Several Thai workers embraced their children in tears yesterday at an annual event in Taipei that arranges meetings between migrant workers and their children.
“I want to say I love you,” 50-year-old construction worker Meson Iamsri, one of 12 Thai workers who were reunited with their children at the event, told his daughter on the stage.
Kanphirom Iamsri, 20, a college student, said she hopes her father, who has been working in Taiwan for over 10 years, will return home soon.
The event, now in its seventh year, is organized by the government-owned Radio Taiwan International (RTI) which carries programs in Thai, Indonesian, Vietnamese and other languages. It selects model workers from Thailand, Indonesia and Vietnam each year and pays for their families to visit them in Taiwan for a short stay.
The children each carried a red rose as they walked onto a stage to greet their parents. Many of them knelt down on both knees, bowed to their parents and embraced them in tears.
The workers then presented local dishes that they had prepared, including dumplings, stinky tofu and beef noodles, to their sons and daughters, most of whom were in Taiwan for the first time.
Wasinee Saisuya, 20, who attends medical school in Chiang Mai, Thailand, said she hopes to find a decent job after school to help share the burden of her father, Buntan Saisuya, 57, who has worked in Taiwan as a caregiver for seven years.
“I thank him for giving the love he is supposed to give to his daughter to my father-in-law and children,” his employer, surnamed Wu (吳), said.
The children will stay in Taiwan until Thursday and will visit their parent’s workplaces and tourist spots in Taipei, as well as meet with local university students.
There were over 440,000 migrant workers in Taiwan as of August.