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A Journey Begins: 15th Training Program for TaiwanICDF Overseas Volunteers

A Journey Begins: 15th Training Program for TaiwanICDF Overseas Volunteers

The TaiwanICDF marked the start of its 15th training program for long-term volunteers with a ceremony at Tianmu Convention Center, Taipei, on August 4. Following the four-week course, this year’s 24 new recruits to the TaiwanICDF Overseas Volunteers Service will travel overseas to work at the organization’s Taiwan Technical Missions.

The TaiwanICDF Overseas Volunteers Service was established in 1996 and has since become one of Taiwan’s most important platforms for volunteer service, with 495 volunteers having served prior to the latest August intake. The specialties of this year’s group of volunteers include public health, nursing, education and trade, and their four-week training course, which defines the role of volunteers and introduces attendees to project management, cross-cultural differences, adaptation and safety, will also include lectures and experience-sharing sessions led by volunteers who have recently returned to Taiwan. Participants who successfully complete the program will be dispatched to eight TaiwanICDF partner countries in Asia-Pacific and Latin American and the Caribbean from September onwards.

A supplementary, six-week course in Spanish, which will take place in Antigua, Guatemala, has also been organized to strengthen language skills among volunteers destined for Spanish-speaking countries. Antigua is a regional center of excellence in language studies and its many schools play host to a diverse array of international students. Language instruction in a local environment will help volunteer recruits to overcome cross-cultural barriers or lack of resources, and build friendships and recognition for Taiwan.

More widely, the TaiwanICDF has recently been improving the effectiveness with which volunteers are selected and prepared for duty by operating a parallel training curriculum for reservist volunteers. Citizens with an interest in serving overseas can enroll in a training scheme that takes place over two phases in two years, with 64 hours of instruction that culminates in a final examination. Successful candidates are then registered with the TaiwanICDF’s pool of volunteer talent, to be called upon when a future need arises.

From 2012, the TaiwanICDF will classify the skillsets of this pool of reserve volunteers and provide information on available specialties to Taiwan’s diplomatic missions and embassies, who will match these skills to local development based on needs assessments submitted by their host country. If several volunteers choose to apply for a particular position that becomes available following this process, the final decision on candidate selection will be made by ballot. The TaiwanICDF hopes that the introduction of innovation to its volunteer recruitment and training operations will provide future volunteers with greater insight into their individual roles and the overall purpose of the service, and generate renewed enthusiasm for volunteerism. Such measures will expand the horizons of both the service itself, and its members, and allow Taiwan to forge productive friendships with its overseas partners.

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  • Date:2011/8/8