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Taiwanese students expand horizons with Tzu Chi visit

Monday, 04 September 2017 14:2 PM | ARTICLE BY | Luisa Cabato
The 25 students from different universities of Taiwan after performing a modern dance at the short program. They are comprised of exceptionally brilliant and talented students and underwent training for four weeks for their five-day tour in the Philippines. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】

Story Highlights

  • Twenty-five students from different universities in Taiwan on September 4 visited Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila and attended the rice distribution program at San Lorenzo Ruiz covered court in Navotas City as part of their five-day educational tour in the Philippines.
  • The tour is part of the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs’ cultural program aimed at exposing students to the cultures of other countries.

Students from 15 different universities in Taiwan, professors, and delegates went for a tour around Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa, Manila and the San Lorenzo Ruiz covered court in Navotas City on September 4.

The educational tour of the 25-student delegation is part of the International Youth Ambassador Program, a global program that aims to expose youths to the life and culture of other countries. In this case, the program is initiated through the Taiwan Ministry of Foreign Affairs, represented by Chen Chi-chia, the program’s director.

“This will benefit our students. On the other hand, when we have interaction with the local students, we can share Taiwanese experiences in different areas to those local students so we can consider this is a beneficial program for the students exchange and culture exchange,” says Chen.

Tzu Chi Foundation is one of their destinations for their five-day tour in Philippines, which started on September 2. Students are selected through a rigorous process and underwent instruction for four weeks. They are comprised of youths with exceptional skills in arts and foreign language.

They visited the newly constructed Eye Center in the Great Love Campus where they saw state-of-the-art equipment to be used for future eye patients. Soon, they toured the recycling center and got their hands-on experience in sorting plastic bottles.

“I think I learn a lot. We meet some people that have a similar act with us so we can share the same views and the same viewpoints with them. Today, this kind of event I think we can give our love and give our concern to all those people who are in need in the Philippines. I think that was very important since we are here to help and share the Taiwan’s love to the Philippines’ people, so I think that was the goal that we want to achieve on this program,” says Cheng Yu-en from National Taiwan Normal University.

Students also enjoyed a ride in a boat made out of plastic bottles. They appreciated the volunteers’ effort in making a useable product from simple bottles. Their last stop is at the Cherish Blessings Charity Store, which sells donated clothes, toys, bags, shoes, and other articles for the benefit of the foundation’s beneficiaries.

“Today, we’re actually involved in this charity. It feels very useful to us because in Taiwan we could actually join this kind of activity and we are very grateful and to join this part. I’m sure when we go back in Taiwan I will bring happiness to the people and do some more in the society and to do better,” says Lo Chih-hao from Yuan Ze University.

The tour at Tzu Chi also paved way for the students to showcase their talents as a way of thanking the foundation for accommodating them. A group of students danced, two played musical instruments, one did a trick on diabolo (Chinese yo-yo), and the rest danced near the end.

“I feel very grateful that we have this opportunity here and so far I feel that the people here in the Philippines are hospitable and very friendly. I hope the students can build a bridge between the two countries and in the near future the students and the people here in the Philippines can really share the same love together so it was a great trip so far,” says Chen Shu-chuan, the program’s deputy-director and associate professor at Asia University in Taiwan.

That afternoon, the students headed to San Lorenzo Ruiz covered court in Navotas City for Tzu Chi’s rice relief distribution. They assisted the volunteers in the distribution of 10-kilo bags of rice to 52 indigent families and sang their own rendition of Freddie Aguilar’s Anak in near-perfect Tagalog.

 

Last Updated: Monday, 04 September 2017 14:2 PM

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