When many of the parents and students were still busy with selecting classes and learning programming, a group of fifth graders from Changhua County with average age of eleven went on stage today (December 11) with robots and block sets to demonstrate what is to be the hands on learning course in elementary schools in remote area of Changhua, Yunlin and Pingtung County. They are the youngest beneficiaries of the Yuanta Dream Big Plan in the four years of the program. Changhua County Singhua Elementary School Principal Shih-Hsiung Chuang stated that this plan seeks to advance science education by offering a different type of learning for students in other schools. In doing so, he hope that schools can mutually benefit from cooperation and learning exchanges to overcome the lack of resources and education difficulties in the rural areas.
Yuanta Foundation expressed that two years ago when Yuanta volunteers helped Erh-lin Industrial and Commercial Vocational High School in Changhua County, a beneficiary of the second annual Dream Big Plan, with their science program for assisting young schoolchildren, Wan-Ting and Ray-Huang were among those young schoolchildren from Singhua Elementary Schools who benefitted from the program. Now they are on stage as young instructors ready to use the latest STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) education approach to teach over 180 schoolchildren in remote areas about science and mathematics through game design. The Dream Big Plan has not only nurtured the seeds for education but the seeds have blossomed to be someone who can help others.
Over the past three years, the Yuanta Dream Big program has called together 1410 Yuanta volunteers, providing support and assistance to the beneficiaries to realize their Dream Big plans. The charity organizations awarded the fourth annual Dream Big Plan sponsorship are from various parts of Taiwan and of different age groups. Yuanta will start calling together volunteers from across Taiwan to participate in the selected Dream Big plans with the aim at making positive impact in rural communities.
Over 20 college students have also chosen to return to their hometown to contribute their talents and skills. Besides providing company to schoolchildren from Yunlin County Jiaxing Elementary School, they also integrated the people in the community, grocery stores, local market and store owners in organizing an event featuring local culture, of size which is unprecedented in this small Yunlin township. Shimen District and Sanzhi District in New Taipei City are also facing after-school tutoring resource shortage. IPOWER Alliance will start to provide after-school talent classes for elementary, middle, and high school students and lead these children to build “Laomei Living”, which showcases the characteristics of this urban village on the northeast coast.
The six charity organizations selected as the fourth annual Dream Big partners are: IPOWER Alliance, Against the Wind Theatre, Syin-lu Social Welfare Foundation Hsinchu Branch Office, Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation, Yunlin County Jiaxing Elementary School, and Changhua County Singhua Elementary School. In addition to providing each organization with a grant of NT$300,000, Yuanta will commit volunteers to support their proposed activities, working with them in realizing their dreams.
This is the second year in a row Syin-lu Social Welfare Foundation Hsinchu Branch Office was awarded the sponsorship. Director Yu-Ling Yang of Hsinchu Branch Office of the Syinlu Social Welfare Foundation, pointed out that for these children with developmental delay, it is not easy for them to step out of their normal surrounding and last year with the help from Yuanta volunteers this difficult task of going outdoor was accomplished for the first time. This year Syin-lu hopes to teach pre-school children with developmental delay hobbies and talents such as taikoo drums and roller blades, which mean even greater challenges, and will require the support of even greater number of volunteers.
For National Chengchi University Department of Money and Banking Professor and Yuanta Life Independent Director Sharon S. Yang, this is first year she is on the review panel and expressed that she will call on students to join in the community cleanup and late night support program by Against the Wind Theatre. She commented that in the past she had always thought that doing volunteer work is for “adults”, and was deeply impressed to see that the plans were proposed by people with average age of twenty, which are around the age of her students. She hopes that with the Against the Wind Theatre program the students which lack the resources can be encouraged and learned from each other. Against the Wind Theatre Director Wei-Shang Cheng remarked that through arts and caring for humanity, the rate of drop-out students returning to school is quite high. This year with the support from Yuanta, Against the Wind Theatre will not only put on a large-scale performance to realize their dreams, but will also go about getting a mobile diner ready, so that children in various corners of society can be fed and kept warm at night and have the chance of returning to school and make a positive impact on the society.
Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation is organizing a series of activities to experience the feeling of growing old. The “Ancestor Peng outfit” consisted of swimming goggles, ear muffs, protective gear with weights to let the person wearing the outfit experience the physical deterioration that often comes with aging like poor eye sight, hearing loss and hunchback. With the experience of what it is like to be old, young people will be more understanding to the inconveniences that senior citizens have to deal with and more compassionate, as result drawing people closer. The Dream Big program aims to empower the charity organizations with the needed resources by integrating program grants, volunteers and other resources such as social media, so that the recipients can realize their dreams in flying colors in the year ahead.