Thursday, July 19, 2007

Sewing the Seeds of Love: The Taiwan ICDF and Its Overseas Volunteer Programs

Taiwan has been actively sharing its successful development experience with friendly developing countries through various international cooperation programs. In 1996, an independent foundation, “The Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (ICDF) 國際合作發展基金會,” was established to strengthen Taiwan’s ties with these nations as well as consolidate the planning and implementation of expanding cooperation programs.
The programs that the ICDF provides include investment and lending, technical cooperation, human resources development, and humanitarian assistance, which all aim to reduce poverty and stimulate economic activity in developing countries. Moreover, the ICDF has established working relations with the Inter-American Development Bank, the Central American Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the Asian Development Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the West African Development Bank, and the World Trade Organization. These substantive interactions with international institutions help to raise the effectiveness of Taiwan's aid programs and to provide many mutual benefits both for these organizations and for Taiwan.The ICDF has a wide range of volunteer programs as well. The roles of the ICDF volunteers have steadily expanded through cooperating with international NGOs and other international volunteer organizations, increasing exchanges between Taiwan and other countries, as well as introducing Taiwan's economic and democratic achievements to the international community. Services provided by the ICDF Volunteers are as follows: basic consulting services for small and medium enterprises, vocational/computer training, instruction in Chinese language and other subjects, rural area improvement and developing, and other humanitarian assistances. Additionally, the ICDF Volunteers work directly with the people of host countries, providing the volunteers with a deeper understanding of these countries’ cultures, societies and traditions.

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