TaiwanICDF Overseas Volunteers Service
The International Economic Cooperation Development Fund (IECDF) established an overseas volunteer assistance program, the IECDF Volunteers, in July 1993. When the IECDF was incorporated into the International Cooperation and Development Fund (TaiwanICDF) in July 1996, the IECDF Volunteers became the “TaiwanICDF Volunteers.” In 2003, the program was formally renamed the “TaiwanICDF Overseas Volunteers Service.”
The first group of TaiwanICDF volunteers departed Taiwan for Swaziland in 1996. Until March 2017, 683 volunteers have served in 38 countries, promoting progress and prosperity throughout the world and facilitating economic growth and social development in our partner countries.
As the development needs of our partner countries have changed through the years, we have always sought to widen the scope of our cooperative foreign assistance operations. The roles of overseas volunteers have steadily expanded over time, too. Drawing on Taiwan’s comparative advantages, many volunteers are now recruited to lend their expertise in disciplines such as ICT and environmental protection. We have also extended our volunteer programs by increasing cooperation with international NGOs and volunteer organizations, which has increased exchanges between Taiwan and other nations and enhanced Taiwan’s reputation in the international community.
By working directly with local stakeholders to pass on their know-how, our volunteers not only bring development to our partner countries, but also gain a richer understanding of the culture and traditions of their host country. Distance is no barrier to the passion and devotion of these “ordinary” Taiwanese citizens, who have helped to cement the deep and sincere friendships that Taiwan enjoys with its partner countries.