SEYI Aids Talented Tribal Youth to Sing with Renewed Vigor and Strength


Epidemic prevention measures enforced during the COVID-19 outbreak have resulted in schoolchildren experiencing the “longest summer vacation”. With the new school season approaching in September, the number of applications for World Vision Taiwan's Special Circumstances Family Support Grants has reached new highs, in part due to the impact of the COVID-19 epidemic. It goes without saying that many caregivers of disadvantaged families are worried about their children's education. According to a report earlier this year on the use of digital devices in families served by World Vision, as many as 83% of children have no Internet access at home; around 43% of children have no access to personal digital devices; and 22% have neither Internet access nor digital devices. At the end of the last semester, students were unable to attend school due to lockdown measures. This resulted in digital learning difficulties for disadvantaged students as well as those living in rural areas, who were unable to keep up with learning progress and experienced frustration and low motivation. Subsequently, World Vision launched an emergency program to help disadvantaged children with their learning needs due to the suspension of classes during the epidemic, serving over 1,300 children in June. World Vision also raised the required digital learning resources such as tablets/notebooks/prepaid learning cards, etc.

In addition to hardware support, the program has devised curriculums for cultivating and developing the talent in every child. In recognition of the dire need for learning resources for underprivileged children, Ms. Claire Kuo, Chairman of Taoyuan-based enterprise Shieh Yih Machinery Industry Co., Ltd. (SEYI), has supported World Vision’s philanthropic activities for many years and has called on all employees to participate in the program. This time, the children of Taoyuan can sing to their heart’s content and have their dreams realized! Not only did the event attract talented singers through a selections process, it also invited these youth to undergo professional musical training. What’s more, the youths were invited to join the company in a recording studio to record singles. Although the epidemic delayed the process and even changed to an online participation format, the fire of the children's dreams could not be extinguished.

The aboriginal youth Hsiao-Ching, also known as the "Walking CD", has been blessed with a heavenly voice since he was a child and has shined in numerous school competitions. However, his family's difficult financial situation made it hard for him to pursue his dream. Through his participation in the World Vision Taiwan program, Hsiao-Ching finally had the opportunity to move forward with his dream: "I've loved singing since I was a child, and with the training of my teachers, it's only now that I'm able to get on stage and sing for everyone through such an event. There were times when I wanted to give up on the way to fulfilling my dream, but thanks to my perseverance, I am proud of my identity as an indigenous person! " Through the music composition, the teachers also conveyed the moving support and affinity between the company and the children. It also allows the children to exhibit their self-worth and a deeper sense of identification with their indigenous culture, as mentioned in the song's lyrics. 
        When I crossed the mountain with high hopes
        But gradually I could not stay true to myself
        But I will choose not to give up and find myself once again
        * kulumaha yi e (Bunun language: go home!)

Chen Hsin-Chi, Director of World Vision Taiwan’s North Area Office, noted that before the beginning of each semester, World Vision Taiwan provides scholarships and nutritional support grants to about 50,000 economically disadvantaged children in Taiwan, and invites the public to respond to the scholarship initiative to help disadvantaged families ease the financial difficulties of paying school fees and various educational expenses, so that children have the opportunity to learn in a stable environment. In addition to providing financial support, World Vision Taiwan also supports youth programs such as talent learning, career development, and empowerment to help underprivileged children explore their interests and strengths, and encourage them not to give up on their studies and to be well prepared for the future. At the same time, through their transformation, they can gradually lead their families to improve overall well-being and avert the vicious cycle of poverty.