Operation Dawn was founded by Rev. John Paul CHAN of Hong Kong Beautiful Gate Baptist Church. In the early 60s, drug abuse was rampant and worsened. Rev. CHAN was convinced that it was imperative to have someone to spread Gods’ love of salvation and grace for those drug addicts. He then committed his own life to this cause.

In April 1968, Hong Kong’s first Gospel rehabilitation center was set up in Long Ke Wan, Sai Kung. With the approval of the Hong Kong Government, the center was relocated from Sai Kung to Fu Tau Fan Chau in 1976, nowadays known as Dawn Island Drug Treatment & Rehabilitation Center.

In 1997, the Hong Kong Government commissioned The Chinese University of Hong Kong to evaluate the drug rehabilitation center. After one-year close scrutiny, its effectiveness was officially confirmed and recognized. Operation Dawn became a government-subvented organization in March 1998.

Timeline of Operation Dawn in Hong Kong and Overseas Development

1968
  • ‘Neither resort to drugs, nor personal contrivance, but totally rely on Jesus:Gospel rehabilitation center was first started in Long Ke Wan, Sai Kung.
1971
  • Three years later, total number of residents increased to 30. Their average age was 30. Most of them were repeated violators and die-hard drug abusers.
1974
  • The practicality of Gospel drug rehabilitation was gradually recognized by the public, the name “Operation Dawn” was thus coined. It has been registered as such.
1976
  • The Hong Kong Government approved the moving of Operation Dawn to Fu Tau Fan Chau (Town Island, Dawn Island today) and using the island for drug rehabilitation purpose.
1982
  • A seminar study by The University of Hong Kong on effectiveness comparison between the gospel drug rehabilitation and the Shek Ku Chau method showed that the former is over 10 folds more effective than the latter.
1983
  • An article published in Asia magazine, proving Gospel rehab is the only way that can eradicate drug problems. The feature was accompanied by a bold-faced headline, “A way out of the revolving door”.
1984
  • Operation Dawn founded Ban Lo Fu Drug Rehab Center in Chiang Rai, Northern Thailand.
  1. Rev. LAU and Rev. De-rek KONG were sent to Taiwan to start similar operation in multiple locations.
1991
  • In Nagaland, a northern India province, a co-worker allowed one thousand people tried the Christian rehabilitation out for 8 days.
1993
  • Hong Kong’s RTHK produced and broadcast a 30-min program introducing Operation Dawn for 2 consecutive Sundays.
1996
  • Started a female drug Rehab Service by establishing a 『Girl Centre』.
  • The door to the old city, Mandalay, Burma, was wide-opened. The first Gospel drug rehabilitation centre was planted. A few months later, it housed over 50 residents.
  1. Thai government recognized the drug rehabilitation work for the minority in northern Thailand; it provided a $15 Thai baht subsidy for each rehab resident every day.
  2. Thai government presented the best social service award to the northern Thai Gospel Drug Rehab Center.
1997
  • A drug rehab center was opened in Nagaland, India.
1998
  • A drug rehab center was opened in Metchina, Burma.
  1. Thai government gave the headquarters formerly occupied by a drug kingpin to Operation Dawn.
  2. Hong Kong’s Operation Dawn became one of the government-subvented organizations.
2003
  • In order to meet the re-accreditation requirements as outlined by the Drug Dependent Persons Treatment and Rehabilitation Centers (Licensing) Ordinance, a committee for the Dawn Island re-development project was set up.
  • Operation Dawn established in the United States
2004
  • Operation Dawn established in Canada
2006
  • Launched rehabilitation service for South Asian in Dawn Island in November
2008
  • Approved for the installation of solar panels and wind turbines power generator in Dawn Island by Environmental and conservation Fund (ECF)
2009
  • Application of electricity meter for Dawn Island was approved by CLP in March
  • Installed one solar water heater and air-conditioner for computer room in June
  • OD’s application for an electricity meter on Dawn Island was approved by CLP in March. First solar water heater and first air-conditioning were launched into service in June on DI.
2010
  • The CLP’s solar panels offers 24-hour electric power to Dawn Island from January
  • On Jan 13, solar panels offered a 24-hr electricity supply to Mark and Carmel. The OD headquarter was moved to Sham Shui Po in September.
2011
  • On March 19, CLP Sponsored our first annual Operation Dawn Orienteering activities on the Island, titled as “Launch into the Rebuilding of Dawn Island in tandem with the CLP orienteering 2011” HK$33 thousand was the fund raised on that day.
  • On Sep 19, in “the National Drug Abuse Prevention Conference” OD was invited to speak on “the needs of a uniquely drug addicted group”, in particular emphasizing on the status and needs for people addicted to illegal substances in Hong Kong.
2012
  • In early 2012 we were notified by the Narcotic Department that our application for the rebuilding DI had been approved, which will bring our service and development to a new milestone.
  • Again in 2012 OD drug Rehab Centre successfully applied for and was awarded “The environment and nature protection & nurturing fund and further gained the sponsorship of Environmental Protection Committee” for which the first solar water heater was installed. Also in the same year, CLP completed the 2nd phase of the solar energy engineering .
2013
  • On March 14, CLP Ltd successfully passed the safety inspection for its solar power generating circuit, which enables the system to partially supply stable and reliable electricity to Dawn Island. Theoretically there are more than 800 solar panels on the Island and they should be able to continuously supply the electrical needs for the whole island , 24/7/365.
2014
  • “Friends of Operation Dawn”(F.O.O.D.) the voluntary group was set up on 3rd January,     2014.

“Operation Dawn” is named by Rev. John Paul Chan from Romans 13:12 of the Bible:
『The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armour of light.』