Japan NGO donates 23,000 books to elementary schools in Taiwan

The books represent Japan's gratitude for the assistance provided by Taiwan following the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011

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Andy Bi, a senior official at the Ministry of Education, meets with Japanese NGO XYZ's delegate Mari Yokoi on Jan. 14 (Source: MOE)

Andy Bi, a senior official at the Ministry of Education, meets with Japanese NGO XYZ's delegate Mari Yokoi on Jan. 14 (Source: MOE)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — In gratitude for the assistance provided by Taiwan following the earthquakes and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011, a Japanese non-profit organization donated 23,000 picture books that will be sent to first-grade classrooms across Taiwan.

On Monday, Andy Bi (畢祖安), a senior official handling international affairs at the Ministry of Education (MOE), met with Mari Yokoi, a delegate from the Japanese NGO, XYZ, for the arrangement of the donation.

The giveaway of the picture book, which is titled “You are the only one, but never a lonely one”, is part of XYZ’s program, “Heart Heart”, initiated in the wake of the earthquakes and tsunami that struck the east of Japan in March 2011, causing serious nuclear accidents and leaving more than 15,000 people dead.

► The picture book titled “You are the only one, but never a lonely one” (Screen capture from XYZ's website http://xyz.or.jp/en/picture-book-01/)

Over the years, the organization has given away books to schools, libraries, orphanages, and disability institutes around the world, said Ms. Yokoi. The number of the books sent to Taiwan this time will be the most since the program started, thanks to the generosity and support exhibited by Taiwanese people after the disasters, she said.

The book, written in three languages — Mandarin, Japanese, and English, tells the story of the a little ant that encounters various animals during its journey as to show the importance of supporting each other regardless of differences.

We hope that the book will stimulate pupils’ curiosity about different languages and the diverse world we live in, said Mr. Pi.

The book will be dispatched to elementary schools across the island starting next semester, according MOE.