U.S. 12-19-year-olds overweight, c. 1999-2000 15.5%

Source: The Centre for Disease Control, "Prevalence of Overweight Among Children and Adolescents: United States, 1999-20000," Health, United States 2002 Report

  Table 2: Percentage of 10-year-olds Overweight or Obese, 2002
  Country Percentage
  Italy 36%
  Greece 31%
  Spain 30%
  United States 25%
  Britain 22%
  France 17%
  Germany 15%
  Netherlands 14%
  Source: The Economist, International Obesity Taskforce


Encouraging Youth to New Careers

On March 7, 14 and 21, the Tsuen Wan, Tsuen King Kwai Fong and Kin Sang Youth S.P.O.Ts joined hands with the Jockey Club Continuous Life-Wide Learning Centre to organize an EXPO focussing on the Creative Industry. The EXPO was sponsored by The Hong Kong Jockey Club Charities Trust and co-organized by The Hong Kong Institute of Vocational Education (Tsing Yi). Through exhibition, demonstrations and aptitude tests, youth participants were able to explore different career possibilities in the Creative Industry. These included areas such as computer animation, game design, graffiti, beauty care, drama, dance and modelling.


Nurturing Public Speakers

The Federation joined hands with The English-Speaking Union (Hong Kong) to organize the Hong Kong English Public Speaking Contest 2004. The idea of the Contest was to cultivate public speaking skills among young people and to expand their horizons and knowledge, while demonstrating their leadership potential. The Grand Final of the Contest will take place on April 28. In support of this meaningful initiative, The Commercial Press (H.K.) Limited has kindly agreed to sponsor book vouchers for the winners of the Contest. The champion of the Contest will represent Hong Kong at the ESU International Public Speaking Competition in May 2004, which is held annually in London. We are grateful for this support.


Developing an Interest in Tennis

The Hong Kong Tennis Association very kindly donated 8,000 tickets for the AIA Hong Kong National Tennis Championships 2004 Final to young people and their parents. The Finals were held on 18 April and provided a great opportunity for young people to develop an interest in the game, while also encouraging them to exercise regularly. Check it out !


Youth Unemployment Rate on the Rise Again

After five successive months of decreasing numbers, the unemployment rate for young people between the ages of 15 and 19 rose to 25.1% in the period December 2003 through February 2004. This was according to the information of the Census and Statistics Department. While not as high as the 37.6% from last year, it is up from 24.4%.

Outstanding Student Loan Debts Remain High

In spite of the improved economic situation, the number of university students who are in arrears with their student loans remains high. According to figures released by the Student Financial Assistance Agency, until February 2004, the total amount of outstanding student loan debts for the academic year 2003/2004 was HK$54.39 million. The same period saw 122 students declare themselves to be bankrupt.


Considering Oneself to be Patriotic

According to a survey conducted by U-Beat Magazine, a monthly magazine written, edited and designed by students in the School of Journalism and Communication at The Chinese University of Hong Kong,in March 2004, 50% of university students interviewed considered themselves to be patriotic. However, 40% of them claimed to be neutral on the issue. When the respondents were asked to define "patriotic", 70% chose, to have "passion for traditional Chinese culture", while 68% believed it meant "the love of the Chinese citizens". Only 3% chose the description that patriotic meant "love for the Chinese Communist Party". A total of 400 students from the University of Hong Kong, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, City University of Hong Kong and Hong Kong Baptist University were interviewed.

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