KONG SAR - Media OutReach -
6 December 2021 - Co-led by Citi Foundation and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP) and organized by the Hong Kong Council of Social
Service (HKCSS), the 2021 Youth Co:Lab Hong Kong Dialogue took place last week themed
"Youth's Wellbeing and Health". The event brought together hundreds of educators,
social workers, government officials, social entrepreneurs and young people to
examine critically the health and wellbeing issues affecting young people in
Hong Kong. Various perspectives, ranging from policy, service and social innovation
to finding solutions for building a more inclusive and pluralistic society,
were explored through online seminars, creative experiential workshops and
interactive sharing sessions.
Officiating at the opening session of
the Hong Kong Dialogue were: Mr. Chris Fung, Principal Assistant Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong SAR Government; Ms Susan Kwek,
Managing Director and Head of Operations & Technology at Citi Hong Kong;
Mr. Beniam Gebrezghi, Programme Specialist of Youth and Civic Engagement of the
United Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub; and Mr. Chua Hoi
Wai, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service.
Hong Kong Dialogue is one of 11 Youth
Co:Lab national dialogues being held around the region this year. Youth Co:Lab,
which was co-created in 2017 by Citi Foundation and the United Nations
Development Programme (UNDP), is the largest youth social entrepreneurship
movement in Asia Pacific and aims to drive a shared agenda for Asia-Pacific
countries to empower young people to accelerate the implementation of the
United Nations' Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) through leadership, social
innovation and entrepreneurship.
Mr. Chris Fung, Principal Assistant Secretary for Food and Health of the Hong Kong SAR Government remarked: "Youth
is an exciting yet turbulent stage in life, especially when it is coupled with
the unprecedented challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Therefore, the
Government has spared no effort to handle the mental health needs and wellbeing
of our young people.
The Government has been adopting an
integrated and multi-disciplinary approach towards mental health. Other than
treatment, we also focus on promotion, prevention, early identification, timely
intervention, and rehabilitation. In doing so, we rely not only on the support
of our healthcare professionals, but also of other key stakeholders in the
society, including professionals in the social welfare and education sectors."
Ms Susan Kwek,
Managing Director and Head of Operations & Technology, Citi Hong Kong,
said: "We are excited to bring Hong Kong Dialogue to the city and to engage
youth social entrepreneurs and people from different walks of life together to
discuss their opportunities as well as the social challenges that the city is
facing. Citi Foundation will continue investing in Youth Co:Lab to reach more
young people across the Asia Pacific, to deepen mentorship capacity for youth
entrepreneurs through the Springboard program and to engage ecosystem partners
in the development of young people's future skills training."
Gebrezghi, Programme Specialist of Youth and Civic Engagement of the United
Nations Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub, remarked: "The inspirations
we receive and actions we take today will ensure we are better placed to
respond to the challenges of tomorrow."
"Under the new normal, it is inevitable that people
will be under pressure to adapt to a new lifestyle. We hope the Hong Kong
Dialogue can create a platform to bring the issue of youth mental health and
well-being to the forefront, and find answers together," said Mr. Hoi Wai Chua,
the Chief Executive of the Hong Kong Council of Social Service. "In recent
years, we have noticed young people expressing their aspirations through
different creative approaches, engaging in social innovation and community
programmes. We hope this year's Hong Kong Dialogue will showcase the
multi-faceted nature of young people."
Youth Co:Lab "Hong Kong Dialogue" was held from December 3 to 4. The
event included a series of online seminars, sharing sessions and creative experiential
workshops to explore how young people can prepare themselves to cope with adversity
and rise to the challenges of the new normal. It also covered the impact of
social innovation and how it can help build a resilient society.
A number of scholars in the field of adolescent mental
health were invited to attend the keynote session, including Professor Eric
Chen, Chair Professor of the Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong
(HKU), and Dr. To Siu Ming, Associate Professor of the Department of Social
Work, Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). In the keynote session, the two
academics shared their key research findings on the stress and mental health
risks young people face in the context of social change, as well as innovative
ways in which society can reconnect to its young people.
Young social entrepreneurs from different parts of Asia
Pacific and young people with non-mainstream aspirations were invited to share
their experiences on how to live out their values through different forms of
social innovation and contribute to the promotion of social inclusion and
diversity. In addition, a number of local social innovation groups organized a
variety of creative experiential workshops, utilizing music, art, and sports to
explore issues of youth wellbeing and mental health.
the last four years, Youth Co:Lab has been implemented in 28 countries and
territories across the region, reaching over 202,000 participants. The
initiative has benefitted more than 9,500 young social entrepreneurs and helped
launch or improve nearly 1,240 social enterprises. Youth Co:Lab has also
established partnerships with more than 200 key ecosystem players to strengthen
the Youth Empowerment Alliance.
year's Youth Co:Lab "Hong Kong Dialogue", with the theme of "Youth's Wellbeing
and Health", has now successfully concluded. The two-day event explored
mental health and wellbeing issues faced by young people in Hong Kong from
multiple perspectives, and developed a spirit of co-creation, promoting
holistic health, and finding appropriate solutions to build an inclusive and
guests, facilitator and speakers of the keynote session:
row from left to right) Mr. Hoi Wai Chua, Chief Executive of the Hong Kong
Council of Social Service; Mr Chris Fung, Principal Assistant Secretary for
Food and Health, Hong Kong SAR Government; Ms. Susan Kwek, Managing Director
& Head of Operations & Technology, Citi Hong Kong and Mr. Beniam
Gebrezghi, Programme Specialist of Youth and Civic Engagement, United Nations
Development Programme Bangkok Regional Hub.
row from left to right) Mr. Wong Kin Wai, Anthony, Business Director, HKCSS; Prof.
Eric Chen, Chair Professor, Department of Psychiatry, University of Hong Kong; Dr.
To Siu Ming, Associate Professor, Department of Social Work, Chinese University
of Hong Kong and Mr. Cliff Choi, Business Director, HKCSS.