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於2002年,香港面對日益惡化的失業情況,自殺與家庭暴力增多,社會悲觀情緒蔓延,因此於2002年4月創立「教會關注失業行動」向教會和社會人士籌募經費,創造超逾1,000個創業和就業職位,並成立教會關注失業行動支援熱線2755 5511,為失業人士提供情緒支援及擇業輔導。同時亦支持多間基督教機構,包括工業福音團契、基督教勵行會、新福事工協會等,開展不同形式之失業支援計劃,以幫助各區低下階層之失業人士就業。期間亦於東九龍區、深水埗區、東涌區和港島中西區,成立失業支援關懷網絡。

至2005年初,本港失業率有所改善,但貧富懸殊差距卻愈形嚴峻,為推動教會關注貧窮問題,2005年1月舉行一個名為「教會關懷香港──貧富懸殊下的香港社會關懷貧窮家庭,官商民有責」的教牧同工研討會及記者招待會,呼籲教會作出「跨代脫貧」教會關懷行動,開放教會場地予貧窮兒童,為兒童提供免費功課輔導、免費社交活動、夥伴同行計劃等,得到各界大力支持響應。2006年4月「教會關注失業行動」正式定名為「教會關懷貧窮網絡」。

 
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In 2002, unemployment was worsening in Hong Kong; along with a rise in suicidal and domestic violence cases; while a pessimistic sentiment prevailed across the society. Hence, in April 2004, the Church Campaign For the Unemployed was set up to raise funds from churches and the public to create more than 1,000 jobs and start-up business opportunities. A hotline 27555511 was also launched to offer emotional support and career counselling for the unemployed. Support was also given to various Christian organizations including Industrial Evangelistic Fellowship, Christian Action, Mission To New Arrivals Ltd etc. for the provision of various schemes and services to help grassroots people who are out of work. A Support Network for the Unemployed was also set up in East Kowloon, Shamshuipo, Tung Chung and the Central and Western District.

By early 2005, the employment situation in Hong Kong improved, but the gap between the rich and the poor continued to widen. To arouse concern for the poverty issue among churches, a seminar on showing concern for poor families in Hong Kong was held in January 2005 for pastors and church workers, followed by a press conference. Churches were called on to help the poor break the inter-generational poverty. For example, by allowing access to their venues to poor children, providing free tuitions and social activities for the children, and other partnership schemes, etc. The event won strong support from various sectors. In April 2006, the Church Campaign For the Unemployed was formally renamed the Hong Kong Church Network for the Poor.

 

 

自2002年4月至2007年10月,教關失業支援熱線服務至今累積數字,
求助電話總數:10,585舉辦超過100場就業講座、求職加油

站及各項培訓活動,參與人次:2,200
僱主登記:1,989個 成功入職:898人 求職登記表:2,089人

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委身基督使命、同心關懷貧苦

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香港教會更新運動總幹事胡志偉牧師

「發起人之一胡志偉牧師分享道:「教會關懷貧窮網絡是教會合一的見證,結集力量向社會表達對貧窮人的關愛,這是教會不可推卸的責任。這個網絡亦打破了宗派、機構的限制和欄阻,讓一些教派可以放下神學分歧,一起以耶穌基督的心去服侍關懷貧窮人。」

「扶貧不是容易處理的問題,我們現在所做的,並不能立刻改變世界,即使我們做的是很微少,但最重要是所發出的影響及果效。我們不單止是向貧窮人傳福音,更是要理解、關心他們實際的需要。作為神的子民,這是我們的責任。」

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