Pepsi Charity Auction

PepsiCo continues to offer generous support for the Federation's youth development work. After the very successful PepsiCo Charity Concert on 20 December 2004, they held an online charity auction on e-Bay at which we were beneficiaries. Local and Taiwanese celebrities such as Sammie Cheng, Edison Chan and Jay Chou very kindly donated some of their trendy clothes and collectibles which were auctioned off to a very enthusiastic response. The Federation and The Dragon Foundation benefited RMB92,025 as a result of this charity auction. To mark the completion of the event, a cheque presentation ceremony will take place on Tuesday 22 March 2005 from 4-5pm outside the Hong Kong Cultural Centre. PepsiCo's worthy demonstration of corporate responsibility will help us improve services to the community while also winning well-deserved goodwill for the company. If you are interested in such partnership with us, please contact Ms. Elaine Chan at 2123-9598.

Colors your Summer - Youth Ambassador Program

The Federation is collaborating again with McDonald's Restaurants (Hong Kong) Limited. This time we will be their partner in the Colors Your Summer Youth Ambassador Program. This is part of the Federation's Life Banking Project and aims to provide all-round job training and related activities. These activities will be for students in Secondary 5 to 7 and will include a pre-job seminar, workshops on safety at work, an Adventure Day Camp and visits to large-scale logistics corporations. Furthermore, McDonald's Restaurants have kindly agreed to give participants on-site work experience in various districts throughout Hong Kong. This will give them a valuable chance to learn about customer services and restaurant operation skills. We believe that such a comprehensive training scheme will help our youth to improve teamwork and interpersonal skills while gaining useful job experience that will help them set clear career goals. Click HERE for more info about the programme

HKFYG's Job Recruitment Day

The Federation is always concerned with the employment needs of youth and last year's careers expos attracted more than 13,000 young people. With such encouraging feedback we decided to organise a fourth expo for northwest New Territories youth, in collaboration with the Labour Department's Youth Work Experience and Training Scheme. Approximately 30 employers will take part, 20 of whom will set up booths.1,800 job vacancies and on site interviews will be offered. 3,000 young people are expected to attend and we are now inviting employers to offer any other vacancies that arise. Another expo will take place in July 2005 at Hollywood Plaza. Any employers who are interested in joining us can contact Ms. Christine Law (YEN) at 3113-7999 for information.

Youth Forum on "Looking Northward - Career Prospects in China"

The Federation is highly aware of the employment opportunities that exist for our youth on the Mainland and so we are conducting a Youth Forum on this theme in partnership with the Standard Chartered Bank and the Hong Kong General Chamber of Commerce (HKGCC). We have invited the Chairman of the HKGCC, Dr Eden Woon, JP to be our officiating guest and there will be six keynote speakers from various professions. They will hold discussions with participants, analyzing the competitiveness, advantages and disadvantages of Hong Kong youth when compared to their mainland counterparts. The forum will be from 6 to 8p.m. on Monday 21 March 2005 in the Auditorium of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service, 1/F Duke of Windsor Social Service Building, Hennessy Road, Wanchai.




The Unlimited Potential of Youth

Microsoft is in the limelight at the Federation this year. As one of the Caring Companies we nominated for their Unlimited Potential program, they have made a generous commitment to Hong Kong, donating HK$5.6million in cash plus software, training packages and support services. The total value of their support for our young people's technical education is HK$15 million.


Alexander Huang, Rosanna Wong, Teri Ng

"The Federation is one of our treasured partners in the community affairs area, sharing our missions and values," said Teri Ng, Microsoft's Director of Law and Corporate Affairs, Far East Region. 18 fully equipped IT training centres called Cyber SPOTs will be set up within our Youth S.P.O.Ts to help to bridge the digital divide between Hong Kong's rich and poor. The one at Tsuen Wan has already trained 1000 young people who would otherwise have found great difficulty affording the courses.

"HKFYG is serving as a best practice showcase for next-generation wireless-enabled IT learning centers in implementing and sustaining technology training programs on the district level, with its advanced resources, curriculum and technical expertise."

Naturally, we are very happy to have feedback like this and look forward to keeping readers up to date with progress in implementing the three phases of the programme.

Expanding Youth Membership
The Federation's u21youthnet membership has reached 150,000 this month. Since last September the figure has risen by 40,000, a very encouraging sign. Visit to see why we attract members!

Leadership 21 Youth Think Tank Kick Off Ceremony
Officiating guest: Professor Lau Siu-kai
Venue: Run Run Shaw Hall at the Hong Kong Academy of Medicine
Date and Time: 19th March 6:00 - 8:00pm

Launch of the 2005 Hong Kong Odyssey of the Mind Programme
Guest of Honour: Dr York Y N Chow
Special guests: Prof Phillip Moore, Mr William Y.Yiu
Venue: Hong Kong Institute of Education
Date and Time: 2nd April 2:30 pm
Click to find out more about the programme.

Second "Leaders to Leaders" Series: Kick Off Ceremony and First Lecture
These well received lectures will enter their second series on 18 March 2005 at the Wang Gungwu Lecture Hall, Graduate House, University of Hong Kong, 6:00-8:00p.m.
For the full list of speakers visit:

Ideas for sustainability
What is sustainable development? The phrase occurs regularly in the media but it means many things to many people, including pollution, economic policy, urban development and social welfare. Young people need to understand all the interpretations and their ramifications in order to be able to take responsible action within the community. That is why HKFYG devised a competition to focus young people's minds and encourage them to come up with constructive ideas.

We talked to the two most outstanding teams among this year's 116 entrants. First was a group of vibrant young people already working in Hong Kong's transport sector. Their exciting proposal is called Creative - Crossover: EcoMile. It revolves around the concept of the Eco-footprint - or the environmental impact made by humanity upon the part of the world it occupies for any given activity. Transport causes 48% of all negative environmental impact worldwide. The members of this team are all working in the transport sector so they are very aware of how urgently this sensitive issue needs attention.

The EcoMile team has proposed three ways of making modes of transport more sustainable through a series of workable public policy measures. The most ingenious and probably most effective is a variable credit/debit system, dependent on the relative pollution caused by alternative modes of transport. Another option is a simpler direct levy based on the same criteria. We asked how they came up with the idea. Raymond Lau who works for the MTR said:

"I met Joey So, our fourth team member from Cathay Pacific, at the Federation's Dragons in China programme last September. That was when the idea to enter the competition took off and it turned out to be fun for such a serious project.”

"We did our brainstorming and research in the autumn,"said Shirley Lam from KCRC. "Once we had the idea roughly mapped out we got together - I happened to be in hospital at the time! - and we worked out how to make people aware of the problem."

Kevin Man who works with Raymond for the MTR said:
"The competitive aspect gave us a lot of motivation but the main reason we chose this particular topic is because it is so important that Hong Kong sorts out the problem of pollution. It's also a fascinating problem for us to tackle because we all work in the transport sector."

The second team was from Immanuel Lutheran College. Dolphin Chow Hoi-man and Wong Tsui-ping found out about the PIA competition at the Leadership 21 Youth Forum on Sustainable Development (SD) last December. Then they devised their project called CSI (Concern for SD in Ideal World), which focuses on redevelopment of the Cheung Sha Wan vacant industrial area. Their interest in public policy mounted during intensive research into the concepts behind SD. As another team member, Yung Wei-shan, Kitty commented:

"I did not know what SD meant before. This project not only motivated me to find out but also aroused a real interest in current affairs. That has made me feel much more like a true citizen of Hong Kong."

One member of the team had noticed the problems of urban decay in the Cheung Sha Wan factory area on his way to church. Wong Siu-kan said:

"I became familiar with the area because I pass through it on Sundays. I think redevelopment would be so good, bringing vitality and life back to the district".

Government decided to demolish many of the buildings and replace them with modern public housing but there's been no action. Meantime, the need for more public housing has declined along with the birthrate. The team has worked out alternative, creative ways for revitalizing the area.

Many of the buildings are long disused, dilapidated factories with just a few flats occupied by relatively elderly residents. The team's vision is to make the area into a recreational park with facilities not only for senior citizens but also for young people, thus bringing new life back into a shabby district. Outdoor and indoor facilities would include a spa, physiotherapy centre and Chinese medicine clinic as well as room for performances of Cantonese opera and band practices.

"We're the first group to propose such a redevelopment of the old factory area. It could be a place catering for the needs of the elderly and the young. Both our creative and analytical skills came into play during the research and planning," said Dolphin.

Suitable infrastructure factors include the proximity of the nearby West Kowloon Cultural District which will bring improved transport services. Environmental factors in favour of the proposal are urban clean-up and replacement with green areas which will improve air quality in the district and encourage young and old alike to take advantage of the recreational facilities.

Both teams' ideas are innovative and creative but they are also practical and dovetail with existing policy. Asked what they would like to see happening next all team members hoped they could pursue their ideas further through the corridors of power - another of the outcomes that the Federation envisaged for this exciting programme.




















Equal or not

Last Tuesday was International Women's Day - a good time to find out what Hong Kong's young people think about gender equality and the role of women in our society. Results of a survey by Harmony House among 1620 secondary students last month, showed that two-thirds of them optimistically think men and women are treated equally. But two-thirds of the same group also think that being a house-husband is less acceptable than being a housewife which is somewhat at odds with the first finding and a rather more realistic reflection of the actual state of affairs.

According to a second recent survey conducted by the Kowloon Women's Organizations Federation, 33% of women in their 30s feel they are facing a lot of pressure both at work and at home, the most likely explanation being that they have to cope with the multi-tasking demands of the modern young working wife, often dealing with a full-time job and all the demands of family and home every evening and weekend. Women may be achieving positions of power and influence where it was unheard of 30 years ago but we do not yet have equality.

The Equal Opportunities Commission keeps figures on sex discrimination which show that of the 2,950 reported cases, 700 involved maternity issues. A third study by the Family Planning Association reveals that the number of women without children who have no intention of starting a family has tripled in the last 30 years. A Federation telephone poll this spring asked over 500 young people - both male and female - for their views on similar issues. Findings revealed that 12% do not plan to have children while 57% cite the responsibility and the costs involved as their main reasons. Contrary to tradition, over a third of this group have no confidence in the concept that your children look after you when you are old and grey. Is it any wonder that the birth-rate is in decline.















Smoke-free zones

Sitting next to a smoker in a restaurant is bad news and non-smoking sections have little impact on smokers in many of Hong Kong's more down-market eateries so the recent news of the ban on smoking in public places as of mid-2006 is very good news. It comes just after research here showed that second-hand smoke alone costs the city HK$1.2 billion in health care every year.

According to the World Health Organization* half the world's children are exposed to tobacco smoke while a US report** released in January stated that 13 million American children aged 12-17 are passive smokers even though 70% of all US householders ban smoking in the home. Smoking kills 7,000 annually in Hong Kong, 1,300 of whom are non smokers.

Last December, Philip Morris - the world's largest tobacco company whose Marlboro cigarettes account for 50% of all local sales - launched a new cheap brand in Hong Kong. It is called 'Next' and the price makes it competitive with mainland brands and very attractive to young smokers. The name means 'Leader' in Chinese and adverts show a very content-looking young male Chinese smoker. When asked to comment on the latest statistics in Hong Kong Philip Morris was curiously mute. Young people are the most vulnerable of all - as active, passive and potentially active smokers. They need every bit of protection they can get.

*International Consultation on Environmental Tobacco Smoke and Child Health. (1999)
**American Legacy Foundation Report, Secondhand Smoke: Youth Exposure to Adult Attitudes (January 2005)
visit for info on the dangers of passive smoking



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