Home Affairs Department invites non-profit organisations to establish ethnic minority support service centres

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File photo.

22nd February 2024 – (Hong Kong) The Home Affairs Department (HAD) has taken another step towards providing enhanced support for ethnic minorities (EMs) in Hong Kong. Today, the department announced its invitation to eligible and interested non-profit-making organisations (NPOs) to apply for funding in order to establish and operate a support service centre for EMs in either Kowloon Central or New Territories East.

The primary objective of these two new centres is to facilitate the early integration of EMs into the community. To achieve this, they will be required to organise various programs and services. These include language programs to assist with linguistic proficiency, dedicated programs for youths, orientation and familiarisation programs for newly arrived EMs, integration activities, as well as counselling and referral services. Additionally, the centres will be mandated to establish Ethnic Minority Care Teams, which will deliver personalised care and support through household visits or outreach services to EMs.

Interested organisations can find detailed information about the project, application criteria, and a briefing session in the Project Brief, which is available on the HAD website (www.had.gov.hk).

The deadline for applications is set for 5pm on 5th April.

Currently, the HAD already offers multiple support services designed to help ethnic minorities integrate into the local community. These services are provided through NPOs operating eight existing EM centres located in Wan Chai, Kwun Tong, Tuen Mun, Yuen Long, Yau Tsim Mong, Sham Shui Po, Tung Chung, and Kwai Tsing. The centres offer a range of activities such as language classes, interest classes, after-school tutorials, youth programs, and integration initiatives. The CHEER Centre in Kwun Tong additionally provides interpretation and translation services between English and eight ethnic minority languages for non-specialized/non-professional purposes, including Bahasa Indonesia, Hindi, Nepali, Punjabi, Tagalog, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese. In the 2022-23 project year, these eight centres collectively served over 102,000 individuals. Beyond the EM centres, the HAD also provides other support services such as community support teams, ambassador schemes, District-based Programs for Racial Harmony, and the Harmony Scholarships Scheme. To facilitate information dissemination, the HAD sponsors five radio programs in ethnic minority languages, operates a dedicated website, and publishes guidebooks in six ethnic minority languages to aid in the early integration of EMs into the community.