The Child Welfare League Foundation yesterday defended its NT$370 million (US$12.1 million) purchase of real estate in Taipei’s Neihu District (內湖), saying that the new space would allow it to broaden its services.
The purchase drew attention on Tuesday, when a person claiming to be a foundation donor posted on Facebook an image from the Taiwan Stock Exchange’s Market Observation Post System detailing the transaction.
Foundation staff received “nonstop” telephone calls after the news broke, with some callers demanding that their donations be canceled, foundation CEO Pai Li-fang (白麗芳) told a news conference in Taipei.
Photo: Yang Mien-chieh, Taipei Times
Pai said that she called the news conference in part to protect her colleagues, adding that some critics have used “emotionally charged words to curse or humiliate” her staff.
She said that she also wanted to explain the foundation’s plans for the property, on which a “center for children’s rights, and child and youth welfare development” is to be established.
The property is “not just an office,” Pai said, adding that offices would constitute about 35 percent of the space.
The rest of the space would be used to offer counseling, therapy and activities to children in need, as well as to host a number of new programs, she said.
Social welfare organizations worldwide have a real need for spaces in which to provide their services, she added.
The foundation’s office needed to be accessible by Taipei’s MRT metropolitan rail line, because the people it serves often do not have private means of transportation, Pai said.
For years, the foundation had asked construction companies if they would be willing to provide space for its needs, she said.
However, it was “not very successful” on this front, she added.
“As a result, we used our donations,” Pai said.
The funds used for the purchase did not include donations for which donors specified their use, she said.
Providing services is the foundation’s priority, Pai said, adding that it did not set aside a fixed proportion of its funds on a regular basis for the purchase.
It decided how much of its surplus to allocate toward the purchase at the end of each year after it had covered the costs of the services it provides, she said.
Over the past few years, the foundation’s annual income has been about NT$700 million to NT$800 million, Pai said, adding that it spends about NT$5 million to NT$6 million per year on rent.
About one-eighth of its income comes from government funding, about one-eighth come from corporate contributions and the rest come from small donations, she said.
The new space would integrate about six of the foundation’s locations across Taipei and New Taipei City, she added.
Additional reporting by Yang Mien-chieh
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