Army sergeant Chiu Shu-yung (邱緒詠) over the past five years has been visiting remote communities to make yearbooks for children from disadvantaged backgrounds, the Military News Agency said on Sunday.
Chiu, a non-commissioned officer at the Armor Training Command, is founder of the Complete a Dream Project, which has made yearbooks in communities throughout Hualien and Penghu counties, the report said.
The project’s 12 volunteers consist mostly of service members, but some civilians are also members, Chiu said, adding that he began the initiative after learning about a lack of funding at remote schools with low enrollments.
Photo: Handout courtesy of the Military News Agency
The group makes yearbooks free of charge, with all expenses paid by the volunteers and donors, Chiu said, adding that the project handles photography, printing, distribution and everything in between.
The joy of children and parents when receiving the yearbooks makes the effort worthwhile, he said.
A tearful grandmother in a village in Hualien told the volunteers that she was deeply moved by a graduation photo of her with her grandchild, as she had never graduated from school herself, he said.
The group’s most recent work was in a fishing village on an island in Penghu, he said.
The project thanked the New Taipei City Runners’ Association for its contributions.
Group member Liu Wen-chin (劉文欽), a veteran, said that an elderly woman once asked him how much a yearbook would cost, as she was worried that she might not sell enough vegetables to afford one.
Incidents like that convinced him that the group was doing the right thing and he is proud of its achievements, Liu said.
The group is preparing for graduations next year, the project’s Facebook page says.
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