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Walk sees launch of immigrant education fund

The China Post--More than a thousand immigrants and their families gathered at the Taipei Water Park (臺北自來水園區) yesterday morning to participate in a walk and fair organized by the National Immigration Agency (NIA, 內政部入出國及移民署) and the Hope Cultural and Educational Foundation (財團法人希望基金會) in celebration of Mother's Day and the International Day of Families (May 15). From the water park's fountain square where 17 immigrant associations and NGOs set up booths, participants walked to the Jingmei Riverside Park (景美河濱公園) and back in the fair weather, covering a total of 6 kilometers.

President Ma Ying-jeou opened the walk by announcing the launch of the “Immigrant Torch Project” (全國新住民火炬計畫), which will be implemented at qualifying schools nationwide. Starting this September, elementary schools with either over 100 students or more than one-tenth of its student body from immigrant families will receive financial support from the Foreign Spouse Assistance Fund (外籍配偶照顧輔導基金) to go toward family counseling visits, the training of multicultural lecturers, and the teaching of parents' own mother tongues.

In his opening remarks Ma also explained that the project will expand New Taipei City's experiences working with immigrants into other cities and counties, and promote the values of equality, mutual respect and multiculturalism among students, parents, and the public in general.

Joining Ma for the launch were Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan (李鴻源), Deputy Minister of Education Chen Yi-hsing (陳益興), NIA Director-General Hsieh Li-kung (謝立功), as well as Deputy Executive Director Kusuma Tharasook of the Thailand Trade and Economic Office in Taipei, Visa Division Director Saravana Kumar Marimuthu of the Malaysian Friendship & Trade Centre in Taipei, Magistrate Yang Sui-sheng (楊綏生) of Lienchiang County (連江縣), principal Zeng Xiu-zhu (曾秀珠) of Yehliu Elementary school (野柳國小), and representatives of immigrant organizations.

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From right, Deputy Minister of Education Chen Yi-hsing, President Ma Ying-jeou, Minister of the Interior Lee Hong-yuan and National Immigration Agency Director-General Hsieh Li-kung launch the “Immigrant Torch Project” to fund education for immigrant students in Taipei, yesterday.

(The China Post )

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