Kaohsiung touts languages
The Kaohsiung City Government launched a drive yesterday to encourage the public to speak their mother tongues on the eve of the UN-declared International Mother Language Day today. The Bureau of Education, the Commission of Indigenous Affairs and the Commission of Hakka Affairs held a news conference to promote the “2009 International Mother Language Day, Speak One’s Mother Tongue Loudly” drive. “In the past, people stressed that language was a communication tool, overlooking the cultural value of their mother language” and some mother tongues have vanished because of this, Kaohsiung Deputy Mayor Lee Yung-te (李永得) said. Lee said Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu (陳菊) has instructed schools to offer classes on mother languages even if only one student wishes to learn it.
Palauan leader to arrive
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs yesterday announced that Palauan President Johnson Toribiong and his wife were expected to arrive in Taiwan for a six-day visit starting tomorrow. This will be his first visit to Taiwan since being elected to Palau’s top office last November. Toribiong served as Palau’s ambassador for seven years before becoming the president. He is scheduled to visit Chunghwa Telecom, China Airlines, the National Palace Museum and various agricultural agencies and schools.
Ministry sponsors children
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs will sponsor another 10 disadvantaged foreign children through World Vision Taiwan this year as part of its foreign aid program, ministry officials said yesterday. The ministry has sponsored seven children since 1998, and this year it will donate NT$84,000 to World Vision Taiwan to help 10 more children from seven countries: El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Haiti, the Dominican Republic, Swaziland and Malawi, the officials said. It will also earmark NT$1.5 million (US$43,000) to subsidize an Eden Social Welfare Foundation program in which a total of 515 wheelchairs, 150 pairs of underarm crutches, and 10 white canes will be donated to charity organizations in Laos, Vietnam, the Philippines and Sri Lanka, the officials said.