The cooperation between the Correctional Services Department (CSD) and non-government organisations (NGOs) in promoting voluntary services would help maintain stability and harmony to the society, and help inmates and rehabilitated offenders to make a new start in life, the Most Rev John Tong Hon, Bishop of Hong Kong said today (December 19) at the kick-off ceremony of the "NGO Service Day".
The "NGO Service Day", organised by CSD, highlighted the theme "Caring for Rehabilitated Offenders", to arouse public awareness on community care for offenders.
Officiating at the ceremony, Rev Tong said: "God encourages people to love one another, and CSD's work also initiates with love as inmates are put under a safe and humane custody. Correctional staff care for inmates' daily needs and provide them with comprehensive rehabilitative services."
He pointed out that volunteers' continuous effort in providing rehabilitation services to offenders in correctional institutions including religious and counselling services would also support and encourage inmates to turn a new leaf and get back on the right track.
"Through the supporting services provided by the NGOs to CSD, inmates not only receive substantial help, but healing and love as well. They are able to receive and feel the love and care from the community," Rev Tong said.
"Some of the NGOs even extended their care and love to discharged offenders so as to help in their smooth integration into society," he added.
Immediately following the ceremony, some 170 volunteers from more than 40 NGOs departed for various correctional institutions to provide rehabilitation services including religious and counselling services, organisation of cultural ventures and recreational projects for offenders.
Apart from the NGOs, the CSD established in 2004 a CSD Rehabilitation Volunteer Group. The group, currently comprising more than 300 members from all walks of life, has organised more than 750 rehabilitative activities in various correctional institutions.
During the event, the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Kwok Leung-ming appointed the "Table Tennis Duo", Mr Li Ching and Mr Ko Lai-chak as Rehabilitation Ambassadors, who also appealed to the public for supporting inmates and rehabilitated offenders.
Ends/Saturday, December 19, 2009
Issued at HKT 17:21
Rev Tong and the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Kwok Leung-ming, grants the "Mace of Care" to the new Rehabilitation Ambassadors and "Table Tennis Duo", Mr Li Ching and Mr Ko Lai-chak.
Rev Tong and the Commissioner of Correctional Services, Mr Kwok Leung-ming get ready to pass the "caring love big balloon" to the audience.
Volunteers try hard to pass the "caring love big balloon" to every corner.