Wed, Jul 04, 2018 - Page 3 News List

Vice president praises volunteers as program begins

By Stacy Hsu  /  Staff reporter

Vice President Chen Chien-jen speaks at the opening ceremony of this year’s Overseas Youth English Teaching Volunteer Service Program in Taipei yesterday.

Photo: Wang Yi-sung, Taipei Times

Vice President Chen Chien-jen (陳建仁) yesterday encouraged the 594 volunteers for the government’s annual Overseas Youth English Teaching Volunteer Service Program to set a good example for other young people, saying that volunteering is a compulsory course for life.

“These young people volunteered to return to their homeland to teach English to young children in remote areas. This demonstrates love and kindness,” Chen said at the program’s opening ceremony in Taipei.

Chen said when he was younger, he joined a volunteer program to teach young children in remote areas how to brush their teeth and exercise.

He later received many letters from the kids, who thanked him for being a role model, he added.

Volunteering teaches people the spirit of altruism, Chen said, adding that through participating in the program, the volunteers would make the world a better place.

“Not all of us can do great things, but we can do small things with great love,” Chen said, quoting Mother Teresa.

The volunteers are to spend the first week receiving educational training before teaching English to an estimated 3,700 young students nationwide from Saturday to July 20, the Overseas Community Affairs Council said, adding that they would spend the last week touring around the nation.

Volunteer Tiffany Liao (廖思婷), 18, from Los Angeles said that both of her parents are Taiwanese and she has wanted to come back to Taiwan since serving as a translator for the Taiwanese team at the 2015 Special Olympics in the US.

Another volunteer, 17-year-old Allen Wang (王荷白) from Texas, said that the program would be a valuable experience, because he would be able to meet other Taiwanese and improve his Mandarin.

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