Chinatrust Charity Foundation helps poverty alleviation
By Lauly Li, The China Post
April 19, 2013, 12:02 am TWN
TAIPEI, Taiwan -- "My life has changed so much," Chiang Li-lan (江麗蘭), an applicant with the Chinatrust Poverty Alleviation Program (信扶專案) said yesterday.
She joined the program a year ago, she added, noting that the program has helped her to establish and grow her own business.
Chinatrust Charity Foundation Chairman Jeffrey Koo Jr. (辜仲諒) said that based on his previous experience in the banking industry he understands how challenging it can be for economically disadvantaged households to apply for loans and start their own business.
Koo said the program is meant to help economically disadvantaged families establish their own enterprises, adding that it also provides professional financial and career advice.
Koo said that the spirit of the program is similar to the Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus' Grameen Bank.
"My mom gave me the idea for this program," Koo said, adding that the Chinatrust Charity Foundation is the first organization in Taiwan to grant loans with unusually low interest rates to people who are economically disadvantaged.
Koo said that since the program was launched in 2011, it has offered professional advice to 86 individuals looking to start enterprises. The foundation worked with the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families (家扶基金會) to launch the program.
Koo added that NT$16 million loans had been granted to 43 applicants.
Koo said that apart from granting loans to those in need, the foundation is now helping them to popularize their brands by setting up "Chinatrust Caring Shop" stalls in department stores.
Koo said he hopes that those who have applied for the program will eventually be successful in their careers and avoid economic difficulties.
Wayne Wang (王佳瑋), Chairman of Urban One, a famous gourmet center in Taipei, said that as part of assisting the charity program, he would like to waive the three-month rental fee for those Chinatrust Caring Shop stalls that are in Urban One.