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  Reducing Inter-generational Poverty

36. In the transition to a knowledge-based economy, an important policy objective of the Government is to endeavour to reduce inter-generational poverty. We will focus on providing more assistance for the younger generation of needy families, to give these children and young people ample opportunities to receive education and comprehensive development as they grow up, so as to enable them to face the future with confidence.

37. For children under five in poor families, we will launch a Head Start Programme on Child Development in the four local communities of Tin Shui Wai, Tuen Mun, Sham Shui Po and Tseung Kwan O on a trial and phased basis. Five Maternal and Child Health Centres in the four communities will co-operate with nearby nurseries, kindergartens and other related institutions. Using additional resources allocated by the Government and through staff training, a new mode of operation will be established to provide needy parents with health and educational activities and counselling services. In the second year of this pilot programme, we will, on the basis of experience gained, extend it in phases to other communities in Hong Kong.

38. For children between 6 and 15, we will not only ensure that they all go to school but also allocate more resources in the coming financial year to schools and youth organisations. This will enable them to strengthen support services and co-operation at the local level to organise suitable after-school learning and interest activities in such areas as languages, computing, music and arts. This will provide the children with more learning opportunities to acquire knowledge of the community, improve interpersonal skills and develop a positive outlook on life.

39. For those from poor families aged between 15 and 24, apart from university education, the Vocational Training Council and associate degree programmes of various institutions will provide opportunities for learning and advancement. Project Yi Jin gives young people an additional avenue for continuing education. The Government will provide various forms of grants and assistance and consider other areas of improvement to ensure that no young person will be deprived of education for lack of financial means. At present, all secondary schools have school-based social workers who can assist the children of poor families. We will encourage non-government organisations in local communities to enlist more caring people from various sectors to serve as mentors to encourage young people to learn and advance. We will also draw on the successful experience of the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund to continue to promote community involvement in assisting young people from poor families.

2005| Important notices
Last revision date : January 12, 2005