Taiwan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) has announced that it will work with several non-governmental organizations (NGOs) on projects that provide assistance to disadvantaged groups, especially children, in Africa, India and other countries.
One of the projects, which involves digging wells, building water tanks and promoting water safety awareness in India, is expected to reduce the number of local residents who fall ill from drinking contaminated water, MOFA said in a press release Friday evening (March 27).
The project will be carried out with Good Neighbors Taiwan, which was established in July 2019 to support vulnerable children and high-risk families in developing countries, according to MOFA.
Another project, in cooperation with Pu-Hsein Educational Foundation and Amitofo Care Center African Executive Association, will help African orphans learn Chinese as their second-language to enhance their competitiveness in the future. The education program by the two Buddhist charity organizations, which began in 2013, has since benefited more than 9,000 African children and youths.
It involves sending teachers to teach traditional Chinese characters and Chinese language in seven schools which shelter orphans in Eswatini, Malawi, Lesotho, Namibia, Mozambique and Madagascar.
MOFA will also help the Noordhoff Craniofacial Foundation-Taiwan, which is dedicated to helping patients with cleft lip and palate and craniofacial deformity, in its project with the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital system. The project involves holding international conferences and training medical personnel from other countries.
Other MOFA cooperation projects include the Taiwan-Vietnam education project with Zhi-Shan Foundation Taiwan, which promotes academic exchanges, and the young women empowerment project with the Garden of Hope Foundation, which is focused on organizing training camps for young women and hosting the annual Asian Girl Awards that highlight the achievements of girls.
Scott Lai (賴銘琪), head of MOFA's Department of NGO International Affairs, signed cooperation agreements with these NGOs at the ministry's headquarters Friday morning.
Lai praised Taiwan's NGO sector for its active international participation and vowed to continue supporting NGOs to increase Taiwan's visibility globally. He also said the MOFA hoped to integrate resources in public and private sectors through partnerships, to achieve a goal of public diplomacy.
Meanwhile, Taiwan's International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF), an aid agency founded by the MOFA, also announced international projects through a separate press release a day earlier.
These projects include the recruitment of young Taiwanese men, under the Substitute Military Service program, for overseas technical and humanitarian assistance missions; the promotion and branding of Nicaraguan bamboo products, sending volunteers to work on children's welfare in Mongolia and Kyrgyzstan, and a water sanitary project in Sulawesi, Indonesia.