In an effort to strengthen support services for ethnic minorities, the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) today (December 1) issued an open invitation to eligible non-governmental organisations (NGOs) to apply for funding to establish and operate four regional support service centres for ethnic minorities in Hong Kong.
The objective of the scheme is to provide assistance to ethnic minorities in accessing public services and facilitate their integration into the community. Two centres will be set up in the New Territories, one in Kowloon and one on Hong Kong Island.
All four centres will organise language training to enhance ethnic minorities' proficiency in both Chinese and English and will also provide other support services in order to facilitate their integration into the community. In addition, one of the four centres will provide centralised interpretation services to assist ethnic minorities in their use of public services as well as essential non-government services which are critical to them.
The Government has earmarked $16 million for the annual operating costs of these four centres and an additional $8 million to subsidise their start-up costs. The deadline for application is January 12, 2009. A briefing session to introduce the scheme and answer enquires will be held for interested NGOs on December 10, 2008. Details of the project, criteria for application and the briefing session are contained in a project brief which is available on the CMAB's website www.cmab.gov.hk/doc/issues/emssc_en.pdf
Ends/Monday, December 1, 2008