TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — The Taiwan-Asia Exchange Foundation (TAEF) and American Institute in Taiwan (AIT) on Wednesday (July 28) wrapped up their 2021 Southeast Asia-South Asia-Taiwan (SEASAT) Youth Camp, which focused on global equality during the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year’s youth camp, which had the theme of “Home: Global Equality in the Era of the Pandemic,” kicked off on July 27 and took place online. Academics and experts, young entrepreneurs, and NGO workers were invited to share their insights into critical social issues including public health, basic rights and migrant workers, technology development, and climate change, according to a TAEF press release.
In his opening remarks on the first day of the camp, AIT Cultural Affairs Officer Luke Martin said with the current outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, people who had grown accustomed to a relatively normal life now see how their entire environment is changing with the incorporation of technology. Martin also said that the camp provides young leaders a chance to convene and find solutions to address how people can build a home that can overcome present and future challenges. The cultural affairs office added that these youths will go on to play a role in making the world more sustainable, peaceful, prosperous, and fair in the future.
Dr. Alan Yang (楊昊), executive director of TAEF, pointed out that the think tank has co-organized youth events with AIT since 2019, and over the years event participants have reached over a hundred. He added that each year, the organizing committee arranges lectures and activities on the latest global trends and changes to discuss social justice while cultivating young people with a forward-looking vision.
Though the camp was originally planned as an in-person activity, the organizing committee’s decision to move the event online with a more intensive curriculum following the recent increase of COVID cases demonstrates that adaptability is key during the pandemic.
Altogether, sixty youths hailing from Taiwan, Indonesia, the Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, and the U.S. were invited to participate in this year’s youth camp. Although attendees were only allowed to exchange their thoughts and to bond virtually, the organizers are prepared to hold a physical event once the outbreaks are fully contained, TAEF said.
The SEASAT Youth Camp is an annual flagship program organized by TAEF and AIT that recruits 40-60 outstanding young adults through a competitive selection process.