Wed, Jun 04, 2014 - Page 5 News List

Nantou shelter offers students rooms

POSITIVE ENVIRONMENT:A foundation is offering housing to students in exchange for tutoring hours in the hope that they will be a model for the teenagers at the shelter

By Tung Chen-kuo  /  Staff reporter

The Liang-shean Tang Social Welfare Foundation in Nantou County’s Puli Township (埔里) is offering students of National Chinan University accommodation in exchange for their help in getting teenagers settled at the shelter.

There are more than 6,000 students enrolled at the school, but campus dormitories can only accommodate 2,800 students.

More than half of the students have to rent off-campus, spending about NT$5,000 to NT$6,000 each month.

The foundation said it plans to recruit 10 undergraduates to help teenagers at the Grandma’s Cheng Chou Youth Home (陳綢少年家園) with their schoolwork, keep them company and teach them valuable life skills.

In exchange, the foundation is to provide new dormitories for the students, charging just NT$1,000 per month, for water and electricity.

The application deadline is set for June 15.

Grandma’s Cheng Chou Youth Home’s dormitories are designed to feel like a family home, allowing eight members to live in one house, which includes two four-bed rooms, a manager’s room, two bathrooms, a living room and kitchen, the foundation said.

Only five students will be allowed to live in each house, so there will be ample space, the foundation said.

The students are required to tutor the teenagers for four or five hours a week, provide 24 hours of care and company each month — students with special skills can teach for 12 hours in exchange for care hours — to the teenagers.

The foundation will also provide meals when the students are providing service at mealtimes.

Foundation chairperson Wu Ming-hsien (吳明賢) said that most of the teenagers at the shelter had been edged out from mainstream education because they are not interested in learning or have low achievement motivation, so the settlement and guidance period at the shelter is very important for the teenagers.

He said he hopes undergraduate students will use their spare time to accompany the teenagers, so that they can learn from different kinds of activities and become more confident in interpersonal relationships.

“The students can become a model for the teenagers, so the plan is not just about finding labor for the shelter, but rather about providing professional services,” Wu said, adding that a good service performance can also help the students get a job at the foundation after they graduate.

The university’s chief secretary Sun Tung-wen (孫同文) said the school supports the room-and-board idea because it allows undergraduate students to pass on what they have learned, while the plan helps resolve the accommodation shortage problem on campus as well as provide an affordable option to students who live off-campus.

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