The Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) recently handed over goods valued over EC$250,000.00 to the Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment.
The handover ceremony was held at the Gros Islet Human Resource Development Centre on Thursday, January 26, 2023, where His Excellency Peter Chia-yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, made the official presentation to Hon. Joachim Henry, Minister for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment.
The donated items were gifted by SimplyHelp Foundation, a charitable organization established by Taiwanese-American entrepreneurs under the presidency of Ms. Tina Bow, a Taiwanese-American entrepreneur. The items included 850 boxes of not only anti-pandemic necessities, but also nursery bags, children’s tee-shirts, walking shoes, toys, clothes, and sound bars.
Teachers and students from Gros Islet Primary School and Gros Islet Early Childhood Development Centre, and social welfare officers were also in attendance at the handover ceremony.
In his remarks, Ambassador Chen said Taiwan remains committed to assisting the Government of Saint Lucia, especially during its post-pandemic period.
“As Hon. Prime Minister Philip J. Pierre mentioned, Saint Lucia is now recovering from the
pandemic, and the Taiwan Government is here to extend our utmost support to the economic stability of Saint Lucia,” Ambassador Chen stated.
He added: “Taiwan is still in the Lunar New Year period, so this is definitely a New Year gift. It also represents the best wishes from Taiwan to Saint Lucians.”
Ambassador Chen also commended Hon. Minister Joachim Henry and the Ministry of Equity,
Social Justice and Empowerment, for their hard work and diligent efforts in transporting and facilitating the donation of items to people in need and improving the welfare of Saint Lucians.
He also thanked SimplyHelp for expressing their annual gesture of goodwill.
“I would like to show my appreciation for the act of love from the Taiwanese people and
overseas Taiwanese businessmen,” Ambassador Chen said. “Their kindness, compassion….big or small acts of generosity is a solid testimony of the staunch friendship between Taiwan and Saint Lucia. Taiwan will continue to work with Saint Lucia to come out from the pandemic to a healthier, safer, and more prosperous society,” Ambassador Chen explained.
Hon. Minister Henry thanked Ambassador Chen and the Government and people of Taiwan for demonstrating yet again their deep concern for the well-being of Saint Lucians. He told the students that the Government and people of Taiwan are examples of true friends.
“As I look, I see the gifts are different from what I saw last year,” Hon. Minister Henry said. “I know that you’ll be happy when you receive them. We believe in investing in our people, even if they’re coming from a charitable organization in the U.S. by persons who work to represent their own country. It is an investment in you. It is not charity; it is kindness, it is love, it is caring, because we are concerned about you.”
Meanwhile, Mrs. Irene Gaspard, Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, said that, beginning in 2015, SimplyHelp Foundation has maintained its generous acts of kindness to the Saint Lucian people, through the Government of Taiwan and the Embassy of Taiwan in Saint Lucia.
“Every year since then, the Ministry of Equity is pleased to be in receipt of a 40-foot container of various special effects items for use by our people,” she said. “What this donation has allowed us to do is to create the opportunity for us to realize a small part of our core mandate, that of improving the lives and livelihoods of the most vulnerable and indigent groups among us.”
She added: “The diplomatic relations that we, the Government and people of Saint Lucia
continue to nurture over the past years with the Government and people of Taiwan has proven to be most valuable, as we recognize the Government of Taiwan occupies a strategic position in the future development of our beloved country.”
Ambassador Chen joined Hon. Henry and Mrs. Gaspard to present gift bags to the students who attended the ceremony.
SOURCE: Embassy of the Republic of China (Taiwan) in Saint Lucia. Headline photo: His Excellency Peter Chia-yen Chen, Taiwan’s Ambassador to Saint Lucia, and Hon. Joachim Henry, Minister for Equity, Social Justice and Empowerment, make presentations of gift bags to students from Gros Islet Primary School at the handover ceremony.