Emily Tao, Senior Manager, Step30
Emily, a senior manager at Step30, is a member of the resource development team and has the crucial responsibility of communicating the progress of the African project's implementation and expanding resources to supporters in Taiwan. Prior to joining Step30, Emily had limited exposure to the challenges faced in frontline aid work. As a result, she willingly volunteered to dedicate a year of her life to a small island in the South Pacific. This transformative experience on the island became the bedrock of Emily's unwavering commitment to eradicating poverty. Today, alongside her relentless efforts to improve the lives of African families, she fervently believes that by each person making small contributions, the world can be transformed into a better place.
The purpose of the visit was to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of organizations beyond their internship by engaging in real-life site visits. We arranged a trip to the Bethlehem Warehouse of Step30 in Linkou, where the students had the opportunity to delve into the organization's mission and actively participate in sorting and organizing donated items. In the afternoon, we headed to Haksip Village of CAN Culture, Art & Nature in Sanxia, where the students relished a lunch made from locally sourced ingredients and engaged in group discussions about the impact of their internship and their future aspirations. The event culminated with an insightful tour of the Sanxia community, showcasing its remarkable development and rich cultural history.
During the visit to Step30, the organization had intern Jason as our guide, who provided a comprehensive overview of the organization's mission and the challenges they encountered in Africa. Jason elaborated on the proactive steps taken by Step30 to address these issues, particularly in improving local sanitation levels through crucial initiatives like hygiene education. He emphasized that the actions undertaken by Step30 were just the initial steps in their ongoing commitment to bring about lasting change for African families and children. Following the informative session, the students actively participated in the practical task of categorizing supplies to extend tangible support to the organization. In their subsequent feedback, the students expressed that despite feeling a bit tired during the experience, they were deeply moved by the sense of their own impact in contributing to a meaningful cause.
Following the visit, we proceeded to the CAN Restaurant, a social enterprise operated by CAN Culture, Art & Nature in Sanxia. The students relished delectable cuisine prepared from locally sourced fresh ingredients while engaging in a gathering discussion. The discussion covered four main aspects: the challenges and inquiries arising from the preceding collaborative learning event, the tasks they accomplished during their internships, the impact of their internships on their future career choices, and their observations of their respective internship organizations. Steffi, who interned at the Jane Goodall Institute Taiwan, enthusiastically shared her experience of successfully completing a video editing project and contributing several posts to the Roots & Shoots fan page, which significantly enhanced her marketing skills.
After the gathering, we embarked on a guided tour led by two knowledgeable guides to explore Sanxia Old Street, Sanxia Qingshui Zushi Temple, and the remarkable transformation of Haksip Village from a hospital. This excursion proved to be an enriching cultural experience for both Taiwanese and foreign students. They not only delved into the captivating cultural history of Sanxia but also gained insights into the collaborative efforts between local enterprises and NGOs in fostering the sustainable development of Taiwan's culture and regions. The visit left the students with a profound appreciation for the interconnectedness of cultural heritage and community advancement.
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