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Briefing for NGOs on support service centres for ethnic minorities

     Eligible non-governmental organisations (NGOs) are invited to attend a briefing session to be conducted by the Constitutional and Mainland Affairs Bureau (CMAB) on December 10 to facilitate their preparation of funding applications to establish and operate support service centres for ethnic minorities.

     The briefing session will be held at the lecture theatre, Hong Kong Central Library at 10.30 am on December 10 (Wednesday).

     In order to strengthen support services for ethnic minorities, the CMAB is now inviting 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 service 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.

     Details of the project, criteria for application and the briefing session are contained in a project brief which is available at the CMAB's website www.cmab.gov.hk/doc/issues/emssc_en.pdf.

Ends/Monday, December 8, 2008