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CTBC backs field trip for disadvantaged Chinese kids

TAIPEI, Taiwan -- With the assistance of the CTBC Charity Foundation, 10 rural middle school students from mainland China get to visit Taiwan and experience many things for the first time in their lives.

 Starting in May of last year, the CTBC Charity Foundation has been collaborating with the China National Committee for the Wellbeing of the Youth as well as the China Social Welfare Foundation to launch a six-year project, creating a cultural exchange platform to allow students from rural China to visit Taiwan.

 The platform aims to “alleviate poverty through education” and provide middle school students from Sichuan province's Ya'an (雅安市), who have never left their hometown before, with a rare opportunity to visit Taiwan for six days. Ten students from Ya'an arrived at Taipei Songshan Airport on Monday.

 Ya'an is a four-hour drive from Chengdu, the capital of Sichuan province. A catastrophic earthquake occurred in April of last year and wrecked the city. The 10 travelers were selected from 800 students who attend the largest middle school in the area, in recognition of their exceptional academic performance. Despite damage brought about by the earthquake, these students demonstrated unusual perseverance and a strong will to overcome great difficulties.

 Because of their itinerary, these students get the opportunity to see many things for the first time, such as taking elevators, flying in an airplane, staying in a hotel and seeing the ocean. The CTBC Charity Foundation said it is proud to sponsor the event, and added that some students were so excited before the trip that they could not fall asleep the night before.

 Ranking officers of the China National Committee for the Wellbeing of the Youth as well as the China Social Welfare Foundation were also invited to visit Taiwan, and they have expressed appreciation regarding the CTBC's efforts in helping children from impoverished households and of tough upbringings. With the CTBC's assistance, welfare organizations from China also learned better ways to help children.

 In the aftermath of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake, the CTBC Charity Foundation sponsored a journey for children in the area to come to Taiwan for psychiatric healing. Six counselors have been charged with the responsibility of taking care of the 10 Chinese students. They all have professional training and experience in helping victims of natural disasters.

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Middle school students from Sichuan province pose for a photo with officers from the CTBC Charity Foundation. The students were victims of a major earthquake that occurred in April 2013. (Courtesy of CTBC Charity Foundation)

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