Fri, Mar 07, 2003 - Page 2 News List

Overseas Chinese asked to volunteer for summer camps

LANGUAGE RESOURCES The Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission and the King Car Education Foundation are looking for people to volunteer as English instructors

By Chang Yun-Ping  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Overseas Chinese Affairs Commission yesterday joined hands with King Car Education Foundation to seek the participation of overseas American-born Chinese in teaching English to children in remote areas of Taiwan.

Foundation General Director Morgan Sun (孫慶國) said the summer camp, called "2003 Overseas Chinese Youth -- ABC Schweitzer English Teaching Camp," will recruit 40 American-born Chinese volunteers who are living in the US and are aged between 20 and 24 to teach English in Taiwan's remote areas.

Sun said the summer camp aims to improve the English educational resources in remote areas by taking advantage of the expertise of American-born Chinese youths, many of whom have come back to Taiwan to participate in the commission's annual cultural and language study tours.

The summer camp is an extension of the foundation's recent "English Schweitzer" project, which included 19 American university students who volunteered to teach English in remote areas of Nantou and Chiayi counties.

"We hope these overseas Chinese youths can bring their feedback to Taiwanese society while embarking on a journey to learn more about Taiwanese culture," Sun said yesterday.

The summer camps will be offered around the nation, but their exact locations have yet to be finalized, Sun said.

"Presumably these summer camps will be given in Nantou, Chiayi, Changhua, Hualien, Kinmen or Matsu," he said.

Commission Vice Minister Liao Sheng-hsiung (廖勝雄) said the project is aimed at promoting the volunteer efforts of overseas Chinese.

"Every year more than 3,000 overseas Chinese youths from around the world come back to Taiwan to attend the Chinese-language and Taiwan culture study tours. This is an alternative for them to offer feedback to Taiwanese society and engage in cultural exchanges," Liao said.

Liao said the applicants for the teaching camps will have to pay their round-trip airfare, but accommodations and living expenses will be sponsored by the commission and foundation.

The camps will run from June 15 to Aug. 18.

The first two weeks will focus on an orientation of Taiwanese culture and tips for teaching English. The following six weeks will consist of teaching English in the camps, and the final week offers a nation-wide tour.

Participants will be awarded a certificate of volunteer service by the foundation and commission.

The King Car Foundation has more information on the summer camps on its Web site, www.kingcar.com.tw.

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