Foreign migrants and students yesterday launched a program that gives free food to homeless people to thank Taiwan for its successful efforts at stopping the spread of COVID-19.
The Students Helping Initiative Program (SHIP) — about 20 Vietnamese students, as well as new immigrants and their children — and parishioners of Saint Christopher’s Church in Taipei handed out more than 100 chicken drumstick mealboxes to homeless people at Taipei Railway Station, the city’s main transport hub.
The people were happy to receive food on a Saturday — for many, it was their first meal of the day — and eagerly opened the packed lunch as soon as it was placed in their hands, or on their makeshift bed of cardboard and newspapers.
“Thank you very much,” a man in his 60s said. “I have been waiting the whole day for this meal.”
The program reflects the gratitude that migrants and international students feel toward Taiwan for its swift and successful prevention measures against the novel coronavirus, said Father Gioan Tran Van Thiet, assistant parish priest at Saint Christopher’s.
“This program shows that international students appreciate Taiwan — and that they are not only here to study, but can also assist the local community,” Thiet said.
Tam Nguyen, a 24-year-old Vietnamese research student at National Taiwan University of Science and Technology, said that Taiwan’s success in controlling the virus has helped him focus on his studies.
“However, the situation in Vietnam is not so great recently and I have been worrying about my hometown,” Nguyen said.
The program is to continue, with free meals given out on the first Saturday of each month at locations in northern Taiwan.
The goal is to help people who are homeless, elderly people and children with disabilities, Thiet said, adding that food would also be available at the church for international students.
“We order cooked food from restaurants, but we are exploring ways to have the students help make the food. That way, they could feel more directly involved in helping people,” Thiet added.
Built by Americans, Saint Christopher’s Church opened in July 1958 to hold religious services for US troops and allied forces in Taiwan.
Over the past 62 years, the church has become a place of worship for people of all walks of life, and it plays an important role in the lives of immigrants and migrant workers in Taiwan.
Taiwan does not exclude the possibility of having formal diplomatic relations with countries that also have formal ties with China, regardless of Beijing’s stance, Minister of Foreign Affairs Joseph Wu (吳釗燮) said on Sunday. There was speculation in 2012 that Honduras was attempting to have simultaneous diplomatic relations with Taiwan and China, an idea that then-minister of foreign affairs David Lin (林永樂) rejected. Honduras severed formal ties with Taiwan on Sunday morning after establishing diplomatic relations with Beijing. President Tsai Ing-wen’s (蔡英文) administration has taken a more practical approach to relations with like-minded countries since assuming government in 2016. Previous administrations took the
WASHED ASHORE: Of the 16 bodies discovered along Taiwan’s west coast this month, two were Vietnamese and five were Taiwanese, coast guard officials said Minister of Justice Tsai Ching-hsiang (蔡清祥) said that he has instructed prosecutors and maritime authorities to launch investigations after 16 bodies were found along Taiwan’s west coast this month, amid speculation that they were victims of smuggling or human trafficking rings. Coast Guard Administration (CGA) officials said the bodies, most of which had washed ashore, were found by coast guard personnel and local residents along the coastline from Keelung to Kaohsiung. Thirteen of the bodies are male and three are female, the CGA said, adding that items found on the bodies indicate that two of the men were Vietnamese, while three men
TASK FORCE DISPATCHED: MOFA said it would assist state employees with repatriation or relocation to other ally nations in the region after Tegucigalpa severed ties The Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) on Monday ordered Honduras to vacate its embassy in Taiwan within 30 days of Sunday after Tegucigalpa made a similar demand of Taiwan. Taipei on Monday announced that it had cut ties with Honduras after the Central American nation earlier said in a statement that it had established ties with Beijing and ended its diplomatic relationship with Taiwan. Following the announcements, Honduran Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Antonio Garcia spoke on Honduran television saying that Taiwan would be required to vacate its embassy in the Honduran capital. In Taipei, MOFA later told a news conference that “according
CHINA TRIP: The former president said he hoped the two sides of the Taiwan Strait would work together to pursue peace, avoid war and strive to ‘revitalize China’ Former president Ma Ying-jeou (馬英九) yesterday began a 12-day tour of China with a visit to the Sun Yat-sen Mausoleum in Nanjing. He paid tribute to Sun Yat-sen (孫逸仙), a founder of the Republic of China, giving a short speech and then bowing in front of the memorial. “The people of both sides of the Taiwan Strait belong to the Chinese nation, are children of Yandi (炎帝) and Huangdi (黃帝),” he told reporters who had been allowed to follow him on the trip, referring to figures said to have founded of the Han ethnicity in ancient China. Ma has framed the trip as