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Distributing sponsored books to Taiwanese aboriginal schools

Peter Wescombe

Our volunteers with FISAT (The Family International Services Association of Taiwan) hosted another field trip project to the central-eastern mountainous region of Taiwan to distribute over 700 books to aboriginal communities. Our five-man team from Taipei met up with local church pastors and district leaders to coordinate the project. In all, there were seven elementary schools visited during the two-day event. All of the books we distributed were made available through the generous sponsorship of Activated Ministries. Activated Ministries has been the main sponsorship organization for the regular book distribution projects that FISAT has hosted since 2007 to support the improvement of education, welfare and social development for Taiwanese aboriginal communities and their children. Recent projects have included sponsoring over 1,000 books to children and families, victims of typhoon Morakot that devastated large areas of aboriginal communities in August last year.

On behalf of all those who have benefitted from these community service projects, FISAT would like to express its appreciation to Activated Ministries. As a result of its support towards these programs, FISAT has been able to add value to the lives of thousands of socially disadvantaged children and their families. The attractive, hard cover children’s book that we distributed is a beautifully illustrated story called “The Garden”. This Mandarin Chinese and English edition also includes the Zhuwin phonetics symbols – a simple phonetics system used to introduce Chinese characters to children in elementary school in Taiwan. A helpful dictionary of new words is also included to assist the children with their grasp of the English language.

Aside from the appreciation ceremonies and formal presentations that these wonderful local people are so eager to give, the project was also interactive and very friendly. These children rarely see “foreigners”and were elated at the opportunity to communicate with the team members and test out some of the few simple words they know in English. It was a very enjoyable and fun project – in addition to being a wonderful privilege to participate in an event such as this. It means such so much to these precious people who live such simple basic lives, almost completely detached from the modern world; they responded so appreciatively to even a little bit of care and concern and to the material help that we gave them. As you walk away from these folks, feeling the tremendous amount of love, gratitude and appreciation that flows out of their hearts, you can’t help but wonder who is really giving to whom.