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Aimed at all those who are interested in young people, their problems and concerns, hopes and aspirations, Invest in Youth, share stories, information and news. We welcome you your suggestions and comments, but ask you also to take the time and see how you might be able to join us building up partnerships. Please show your support by joining our mailing list to receive Invest in Youth every week.


Symposium on Youth Employment in China

A Symposium on Youth Employment in China was organized by the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce, Standard Chartered Bank, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Shenzhen branch and the Federation on December 20, 2003 at the Shenzhen Wuzhou Guest House. Almost 200 young people from Hong Kong participated. Through the various talks and discussions, the young participants were able to develop a deeper understanding of the potential and possibilities available in the Pearl River Delta.

They were also able to have their talents assessed by China enterprises. Click here to learn more.


Team Building Workshop for Young Executives

In November, the Information Technology Department of Morgan Stanley invited Leadership 21 to tailor-make a one-day team-building workshop for its staff. Through stimulating experiential games, exercises and thought provoking discussions at the Jockey Club Sai Kung Outdoor Training Camp, participants learnt new and effective ways of cooperation and communication that were immediately applicable to the workplace. The session was well received, with one participant, Michael Cheng, exclaiming afterwards,

"This was the best team building event I have ever experienced! I highly recommend this effort and thank you all for your efforts."

Apart from leadership training for student leaders, Leadership 21 also provides tailor-made training programmes for young executives. If your organization is interested in holding leadership development workshops and seminars for your staff, please do not hesitate to contact the Supervisor of Leadership 21, Mr. James Mok, at 2169 0255. The Jockey Club Sai Kung Outdoor Training Camp of the Federation, with its modern facilities, offers the perfect venue for staff training of businesses and
corporations. Click here to learn more about this exciting campsite!

Promoting a Drug-Free Message to Young People
With support from the Beat Drugs Fund, the Federation will operate a two-year programme called Project Snowball to promote a drug-free message to young people in Kowloon and New Territories West. With the assistance of young, drug-free
Ambassadors, youth workers will provide casework services, while spreading the anti-drug message in discos and other entertainment venues where high-risk youth gather. Project Snowball will commence in January 2004.


Teachers and Students Need to Broaden their Global Perspective

Hong Kong defines itself as a cosmopolitan city. However, a survey has revealed that both teachers and students in Hong Kong had very little interest or knowledge of international issues when compared to their counterparts in Shanghai. The survey interviewed 1,287 secondary teachers in Hong Kong and Shanghai via questionnaires in early 2003. 21% of Shanghai respondents reported that their students were interested in international issues, while the percentage of

Hong Kong respondents with the same opinion was a poor 3.5%. More worryingly, 64.2% of teachers in Hong Kong admitted that they were unfamiliar with international issues, while the number of Shanghai was a low 28.1%. The "Global Citizenship Education" research project was jointly conducted by Oxfam Hong Kong and the Hong Kong Institute of Education.

Involving Young People in the Consultation of West Kowloon Development
The Government will soon conduct another round of public consultations on the Development of West Kowloon Cultural District. On 17 December 2003, The Chief Secretary, Donald Tsang, stated that the opinions of young people would be actively sought, as they would form the main users by the time the development was completed. The form of consultation has yet to be decided, though Tsang did express his wish to meet personally with secondary and tertiary students.The
Government will also distribute information kits to schools and universities, so that young people can be kept more informed about the project.

Primary Students in Hong Kong on Average feel Happy

A study on the feelings of young people by the City University of Hong Kong and the Church of Christ in China in June and July 2003, found that on average, primary students were generally happy. With 4 being the top mark, the respondents returned an
average mark of 2.74 on the "happy index". The impediments to complete happiness were family problems, with nearly 40% of students reporting that they often quarreled with their families and 36.4% claiming that they were the targets of their family's

The 6th International Youth Leadership Conference
While it has been highlighted above that the knowledge and interest of Hong Kong young people towards international issues is rather low, there is one way this can be remedied. The 6th International Youth Leadership Conference aims at giving the next generation of world leaders a forum in which to showcase their leadership skills. The conference is about the encouragement of global citizenship and an understanding of the most important international issues we face today. From 4 to 9 January 2004, over 160 students aged 18-24 from all over the world will gather in Prague, Czech Republic and participate in unique simulations of real-world organizations, role-playing characters in powerful international positions. The simulation activities will be accompanied by field trips, site visits and guest lectures. Click here to learn more about this wonderful event.

An Alarming Picture of Teenage Health in the UK
The British Medical Association has warned that teenagers in the UK are facing a health time bomb. Drug abuse, smoking, unhealthy diets, underage sex and binge drinking are leading to deteriorating teenage health. For example, obesity affects 1 out of every 5 15-year-olds, while psychological problems such as anorexia and depression also beset one fifth of all adolescents. Similarly, almost a fifth of 15 and 16 year-olds will have taken an illegal drug in the last month, while a quarter have acknowledged smoking in the past week. The Association recommended that the UK should invest more in health services targeting the needs of adolescents.

Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Primary Schools

Recently, there has been talk about introducing smaller classes and lowering the pupil-teacher ratio in Hong Kong. How does the present pupil-teacher ratio in primary schools in Hong Kong compare to that of other countries?
Primary School Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Selected Countries
 Country Pupil-Teacher Ratio in Primary Schools in the Year 2000/2001
Denmark 10
Netherlands 10
Italy 11
Sweden 11
Germany 15
United States 15
New Zealand 16
Canada 17
United Kingdom 18
France 19
China 20
Japan 20
Hong Kong 22
Indonesia 22
Brazil 25
Macao 28
Cambodia 53
Central African Republic 74
Source: UNESCO Institute for Statistics, May 2003
***Nurturing Future Leaders***

Investing in the Future through Leadership Development
Established in April 2000, Leadership 21 of the Federation is committed to providing comprehensive, systematic and high quality leadership training to potential youth leaders. Its target groups are secondary school and university students, youth volunteers, young community leaders and young executives between the ages of 15 and 34.

The leadership training courses of Leadership 21 have been very well received and now, over 380 secondary schools – over 75% of the total number of secondary schools in Hong Kong – have nominated their student leaders, like head prefects, presidents of student unions and chairpersons of clubs and societies, to participate in the various Certificate Courses offered by Leadership 21. During the year 2002-03, a total of 1,339 participants were recruited for the Certificate Courses for youth leaders.

To broaden the horizon of budding leaders, short courses conducted by well-known figures, such as Sir T.L. Yang, along with Dialogue Sessions with Policy Makers are also organized. Other services of Leadership 21 include leadership training for gifted students commissioned by the Education and Manpower Bureau and tailor-made courses for businesses, universities and other organizations.

The experience of Leadership 21 lays solid foundation for the future success of the Leadership Institute. Visit Leadership 21's website to learn more.

Stories of Young Leaders
Do not underestimate the power of young people. Around the world, many are taking active leadership roles and making a difference to their communities. The Young Leaders page of the UNICEF website shares some of the most inspiring success stories of children who have shown true leadership skills and potential. Abigail Manglicmot Fabrigas, for example, a 17 year old from the Philippines, showed great care about the plight of street children. Highly articulate and intelligent, she is now actively involved in an international campaign called "Say Yes for Children" to improve and protect the lives of children worldwide. Ryan Hreljac, a Canadian teenager, established a foundation when he was only 10 years old aiming at providing clean fresh water for children in Africa. Click here to read more moving stories of young leaders.

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Copyright© 2003 The Hong Kong Federation of Youth Groups