Social Capital Silently Enriches our Society
First appointed as a member of the Community Investment and Inclusion Fund (CIIF) Committee in 2005, then the Vice-chairman of the CIIF Committee and Chairman of the Promotion and Development Sub-Committee in 2017, and now the Chairman of the CIIF Committee in 2019, I am deeply honoured to have this valuable opportunity to work with the enthusiastic and capable members of the Committee and the SC.Net to promote the development of social capital in Hong Kong.
I am most pleased to always have the opportunity to experience the caring spirit cultivated through the mutual support networks developed by social capital projects. This caring spirit is my source of happiness, giving me positive energy to continuously contribute to our society.
Solely counted on the income earned by my father who worked as a security guard, our family of seven lived a simple life in a public rental housing estate. Though living in a small flat with limited space and resources, we enjoyed and treasured much of the simple but happy life with care and support from our neighbours.
Participating in the CIIF Committee gave me the opportunity to visit many CIIF-funded projects and enjoy the caring spirit around every corner of the community through direct communication with different project teams and the participants. During my recent visit to a project in support of caregivers, I noticed the change in the caregivers, including those hidden ones, in relieving their stress and becoming volunteers themselves through care and support from fellow caregiver participants of the project. That is the potential power of social capital. I have also visited a funded project that helped residents of the new housing estates settle and integrate into the community with the support of corporate partners. I have seen the companies make good use of their unique resources and the expertise of corporate volunteers to inspect buildings, lay flooring materials and do simple furnishings for families in need. It can alleviate the pressure on residents and even facilitate their smooth adaptation to the new environment. The project participants, volunteers and collaborators all contribute their strengths and expertise to the formation of support networks, silently enriching our society with the caring spirit. The impact of social capital is visually demonstrated.
Looking forward, the CIIF will continue to actively support district-based social capital projects and will step up efforts to mobilise more young people to participate in social capital development. Over the past few years, students and young people have been encouraged to learn and participate in social capital development through the picture book produced for students in kindergartens and primary schools as well as the drama competition, microfilm creation and other related activities organised for students in secondary schools and tertiary institutions. It is hoped that young people’s creative mindsets will help energise the social capital development. Many talented people from different sectors have been appointed to the current term of the CIIF Committee, among whom are two young members selected through the “Member Self-recommendation Scheme for Youth”. I look forward to working hand in hand with you to mobilise different sectors, in particular the education and business sectors, to make good use of our networks and resources to build a society rich in social capital, bringing warmth to Hong Kong and enabling the caring spirit to be passed on from generation to generation.
I would also like to express my sincere gratitude to Dr. LAM Ching-choi, the third Chairman of the CIIF Committee, for his capable leadership and the outgoing members for their devotion to the CIIF. Their active involvement and contributions have set an outstanding example for me and the current members of the Committee. We will make our best efforts to further the building of social capital in Hong Kong.