Launched in 2011, the I‧CARE Programme has been committed to offering informal whole-person education to students based on the I·CARE Framework. In line with its motto “Aspiration through Reflection; Renewal through Civility”, the I·CARE Programme aims to inspire students to actively partake in social and civic services. It also facilitates the release of students’ holistic competencies so that they will become able to enhance the wellness of people in the local, regional and global communities. The I·CARE Programme is now administered by the I·CARE Centre for Whole-person Development. This Centre also collaborates with other University units to motivate all-round development of students.
Activities under the I‧CARE Programme are mainly carried out through the following six areas:
1. University Lectures on Civility
This Programme is consisted of seminars and cultural activities that explore the relationship between men and society/ nature. Scholars, artists and celebrities from around the world share their unique humanistic points of view with students and catalyse them to reflect on the meaning of life. Speakers of this Programme include, inter alia, Muhammad Yunus (Nobel Peace Prize Laureate), Yongey Mingyur Rinpoche (master of Buddhist meditation), and Lung Ying-tai (renowned writer).
2. Social Service Projects Scheme
The University encourages students to engage in social and civic services in Hong Kong, the Mainland, and overseas countries. While funding has been set aside for students to design, initiate and implement sustainable development projects in local and impoverished areas to enhance people’s well-being, they will also be trained (through the “Proposal Writing Workshop” and “Sharing Session on Learning Outcome”, etc.), coached and monitored under the Scheme.
3. Local Poverty Alleviation Initiative
This Programme aims at addressing the underlying causes of poverty as well as building an enabling environment for poverty alleviation in Hong Kong. Through engaging in community services like staging the “Social Service Day - Let Elderly/ Youth to be a University Student”, “Hong Kong Cultural Tours Project” and “Fitness x Mentorship” Scheme, students gain first-hand experience about societal issues and build up resolve to moderate poverty.
4. Community Research Scheme
The Scheme allows students from different disciplines to work together on rigorous studies of various public issues under the guidance of professional tutors. Students collect and analyse data, carry out research and present findings that become blueprints for community and social reforms. Topics of research include, inter alia, “Homeless and Mental Wellbeing” and “Elderly-friendly Housing”.
5. Social Enterprise Startup Scheme
The Scheme not only funds students (and also young alumni) to transform their creative business ideas into meaningful startup, but most importantly offers mentorship to them by the experts in real business sector. With financial support of the Scheme, participants validate, establish or scale up their social enterprises.
6. NGO Internship Programme
Working for a non-governmental organisation (NGO) provides students with the opportunity to put theories into practice, support others in need, and create positive changes in communities. The placements in Hong Kong, the Mainland and Taiwan are expected to take students’ dedication and strengths to new heights.
I‧CARE Centre for Whole-person Development