There are quite a few children in Taiwan who grow up being looked after by caregivers from Southeast Asia. After being together for long periods of time, they become like family to each other despite differences in language and culture. These strong emotional bonds do not end when it comes time for the caregivers to leave. When these children grow up, they express their longing for their “second mothers” by learning about Southeast-Asian cultures and following topics related to migrant workers.
Bright, moving illustrations, practical information about life, and deep explorations of topics make for magazines that people can’t put down. The only way you would know that these are government publications is by looking at the masthead.
Small children are always dazzled when they see the machinery at construction sites, while the workers who put up buildings seem like heroes. But after growing up, children are no longer curious about the world behind the construction hoardings, and life inside the hoardings is like a parallel universe to life outside. Fortunately, through books, theater, and performances, we can explore the vitality and energy of construction sites.
In their communications with the public, government agencies are turning away from old habits of issuing haughty pronouncements couched in stuffy officialese. Instead they are employing social media editors who are full of whacky ideas and are a match for every conceivable challenge. These editors expose fake news and interpret policies for the general public by making connections with everyday life and topical events.
The Minerva Schools program at California’s Keck Graduate Institute prides itself on being a university of the world. Not confined to any physical campus, Minerva students visit seven cities across the world during their four-year degree programs. They interact with their teachers through webinars that explore specific topics and prioritize mutually engaged discussions. Minerva aims to cultivate not only specialist knowledge but also transferrable critical thinking skills.
Government agencies have been demonstrating a new aptitude for communication in recent years. Their tactics for getting information out to the public now range from creative social media editing to institutional branding to complete revamps of government publications. These methods have given agencies a less conservative look, but is the public buying it?
Tradition has it that if you make a request of the deity Phra Phrom and your wish is granted, you must come and show your gratitude in whatever way you promised at the time of your request. There are many ways to show gratitude. Those with enough money can make offerings of gold or elephants, while ordinary folks can arrange for a dance of gratitude—it all depends on your budget.
With Taiwan’s impending transition to a super-aged society around 2025, whether you are an elderly person yourself or there are elderly people in your family, are we all well prepared? What mindset should we adopt in responding to this new situation? And from what perspectives can we best tackle the issues that arise?
Before Lee Chia-tung, professor emeritus at National Tsing Hua University, founded the rural educational organization Boyo Social Welfare Foundation, he taught at St. Teresa Children’s Center for many years. When asked why he didn’t just donate money instead of teaching at the center, he quotes Mother Teresa of Calcutta in saying, “We ourselves must sow the seeds of love, and we must do so one at a time.”
Every year, more than NT$3 billion in scholarships flows forth from private sources in Taiwan. This invisible force has supported social progress for many years, and though it’s rarely noticed, it’s always there.