Capacity Building Mileage Programme
A women's empowerment strategy emphasises the importance of increasing women's skills and their capacities to enhance their own self-reliance and internal strength. The Women's Commission believes that an essential aspect of this capacity building process lies in adequate and relevant education and training programmes. Shortly after the establishment of the Commission, it was reckoned that many existing programmes then were vocational and might not fully address women's needs or interests in terms of timing of classes, location, academic prerequisites and choices of subjects. The Commission therefore pioneered in March 2004 the Capacity Building Mileage Programme (CBMP) with an aim to fill the gap.
The CBMP is our key initiative in empowering women. It is designed to encourage women of different backgrounds and educational levels to pursue life-long learning and self-development. It aims to equip women with a positive mindset and enhance their inner strength so that they can cope with different life challenges. Courses are conducted in three modes through face-to-face classroom lesson, radio broadcast and e-learning on the Internet, with optional supplementary learning activities.
The CBMP is Hong Kong's first large-scale, tailor-made and barrier-free learning programme with a focus on women. It is flexible, convenient and affordable. Participation is open to everyone and no academic qualifications are required. To further encourage enrolment, announcements in the public interest are broadcast on all electronic media and newspaper advertisements are also issued before every semester.
CBMP courses cover a wide range of topics, including health, financial management, interpersonal relationships and communication skills, as well as other practical day-to-day issues. The CBMP is different from existing vocational courses in that it seeks to facilitate women to change their perception, their attitude, visuality about themselves and their environment. Qualities which are emphasised include creativity, curiosity, personal judgement, self-reliance, self-confidence, sense of humour and optimism. The CBMP does not, however, seek to improve women's vocational skills per se, and participation in the CBMP has no direct relationship with getting employment, or more advanced academic learning.
The CBMP is run jointly by the Open University of Hong Kong (OUHK) and a private radio station. A Steering Committee with representatives of the three parties has been established to provide strategic guidance, monitor progress and evaluate the outcome. Over 80 women's groups and NGOs also collaborate in conducting face-to-face courses and optional learning activities.
The Capacity Building Mileage Programme Student Association (CBMPSA) was established in October 2008 to sustain the positive impact of the programme on participants and to further promote the culture of lifelong learning and maintaining a peer support network so that students can empower themselves through organising activities and serving the community.More information about the CBMP can be obtained from the programme's website, or by calling the hotline at 2915 2380.