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Disabled children become 'soldiers for a day' at weekend fair

Disabled children become 'soldiers for a day' at weekend fair

Taipei, March 21 (CNA) Disabled children became "soldiers for a day" on Saturday when they took part in a "military parade" and experienced military life firsthand at a fair organized by the Ministry of National Defense (MND) and a local social welfare foundation. "336 Angel's Day," took place at the National Defense University's Fu Hsin Kang campus in Taipei's Beitou District, marking the first time the ministry has worked with the Taipei-based Angel Heart Family Social Welfare Foundation. Highlights included children with mental and physical disabilities marching in squads like real solider and saluting their parents, who face the daily challenges of caring for children having special needs with unshakeable grace and courage. One of the squads was made up of children in wheelchairs, who joined the parade with Premier Mao Chi-kuo (???) and MND officials pushing their chairs. "Through these activities, we hope to bring warmth to the public," said Deputy Defense Minister Chen Yung-kang (???), who noted that the event was aimed at providing more support to parents of mentally and physically challenged children and promoting greater public understanding. "We are delighted to work with the foundation and organize this meaningful event," Chen added. Children who attended were given the chance to experience what it means to be a solider, by taking part in military parades, shooting and flight simulation games, and other activities. The fair also included performances by a military honor guard, as well as drills by marines and military police. Also on show were modern weapons systems, including locally developed CM-32 "Clouded Leopard" armored infantry fighting vehicles and the Thunderbolt-2000 artillery multiple-launch rocket system. "We're happy to attend the event at the school my husband attended," said Huang Tsui-chin (???), the mother of a 14-year-old son with a mild form of autism. Praising the ministry for organizing the event, Huang said "my son was excited about the activities," adding that he took part in the shooting game and others. The boy's father, Huang Chien-yi (???), also expressed gratitude to the ministry for holding the event. Another mother of a mentally challenged child said "it feels like we are being honored." Thanking the ministry for its support of the event, Lin Chao-cheng(???), chief executive officer of the foundation, expressed his hope for future cooperation with it. Now in its sixth year, the annual "336 Angel's Day" takes place on the third Saturday in March. The event seeks to garner support for families with mentally and physically disabled children. The Angel Heart Family Social Welfare Foundation is dedicated to helping the parents of disabled children and encouraging the public to be more supportive and accepting of them. (By Elaine Hou)


Updated : 2021-03-06 00:57 GMT+08:00