Community “Talents Bank” Mutual Support Programme
Since 2015, Chow Tai Fook Charity Foundation (the Foundation) has been supporting the Community “Talents Bank” Mutual Support Programme, a social innovation campaign implemented by the Hong Kong Sheng Kung Hui Lady MacLehose Centre in Kwai Tsing District. By building a cross-sectoral community mutual support network in the district, the programme enables needy people or families to obtain livelihood support while promoting self-help and mutual benefits.
Under the programme, the Talents Bank acts as a point system that allows account holders to earn “community points” by participating in volunteer services or serving as instructors to transfer knowledge such as sewing, haircutting and flag selling, etc. Disadvantaged families can use the “community points” to exchange for needed goods or services such as rice or the opportunity to participate in interest classes on the trading platform. The Foundation helped the programme enhance its services by funding the establishment of three Community Mutual Support Service Centres in Kwai Chung, Shek Lei and Tsing Yi respectively to provide frontline social services and storage for donated items, and a Community Mutual Resource Centre to explore resources and collaboration opportunities, as well as purchasing a van to provide logistic support for different centres.
In support of the programme, the Center for Third Sector Studies, Department of Applied Social Sciences of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University was engaged to conduct a 18-month study to investigate the social impact of the programme using the Social Return on Investment (SRI) methodology. The results revealed that the programme is effective in creating positive impacts at the individual, family and community levels, including improved quality of life, empowerment and strengthened social inclusion, which results in enhanced social capital. More than 3,900 grassroots families have already become Talents Bank account holders since the inception of the programme.
In the future, the programme can also be implemented across different districts to promote the spirit of mutual help and support among neighbours.
I appreciate the contribution of the Community ‘Talents Bank’ in promoting the spirit of mutual support, which allows the grassroots to exploit their personal power to its highest potential and acquire multiple skills
Account holders of the Community “Talents’ Bank”can donate points to each other when anyone is in need or facing difficulties, in exchange for necessary goods or services. For example, I donated three violins to the children from new arrival families so that they can learn music. That is what we believe as the spirit of mutual support, helping each other when there is a problem