An education program in Cambodia founded by a Taiwanese charity has benefited nearly 10,000 Cambodians over the past five years, which is comparable to a modern equivalent of the famed agricultural missions dispatched by the Taiwanese government to aid diplomatic allies in the 1960s.
The Cambodia-Taiwan Education Program was launched by the Taiwan Exquisite Culture and Education Association five years ago after the group, having funded a lunch program for orphanages in Cambodia with local priests, found that food relief would not lift orphans out of poverty, the program’s director, Hsu Chien-wen (許茜雯), said.
An occupational training subprogram was initiated this year to introduce 2,000 Cambodians to employment opportunities at Taiwanese businesses based in Cambodia over the next three years, Hsu said.
After emerging from the regime of the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia remains the poorest and most in need among Asian countries, she said, adding that the association decided to provide aid to the country as its efforts could be maximized with minimal budget in Cambodia, while the friendliness of Cambodians toward aid workers was also a factor.
“The philosophy of the association is: ‘We do what we can.’ It is within the power of the association to support Cambodia, although there are other countries in need of assistance,” she said.
Established with a limited amount of charitable donations, the education program was selective in providing aid, starting in cities and then expanding to remote areas, she said.
The program is mainly based on English and computer courses, as English is an international language, and digital literacy gaps have led to a widening wealth gap in the 21st century, so computer education is at the heart of the program, she said.
Kenny, a Cambodian manager of the program, said that although rural areas are in general underdeveloped and poverty-stricken, everyone knows that learning English and computer skills is key to changing the future, so parents are willing to sign their children up.
The program has offered Chinese courses in some regions to help young people find jobs in the tourism industry or with Taiwanese businesses, Hsu said.
Nearly 10,000 Cambodians have taken courses with the program, and the association launched an occupational training subprogram to provide sewing training this year, with trainees having completed the training to be recommended to Taiwanese companies, she said.
The program provides Taiwanese with an opportunity to perform volunteer work, with hundreds of Taiwanese students volunteering in Cambodia and learning by helping others each year, she said, adding that the program has helped promote Taiwan through charity work.
VOTERS’ CHOICE: The DPP’s Chen and independent candidate Huang conceded defeat before 7:20pm, with Chiang pledging to remain humble and do his best Legislator Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) yesterday won the Taipei mayoral election, with the Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) candidate defeating the Democratic Progressive Party’s (DPP) pick, former minister of health and welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), and former Taipei deputy mayor Vivian Huang (黃珊珊), an independent. After polling stations closed at 4pm, the Taipei Election Commission issued a preliminary estimate that voter turnout in the city was about 64 percent, slightly lower than in 2018. Chiang, 43, is to be the youngest Taipei mayor ever, with the KMT regaining the capital after eight years. Chen had an exceptionally high national approval rating when he was head
FAMILY BACKGROUND: Chiang was effective in running a cautious campaign to avoid making mistakes, waiting for other candidates to slip up, an analyst said Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) Taipei Mayor-elect Chiang Wan-an (蔣萬安) stood out among his rivals due to his energy, his die-hard supporters and his relative openness to discuss issues such as same-sex marriage, a political analyst said yesterday. Chiang’s campaign was also aided by his family’s background in politics, which helped him garner greater support in Taipei where there is a large KMT base, said the analyst, who chose to remain anonymous. “Chiang is also not a typical KMT member when it comes to certain issues, such as gay marriage, and his more open stance widened his support base — particularly among young
First-time politician Mai Yamada’s (山田摩衣) Japanese name has attracted attention in Chinese-language media after her win in the New Taipei City Council election on Saturday. Born to a Taiwanese mother and Japanese father, the 32-year-old Taiwanese-Japanese stood out after becoming one of nine elected city councilors in Banciao District (板橋) in the nation’s local government elections on Saturday. Although she has a Japanese name, she grew up and was educated in Taiwan, Yamada said, adding that “Taiwan is my home.” Before running for local government, Yamada, who speaks fluent Japanese and English, was Legislative Speaker You Si-kun’s (游錫堃) secretary. She has been involved in
Mask easing: Teachers are allowed to take their masks off while lecturing indoors, but students should keep theirs on, as COVID-19 measures ease this week The Ministry of Education (MOE) yesterday released new on-campus COVID-19 prevention guidelines, stating that masks can be taken off while exercising, singing, dancing, performing, taking photographs, dining, drinking, video and voice recording, hosting events, presenting speeches and lecturing outdoors. Large outdoor events organized by schools should comply with the mask regulations issued by the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC), it added. The new guidelines came into effect yesterday, and people in Taiwan are no longer required to wear masks outdoors for the first time since May 19 last year. The CECC announced the easing of the mask mandate on Monday, adding that it