Wed, Dec 16, 2015 - Page 5 News List

Ministry increases funding for talent-fostering project

‘LITTLE ISLAND, GREAT SONGS’:Chen Wen-chen has worked with Amis singer Anu Kaliting Sadipongan to record music and songs by different Aboriginal groups

By Wu Po-hsuan and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

Chen Wen-chen, right, smiles as she poses with Aboriginal women in Australia in an undated photograph.

Photo: Courtesy of Chen Wen-chen

An international talent-fostering program headed by the Ministry of Education has increased funding to NT$4.7 million (US$142,140), allowing 7,900 young people to go abroad to study or put their ideas into action.

One example is 26-year-old Chen Wen-chen (陳玟臻), who traveled across Australia and islands in the Pacific and Indian oceans to record traditional songs sung in Aboriginal languages, with a plan to combine her recordings with Aboriginal songs from Taiwan.

Chen said she thought of the concept after meeting an elder from Vanuatu at a music festival. Prior to that, she was working at a multimedia company in Australia.

Chen said that, on introducing herself as being from Taiwan, she was surprised to hear the elder say: “Oh, I have heard of Taiwan. They are our ancestors.”

Chen said that it was due to this encounter that she decided to undertake her “Little Island, Great Songs” project to expose Taiwan to the rest of the world through music.

Working with Amis singer Anu Kaliting Sadipongan, Chen visited Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, saying that she hoped to finish recording music and songs from all Aboriginal groups in the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean by the end of next year.

Chen said that living away from home is tiring and sometimes lonely, but added that the motivation of achieving her goals helped see her through the tough times.

Other members of the project include student volunteers from Ling Tung University, who have helped underprivileged groups in the Thai villages of Ban Hin Taek and Mae Salong over the past eight years.

Digital content design student Lee Chia-hsun (李佳勳) said, despite spending only one month working with the project, he was sad to part with the children he had met.

Lunghua University of Science and Technology student Chen Ting (陳婷) also participated in the project, saying that it was a great way to learn more about international affairs.

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