On Wednesday, 23 National Chengchi University students released six documentaries on new immigrants to Taiwan in an effort to encourage more people to deal with the issue.
The project, sponsored by the Cathay Charity Foundation, was aimed at giving the students a chance to “experience” the issue rather than reading about it in textbooks and reports, said Fong Shiaw-chian (方孝謙), the professor who organized the project.
The six documentaries cover topics including finance management, language education and domestic and education issues in families with new immigrants.
“We hope the students have learned from this experience,” Fong said on the sidelines of the on-campus premiere, adding that some students traveled as far as Greater Tainan to complete their films.
The “new immigrants” are mainly spouses of Republic of China nationals, who come largely from China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Philippines.
National Immigration Agency statistics show that as of November, Taiwan was home to nearly 328,300 Chinese immigrants married to Taiwanese and 157,428 immigrant spouses from other countries, including 88,945 from Vietnam.
Lin Shih-ting (林世庭), whose film focused on household finances, said that the project changed his impression of new immigrants.
“I used to think that new immigrants came to Taiwan just to make money, but actually they work really hard and devote themselves to their families,” he said.
Student Chiu Jing-yi (邱敬懿) said he was moved by how eager the children he met were to learn.
“Those children usually come from poor families, but they never give up. They are willing to do their utmost to learn anything,” he said.
The documentaries will be eligible to enter a film contest held by the immigration agency to promote awareness of immigrants’ issues.