Sat, Oct 19, 2002 - Page 2 News List

Eden Foundation group heads for Osaka conference

CNA , TAIPEI

A seven-member delegation from the private Eden Social Welfare Foundation is scheduled to depart for Japan today to take part in an international conference devoted to the well-being of disabled persons.

The Campaign 2002 to Promote the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons is co-sponsored by the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and opens in Osaka tomorrow.

The foundation delegation will be headed by Lin Chin-chuan (林錦川), executive director of the foundation's Resource Development Department.

Lin and delegation members will report on the situation facing Taiwan's physically and mentally-challenged people and the progress of various programs for these people that the foundation has been running since 1985.

They are also scheduled to give reports at different panel discussions on issues pertaining to international cooperation, the seeking of rights for the physically and mentally-challenged, social reconstruction, and a barrier-free environment in Taiwan.

According to Eden Foundation chief executive officer Chen Chun-liang (陳俊良), after six years of strenuous efforts, the foundation was recently admitted into UNESCAP, allowing it to take part in all UNESCAP activities as a full member.

Chen said that efforts made on behalf of disabled people in Taiwan and those in need throughout the world, have resulted in the Eden Foundation's UNESCAP admission.

On behalf of the Taiwan government, DPP Legislator Hsiao Bi-khim (蕭美琴), presented the Eden delegation with a national banner yesterday and offered her blessing to the group, wishing them success at the Osaka meeting.

At a press conference yesterday, Lin said the foundation has for years taken part in UNESCAP activities as a non-governmental group.

Over the past several years, the foundation has participated in UNESCAP activities promoting the Friendly City Movement and the Barrier-Free Movement, with both receiving overwhelming support and responses from member countries, he added.

Now that the foundation is a full member of UNESCAP, Lin said, its greatest hope is that Taiwan will be awarded the oppor-tunity to host the next UNESCAP Campaign to Promote the Asian and Pacific Decade of Disabled Persons.

The foundation was founded by wheelchair-bound writer Liu Hsia (劉俠) more than 17 years ago. Liu, now 60, now serves as a "spiritual leader" of the organization.

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