Launch of Talitha Kum, in Taiwan

“World Day against Trafficking in Persons 30 July“ is a world observation day to raise awareness of the situation of victims of human trafficking and for the promotion and protection of their rights. There were 10 Catholic Sisters from different organizations participating in the forum “Talitha Kum-Human Trafficking Prevention Alliance" in Taipei on July 30 to launch of the preparation of Talitha Kum-Taiwan Alliance. Henceforth, Taiwan Alliance will connect with cross-border human trafficking prevention networks to prevent human trafficking in Taiwan.

Talitha Kum is a Catholic international network that is against human trafficking and was founded by the International Union of Superiors General (UISG) Rome in 2009. There are approximately 2,000 Catholic Sisters, and lay members in 77 countries. Talitha Kum facilitates collaboration and the exchange of information regarding human trafficking, as well as reinforces the existing activities as of human trafficking undertaken by the service bases in the world.

Sr Therese Thong, CEO of Good Shepherd Social Welfare Foundation, said that people suffering from war, persecution, and poverty have been forced to move to other countries through immigration and migration, but transnational criminal organizations have taken the opportunity to exploit such people during their time of need through illegal labor and sexual exploitation. The illegal activities such as the child trafficking and the illegal sale of organs have made human trafficking the biggest challenge for international humanitarian rescue workers. Furthermore, she stated that in current Internet generation, if families and communities do not raise young people’s awareness of human trafficking by education, they will easily become victims themselves because of emotional needs, such as becoming emotionally involved with someone who lives in another country and wanting to go to see them, or the desire to work in a foreign country, which opens up such young individuals to the possibility of being exploited by the previously mentioned transnational criminal organization. Talitha Kum, an international network against human trafficking, is educating those young people through the church system, and making an attempt to help end human trafficking through joint initiatives, which focuses on prevention as well as providing social rehabilitation, shelter, counselling and legal assistance to such victims.

 

Photo above shows representatives of the religious groups which launched the Alliance. You will see two Good Shepherd Sisters: Sr Therese Thong, front row second from left, and Sr Euphrasia Chang, back row left.
Other Catholic groups represented in the photo include the Missionary Dominican Rosary sisters, Caritas Taiwan, Franciscan Missionaries of Mary, Missionaries of Sacro Costato, Sisters of Social Service, Daughters of Jesus.

World Café workshops Taiwan Good Shepherd Services

Sharing joy, challenge and mission stories
Good Shepherd Services
There are forty Good Shepherd service locations around Taiwan with variety of services for children, youth, women, indigenous families, single parents, new immigrant families, and people affected by trafficking. In April 2019, we gathered partners from different fields to share the stories of joy, challenge, and core values in order to enrich our spirit.

World Cafe workshop sessions
Six sessions of world cafe workshop were facilitated by Mission and Core Values facilitator, Joan Wu. Joan invited 24-30 partners in each session to review ‘vision, core values and mission’, as well as four levels of listening (downloading, debating, empathic, and generative). Joan facilitated partners to share ‘joy, challenge, and mission stories’ in a 4 -5 persons group for one hour; meanwhile, members of each group wrote and drew their sharing in one poster to present to everybody. Towards the end, we evaluated the workshop and shared personal enlightenment.

Insights
Overall, the majority of partners were filled with the spirit of joy, honor, and communion through the workshop. Below are the pearls of our joy, challenge, and core value insights.

Joy
*Closure or replacement of a client could be a joy.
*Majority of partners reported the joy came from the process of team building and team work for same services.
*Friendships among co-workers give us great joy.
*Although the task could be very challenging, joy was experienced in witnessing client’s recovery process.
*One significant joy was when partners found ‘who I am ‘ through the services.
*Experiencing a great joy when government policy changed due to our advocacy for victims/survivors.
*Through the service for people who are marginalized, we learn what resilience is, for ourselves too.
*A number of staff stated that salary is a source of joy.

Challenge
*Majority of partners reported it was very tough to embrace client’s negative emotion and outbursts.
*The stigma experienced by clients in the society is a significant obstacle for clients to attain the skills and capacity of resilience.
*Conflicts within team partners or volunteers can be very hard to deal with.
*Unrealistic demands from society and government regulations cause staff a significant amount of stress.
*The task to help clients to have conciliation relationship with original family members was the other challenge due to prior trauma experience among family members.
*Partners experienced emotional turbulence while serving clients, requiring a healing process.
*Closure or replacement of a client can be quite distressing for staff and clients due to several years of service relationship with the clients.

Core values
*Our vision of one person as of more value than an entire world inspires lots of partners to exercise close to zero rejection of marginalized children, youth, women, new immigrants, indigenous families and those affected by trafficking in persons.
*We channel the love of mercy through accepting client ‘s negative emotions and comments.
*Zeal is the power energy to build reconciliation with clients and related persons.
*The value of respect leads us to let clients make their own choices and, in the meantime, we also learn to respect ourselves and others.

Two participants stated:

‘It is great to have GS services in Taiwan.’
‘Core values give us the direction for services.’

 

Workshop photos

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Good Shepherd Services in Tainan, Taiwan

Comprehensive support programs
Background to the service
“St. Lucy Center of Adoption Services” was established by Mrs. Li-Fen Huang in 1982 to provide single mothers with assistance and support. During 1991, the Bishop of Tainan Catholic Diocese invited Good Shepherd Sisters to provide support for these philanthropic tasks. When Mrs. Huang passed away in 1992, Good Shepherd Sisters took over the management and administration of this organization. Since then, Tainan Good Shepherd Services have tried their best to provide quality services to help people in these challenging situations. It is hoped that new lives can always be welcomed and protected.
The services offered
1. Nin-shin Family
Nin-shin Family provides single young pregnant women with a safe and undisclosed shelter. As they await delivery of their babies, these young women are provided with not only board and lodging but also courses and programs integrated from diverse resources to stimulate their self-esteem, develop living skills, and enhance positive physical and psychological development. We provide single mothers and their family members as well as significant others with prenatal/postnatal hospital referral services, career planning services, family relationship counseling services, and child placement services. Moreover, we advocate concern and proper caring for them through providing education to the wider community: teenagers, teachers, community, and the public.
2. Babies Home
We provide babies up to 2 years old with 24 hours daily care and health services. We provide for the needs of babies given birth by single mothers who choose to relinquish custody to others, and other abandoned babies. The goals of service are:

  • To provide babies with a safe and comfortable living environment;
  • To locate suitable adoptive families for babies;
  • To assist biological families to recover from their loss; and
  • To offer legal adopting channels and accurate adopting values.

 

3. Adoption Services
Unfortunately, children may need to be adopted for various reasons. We, however, hope that children can grow up in a secure family where they receive enormous warmth and affection. Adoption is a good way to find a ‘forever’ home for these children. Through legal adoption services, we locate loving adoptive parents to offer a permanent home to the children.
We also assist those families who need to relinquish custody and want to have their children (up to age 12) adopted. Abandoned babies, orphans, or children from a family encountering unforeseen misfortune and not restorable as referred by the government sector are also included in our adoptive services. Considering adoptee’s best interest, we help the adoptive parents to understand adoption and all that they need to do to prepare.
Referrals and application criteria
An adoptive family who lives overseas must be referred to our institution through other collaborating institutions in advance. An adoptive family can start applying for adoption only when it is fully qualified through eligibility procedures.
For more information
For more information, please contact Tainan Babies Home of Good Shepherd Social Welfare Foundation at +886-6-2344009.

Taiwan GS Services for ‘Three Young’ (Young baby, Young mommy and Young daddy)

 

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Meeting a vital need….

The community and personal issues
On February 24, 2019, Taiwan News reported that a 21 year old woman had drowned her child on December 21, only 5 days after giving birth. This is such a terrible tragedy which is consistent with our experience. We do know that pregnant teenage unmarried girls face several challenges when they discover that they are pregnant and have the responsibility of looking after their babies. They are still ‘young’, ‘immature’, and are not able to take on the responsibility. They do not get any support from their male partners, the father of the baby, and often when we read of child abuse to the extent of death of the baby, it is the babies of these young people.
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Taiwan First Transition Apartment for New Adults

photo-1-300x199Good Shepherd Services have provided shelter for vulnerable youths. At age 18, they have to leave from the shelter and survive in the society independently. In reality, some of them have difficulty to adjust in the society due to poverty and very limited social network support. Therefore, Good Shepherd services have tried very hard to find transition apartments for these new adults. Finally, we opened the first Taiwan transition apartment for new adults from age 18 to 20 on Nov. 29, 2018. New adults pay 60-80% of rental fee of market price but the total paid rental fee will be refunded to them when they are ready to move out this transition apartment. Continue Reading →

Unity to End Violence against Women

025From the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women to Human Rights Day, we celebrate 16 days of activism against gender-based violence as an international campaign. This campaign challenges violence against women and girls. This year, UN Women honored and amplified the voices of survivors and grassroots activities. Under the UN theme “Orange the world, #hearmetoo.” UN women issued a call to listen to and believe survivors. This campaign prioritized ending the culture of silencing and putting survivors at the center of our responses. Continue Reading →

The 1st Good Shepherd Mother’s Day

(善牧基金會執行長湯靜蓮修女表示,多年來服務非常多特殊境遇的媽媽,她們都擁有過人的生命力)
(GS CEO, Sr. Therese Thong presented that GS served many mothers from different miserable situations, and found their extraordinary tenacity.)

天主教善牧基金會於4月3日舉辦「第一屆善牧媽媽節」活動記者會,此次活動乃邀請民眾就「媽媽就是生命力」為主題,上傳分享媽媽的照片,善牧基金會除舉辦網路攝影展,並會進行評選,將來稿者部分於台北光點藝廊展出一周。
On April 3rd, Good Shepherd Social Welfare Services held a press conference— “The 1st Good Shepherd Mother’s Day”. The topic is about “Mom is my best friend!” and we invited the public to upload his/her mother’s representative photo to our website (http://www.facebook.com/goodshepherd.org.tw/?sk=app_492124014133119&app_data=104750#!/goodshepherd.org.tw/app_492124014133119). People could vote those they like, and the TOP 5 could obtain a small gift. After the voting, the public appraisal chose part of all the photos and displayed in the SPOT-Taipei Film House.

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