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Let’s join hands to celebrate the International Volunteer Day!

  • Data Source:Ministry of Health and Welfare
  • Created:2014-12-05
  • Last Updated:2017-01-11

In celebration of the International Volunteer Day, the Ministry of Health and Welfare (MOHW) extended recognition to the country’s high-performing volunteer teams and 318 outstanding volunteers who have completed at least 8,000 hours of voluntary service at the Multifunction Hall of the New Taipei City Government on December 5 at 2:50 p.m. This event aimed to express gratitude to the volunteers for their service and benevolence by means of recognition while inspiring more people to participate in voluntary work and join hands to promote “Volunteer Taiwan”. President Ma Ying-jeou, MOHW Minister Chiang Been-huang, and New Taipei Mayor Chu Li-luan attended this grand event together to pay tribute to the volunteers and thank them and their teams for exerting the power of altruism and bringing warmth to local communities. 

The United Nations has designated December 5 as the International Volunteer Day since 1985. As for Taiwan, the Volunteer Service Act was promulgated and came into effect on January 20, 2001. According to the statistics by MOHW, there were more than one million volunteers who held volunteer service certificates and record books and completed a total of 99,266,191 service hours in Taiwan as of December 2013. As the number of volunteers in Taiwan has officially hit the one million mark, it is particularly necessary to emphasize the spirit of volunteerism considering the fact that volunteers are not only important social assets but also the major force that facilitates a harmonious society and national development. 

The recognition of outstanding volunteers from all over the country is a grand event for volunteers every year. Both the central and local governments held relevant celebratory activities such as recognizing and rewarding volunteers for previous International Volunteer Days to acknowledge volunteers’ contributions to society. During this event, volunteers who had completed at least 8,000 hours of services were commended pursuant to the Regulations on Encouragement of Volunteer Service, and 20 high-performing volunteer teams were also praised to boost team morale. Mr. Zhuang, a member of the award-winning volunteer team at Cardinal Tien Hospital, mentioned his most impressive experience during the service process. He met an unmarried veteran who was in the last stages of cancer in a ward and saw the children of the veteran’s colleague personally attended the veteran in the final stage of his life. This experience greatly moved him and reminded him that if people can treat others who are not their kinsmen like this, he as a hospice volunteer should dedicate more efforts taking care of critically ill cancer patients to embody the spirit of hospice care. Zhuang stated that serving critically ill patients in a hospice ward has made him become more tolerant and compassionate and come to appreciate the time spent with his family and realize the importance of health. Although voluntary workers seem to be helping others, they themselves are the biggest beneficiaries. 

In 2014, there were 318 gold medal winning volunteers who had completed at least 8,000 hours of services. The oldest winner was the 88-year-old Zhang Xiu-ru, who joined the volunteer team of Taipei City Hospital ten years ago. He gave assistance and guidance to the general public at the Health Examination Center five days a week without interruptions and complaints about the hard work. He and his wife, who won a silver medal this year, engaged in voluntary work together and dedicated themselves to public welfare. 

MOHW Minister Chiang Been-huang stated that by publicly recognizing volunteers for their service and benevolence, he wished to bring forth the trend towards volunteering in the community and encourage more people to take part in voluntary service so that a warm and peaceful society will be created and the administrative goal of “Volunteer Taiwan” will be fulfilled in the near future.