CyberFair Project ID: 4801

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International Schools CyberFair Project Narrative
Title: The Role of Taiwan in World Health – International Medical Aid
Category: 7. Environmental Awareness

School: Ming-Dao High School
    Taichung County, Taiwan, Taiwan

4 students, ages 15 - 16 worked together to complete this CyberFair project on March 10, 2007. They have participated in CyberFair in the following year(s): 2007

Classes and Teachers: Huang, Chung-chih

E-Mail contact:

Our School's Web Site:

Project Overview

1. Description of Our Team

Being Taiwan’s ambassador of child human right, Chia-wei is especially concerned about the welfare of the underprivileged children. She not only sponsors children from Philippine, she sponsors blind children in Taiwan as well. She has represented Taiwan in the World Child Human Right Summit of 2002, where she debated child human right issues with delegates from other countries. Chia-wei indicated that showing concern for the international affairs not only would expand one’s horizon, it would also enrich one’s self to become more globally minded. She does all the coordinating and integrating work. She is doing a good job as a team leader.

Ching-ting has been receiving volunteer training since the middle school, as she has chosen volunteer work as the work of her choice. She has indicated that she gained happiness from serving others. She is responsible for information collection and photography on our team.

Shu-han is very interested in arts. She is not only talented, but she is also very creative. Her main task in the team is graphic design. She did not disappoint, for her work often delights her team members. Shu-han has indicated that becoming a outstanding designer is a future goal for her. We believe that it is only a matter of time before she achieves her goal!

Yen-yu has a non-pretentious demeanor, and she is a self-starter. That is why she always finds herself the leader of the team. She is very adept at writing. She would look over the drafts that we wrote and make them even better by adding her own touch. She has spent a lot of time in editing the web pages that we created. She is an indispensable part of our team.

2. Summary of Our Project

In the long and difficult years of developing a health service in Taiwan, the international community and individuals provided expertise, financial and technical assistance in areas such as public health and disease prevention. While social progress and economic prosperity have made competent and accessible medical care for all a reality in Taiwan, we are keenly aware that many people in other parts of the world still live in poverty and disease.

“Health for All” is a universal call to action and we can not sit by idly while so many suffer from poverty, disease, and natural or man-made disasters. Firmly believing that health is a human right, that humanitarian aid knows no political boundaries, that giving international health assistance is our obligation as citizens of the world community, we stand able and willing to offer the international community our experiences and expertise in health services.

This website will show that the people of Taiwan care about those suffering in other countries. Their actions underpin Taiwan’s pledge to advance global health. We have no doubt that, given the scope and opportunity, we can contribute more, and contribute better, to the goal of health as a human right.

3. Our Computer and Internet Access

A. Percentage of students using the Internet at home:more than 50%

B. Number of workstations with Internet access in the classroom:more than 6

C. Connection speed used in the classroom:dedicated connection

D. Number of years our classroom has been connected to the Internet:more than 6

E. Additional comments concerning your computer and/or Internet access (Optional):

Our school is connected to the Taichung area Internet hub – National Chung Hsing University – via a dedicated T1 line. We are also connected to the TAnet, the Hinet via three two-way 512K ADSL lines, and the Heshin System via a cable modem. All these Internet connections are fed into a load balancer so that different ISP’s could be sorted out. The parents and students use mostly 512/64K ADSL lines by Hinet at home.

4. Problems We Had To Overcome

(a) Nervousness in the Beginning - When we first started working on this research project, we thought that the term “international medical assistance” was very remote, and considered it the job of medical workers. The truth is, anyone who is willing could do it. Even if they are not in the frontline, they could still participate by making donations and promoting to the public. Therefore, under the guidance of our teacher, we started learning one step at a time, as we slowly overcame that nervousness in the beginning.

(b) Inadequate foreign language ability - Because most related information about medical assistance is in foreign language, in order to obtain the information both quickly and accurately, all of our team members installed an instant translating software on the computer. We also carry portable translators so we could use them to translate foreign articles and web pages for us.

(c) Stage fright - Because our interviewees were all well known people in the medical community, we were feeling quite intimidated and shy. However, we believed that being prepared was the only way to overcome the apprehension during the interview. Before each interview, we did our homework by reviewing the interview’s background and going over the questions. When we did that, it not only built our confidence, it also showed our sincerity.

(d) Time management - The completion of a research project depends on the delegated tasks of each team member, as well as cooperating with each. Because our high school is in the middle of the country, but most of our interviewees live in the northern part, add to that the heavy workload of our classes, effective time management becomes very important. We not only used phone calls and e-mails to get in touch, we also planned everything well in advance, all in an effort to increase the efficiency of our work.

(e) Permission for Copyrighted Material - Respecting the copyrights of intellectual properties is a necessity for every world citizen, therefore we have always requested for permission from the author before we used any articles or videos in our project. However, we were troubled by not being able to locate the authors in some instances, but fortunately we were able to find these authors after some hard searches.

5. Our Project Sound Bite

In today’s humanitarian society, “when you have the means, don’t forget to help others” has become a common goal. It enables us to not just place our focus on ourselves, but to combine our small portions of love into a large portion, and to spread this love to the rest of the world, making this world a healthier and more harmonious. So even if someone can’t become a participant, one can still play the role of a supporter, so this love can be passed down from generation to generation. Otherwise, one will find fewer and fewer things to touch his or her own heart if he or she continues to play the role of a spectator. Therefore, turning this emotion into action, lending a timely hand, and giving our lives a different meaning are what we would like to share with everyone.

6. How did your activities and research for this CyberFair Project support standards, required coursework and curriculum standards?

(a) Getting on the Same Page Internationally - The international medical assistance programs, which are politically neutral and boundless, are the best gateway to the world for Taiwan. They bring Taiwan’s love through the borders, and take medical services to the underprivileged third-world countries. They allow Taiwan to become a responsible world citizen and get on the same page with the rest of the world.

(b) Caring for Lives - Caring for Lives has become a common task for all the world citizens. We are sending our love and concern to the third-world countries that are facing difficulties and struggles due to poverty, diseases, and disasters. Caring for Lives is a basic respect for human lives, and it is the central idea of a series of live education classes at our school.

(c) Treat Human Rights Properly - The constitution of the World Health Organization states “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition.” Through the international medical assistance programs, the basic rights to health at birth are maintained.

(d) Sharing with Mankind – According to Dr. Noordhoff, “medical knowledge, experience, and expertise should be shared with the world in order to raise the level of medical care and benefit the mankind.” Therefore, we tried our best to demonstrate Taiwan’s willingness to share its experience and knowledge with the world.

(e) Applying Information Technology – Even though this world is so vast, we are still able to meet people in different parts of the world and expand our horizon through the application of information technology. When the information technology is used in medical services, it is a mission out of love, as well as the motivation for us to reach for higher standards; it even helps us form the correct value.

Project Elements

1) What information tools & technologies did you used to complete your CyberFair project?

(a) Hardware - Desktop Computer & Notebook Computer for creating and edit web pages; Telephone for reaching interviewer, teachers, team members, government offices; Pen Recorder for recording interviewee’s words, as well as voice reminder for ourselves; Regular Camera, Digital Camera & Digital Video Camera for recording the entire production process, as well as record our field trips; Television for newscasts and related special reports; Monitor for viewing briefings and the videos that we recorded; Scanner for scanning pictures and photographs.

(b) Software - WORD 2000 for word processing; Dreamweaver MX for webpage creation; Flash MX for animation creation; Adobe Photoshop CS for image processing; Adobe Illustrator CS for illustration for images; SwiSHmax for special effects of texts of title and first page; PHOTOIMPACT 8.0 for editing drawings, photos and pictures; Ulead GIF Animator 5 for producing photo animation; WS-FTP95LE for transmitting data files; MS-IE6.0 for searching Internet information and check results; ACDSee32 for browsing pictures; MS-Outlook Express for sending and receiving e-mails.

(c) Printed Material - Library, Cultural Center for searching for needed information; Museum for collecting information and conduct interviews; Books & Magazines for searching for and double-check information; Newspapers & Media for collecting articles relating to the main topic; Verbal Interview for the words of related people.

2) In what ways did you act as "ambassadors" and spokespersons for your CyberFair project both on-line and in person.

(a) Voluntary Participation - We believe that achieving the principle of caring for human lives is only accomplished through voluntary participation. We took it upon ourselves to contact the pertinent organizations and persons and presented our topic of “International Medical Aid” as part of the Doors to Diplomacy. These organizations and individuals not only asked us about our project in detail, they also gladly provided information and agreed to be interviewed. They also encouraged us to continue to care for the international affairs.

(b) Powerful Promotion – To get up and act is better than sit and talk. The goal of our promotion in school and community is for the public to know Taiwan’s international medical assistance effort. Fortunately, in the course of this research project, the public television station was showing a special program called “Care without borders”. This program talked about how Taiwan’s medical teams had overcome many great obstacles to help more than 3000 AIDS patients in Malawi, and therefore earned the approval of the international community. Since this is such a touching documentary, we contacted the Department of Health which is the copyright holder of this documentary, and gained their approval to show it at our school and community. This program enables more people to realize that there are still many more people needing our help outside of Taiwan.

(c) Event Initiation - We initiated the Love of Mingdao and AIDS Assistance events. The former urged students to sponsor impoverished third-world children, and the latter was a event that raised money to help Africa prevent the spread of AIDS, through the help of the World Vision. Both events gained tremendous support from our fellow students. According to the World Vision, our school has the largest number of classes collectively sponsoring impoverished third-world country children. We will thrive to continue this effort.

(d) Active Sponsorship – Even though we are only high school students, and we are not able to stand in the frontline of the medical aid work, but we could become the small force behind Taiwan’s international medical team. The most powerful support for these humanitarian organizations is through actual donation. Therefore, we not only contributed our own allowances, but we also called on our friends and relatives to join in. We hope that this small force can multiply many times and become a major force.

3) What has been the impact of your project on your community?

When we introduced our project to our school and community, many people started questioning us as to why we need to help those outside of our country when there are so many people here in Taiwan needing assistance. We would tell them that, being a member of the global society, we need to expand our vision in order for us to look further and broader. Taiwan has very advanced medical technology and abundant resources, so it is important to help those in other parts of the world who do not even have any access to medical care. After hearing our explanation, most people were able to accept our point of view.

While we were introducing our project to our classmates and area residents, many people told us that they had never come across the topic of “international medical assistance” before. After they saw our website, they grew sympathetic of the people who require the assistance, and they asked us how to make a donation toward that cause. After seeing such a good response to our project, we felt an even greater sense of responsibility.

Finally, we recognize that “international medical aid” still faces an uphill battle. It is important to continue to support these programs by either money or time contribution. We need to team together to fight the poverty and diseases on this earth, so Taiwan’s passion could spread to every corner of the earth and blossom into beautiful flowers. We are starting out from our school and community, one step at a time, as we hope that our research project could attract more passionate, zealous, and giving people to be a part of the international medical team.

4) How did your project involve other members of your community as helpers and volunteers?

(1) Minister of Department of Health, Dr. Hou Sheng-mou, MD - We had an interview with him and obtained a large amount of valuable information from Dr. Hou during the interview.

(2) Bureau of International Cooperation, Department of Health - We obtained the permission to use their documentary Care without Borders for promotional purposes in our school and community. This documentary talked about Taiwan’s medical teams devoting themselves to the country of Malawi, helping them fight against the AIDS.

(3) The Spokesperson of Department of Foreign Affairs, Mr. Lu Ching-long - We reported him about our intention to enter the project and we viewed a documentary that was made by the Department of Foreign Affairs about Taiwan’s non-government organizations (NGO’s). This documentary provides an in-depth look at the international aid work done by Taiwan’s NGO’s. It made us even more determined to participate in the research project of International Medical Assistance.

(4) Chang Gung Memorial Hospital - In a speech made by Dr. Noordhoff, who is the founding superintendent of the Chang Gung Memorial Hospital, in 2006, he talked about learning how to develop one’s own unique personality and professionalism. We found this speech to be very inspirational and asked for, and obtained, permission to include this speech in our project.

(5) Chia-Yi Christian Hospital - They provided background information about Mr. Judd Nelson. His nickname is “uncle'. He came to Taiwan in 1975 and spent his whole life caring for children suffering from polio.

(6) The Representative of Department of Health in Africa, Dr. Chen Chu-chen - Ever since he took the job in Africa in 2002, Dr. Chen has been to 18 different African countries to actively establish a good working relationship with other international medical organizations. During our interview with Dr. Chen, he showed us what an unselfish doctor is really like.

(7) The Chairman of Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps, Dr. Liu Chi-chun - The Taiwan Root Medical Peace Corps is a team of no-boundary doctors in Taiwan. We interviewed with the chairman Dr. to talk about his views. He reminded us to treat each service encounter as a learning trip.

(8) The first Taiwan’s MSF doctor, Dr. Soong Ruey-shyang - Following his first MSF trip to Liberia in March of 2004, he wrote the book 'MSF Doctor Out to Liberia' to to let us realize how fortunate we are to live in Taiwan.

5) Discoveries, Lessons and Surprises (Optional)

(1) The Discovery of Unlimited Hopes - A small amount of gift contribution may not mean much to someone who is leading an affluent life; however, that gift could bring unlimited hope to someone who is less fortunate. We discovered that a small gesture by us is powerful enough comfort the hearts of those who are suffering and light the fire of hope for them. This discovery leads us to believe that we should not be skimpy when helping others, as we share what we have with those less fortunate.

(2) The Lesson on Respecting Lives - Everyone is born equal regardless of political stands, socioeconomic statuses, or nationalities. It is the principle of international medical assistance to treat each life equally, which shows respect for the human right. In this research project, we have learned the right attitude toward human lives: cherish the preciousness of lives, share the joy of lives, and give the passion of lives.

(3) The Surprise of Miracle Creation - Medical services are continual and perpetual. According to the former secretary of United Nations Kofi Annan, “they share their time, their knowledge, and their abilities, but more importantly, they share their experiences. They have the courage to believe that their efforts could change things, even the whole world.” These medical workers who volunteer their time, seek the benefits of others, and ask for nothing in return, really are quietly changing the lives of so many people in certain parts of the world. To our amazement, we have discovered the miracles that they used their love to create.


View our CyberFair Project (Project ID: 4801)

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