TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – A total of 70 alternative military service conscripts will be dispatched to 18 countries to provide professional assistance starting Oct. 22 as part of Taiwan’s foreign aid program, according to the International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF).
The conscripts possess expertise and have received relevant training in 21 areas spanning agriculture, horticulture, aquaculture, animal husbandry, public health, nutrition, industrial design, Spanish, human resources management, medical care, and others.
The 18 destinations are the Marshall Islands, Fiji, the Solomon Islands, Tuvalu, Palau, Kiribati, Nauru, eSwatini, Saint Lucia, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Haiti, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala, Paraguay, and Ecuador.
The youths had been enlisted in a tense four-week training program starting mid-September to better equip them with the skills required to serve ten months in a foreign environment, noted ICDF. Courses include language skills (English, French, or Spanish), international etiquette, disaster prevention, cooking, and self-defense skills.
The foreign aid program, now in its 18th year, has seen 1,421 substitute military service conscripts sent to foreign countries, said ICDF.