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 Children  Taiwan Project #35777

Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project

by The Mustard Seed Mission
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project
Children Development & Learning- Sprout Up Project

Afraid of Losing Grandma

Ming lost his parents at a very young age, his mother took his younger brother and left his family, while his father has been too ill to take care of another person. Hence, Ming's grandmother took up the responsibility of taking care of him. She collects and sells recyclables everyday using a cart and it does not provide a very good income. Although life is tough for these two, Ming is mature for his age and always help his grandmother at collecting recyclables. This has put her heart at ease for she need not worry about her grandson. Ming also excels in his academics and is always able to top his class and cohort, and he is able to achieve various awards and bursaries.

Granny's health has not been well as she has asthma and diabetes. Apart from that, the stress of raising a child alone and the physical demands from her job has resulted in multiple entries into the emergency room at the hospital. These hospital bills further add on to the financial difficulty at home. Being the only relative Ming has, he often shared his sentiments of being afraid of losing his grandmother. "I am afraid…afraid of losing grandma… "

Ming helping his grandmother at collecting recyclables
Ming helping his grandmother at collecting recyclables

Smiling Once Again

Ming's helplessness was seen by the Mustard Seed Mission, and provided his family with both resources and financial assistance, to reduce the stress they have been facing. The social workers at the Mustard Seed Mission have also made regular visitations to accompany and care for them. Ming still takes good care of his grandmother, constantly reminding her to take her medication, and her condition has stabilised. The Mustard Seed Mission has become a great support for both of them and it has been good to see the smiles lit up again on both of their faces.

The life of every child is just like a little developing sprout, it requires constant and regular care for it to grow up healthily. This project is to help the less privileged families by providing timely support through bursaries, enrichment classes and a long term growth plan. We hope to help these children to fulfil their very own potential through this project! 

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The second grade boy playing bass intently
The second grade boy playing bass intently

To MSM Common Good Partners, as local community service centers, the talent program is a springboard which offers children an opportunity to learn music and serve.

How it all began

The church takes care of many disadvantaged families in community ministry, we invited the churches to be our talent learning classes bases. In Tamsui, most of the parish children are outgoing and friendly indigenous people, even the lectures who applied for the program are mostly aboriginal. This sparked my interest to understand how the children learned and gained from this program.

Music from the Corner

On the day of wrap-up presentation, it was drizzling but crisp and pleasant. Walking casually on the street, there seemed to be vaguely music coming from afar, the sound of it being so heavenly beautiful. It turned out to be from the MSM community service center at the corner. Following the music to go inside, one was met with yet more beautiful sound of music accompanied by the laughter of children. The church has planned the music service thorough and well, especially with regards to the learning environment for the children. Whether it is piano, drum set and bass, there are designated practice rooms for each so the children can fully dedicated themselves to practice. What impressed me the most was a child in the second grade who was carrying a very heavy guitar playing in the bass classroom. There was not the slightest sign of weakness or burden to be detected on him though the instrument itself was bigger than himself. On the contrary, he didn't even take his big eyes away from the music sheet for a single second!

I didn't expect to receive such an extraordinary music feast out of a routine program counseling work! Through the talent program, they have better facilities to receive professional trainings. In their mid-term presentation, the audiences - whether they are friends, community residents or even the parents to these children - were all moved to tears with satisfaction. It is because these children, equipped with music and their natural gift and hard-work, not only continue to serve God but add value to their own lives.

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Ping can only chat with her mom by  phone
Ping can only chat with her mom by phone

Ping always feels stressful when every semester starts... because it means she will get many bills from school...  Ping said, "I didn't want to bring those bills home... my parents are working so hard but still couldn't afford it..." 

A payment of NTD 6,000 (USD200) for after-school tutoring* fee maybe is a piece of cake for other families, but it is heavy stress for Ping's family. So she hid the bill till school sent a payment notification to her father. Ping's mom weeping, "I feel sorry to Ping... such a little girl has to bear this kind of burden..."

 *after-school tutoring: In Taiwan, some junior high schools will ask students to stay at school to have extra classes in the evening or in the weekend. This payment is the extra expense and is not covered by the government educational subsidy for economically disadvantaged families. 

 Ping's father was sent to prison because of a factory debt issue. Because of that, her father is hard to find a job after he finishes his prison term. He can only find temporary heavy works. One day, her father got injured and need to take a long rest and receive treatment. Ping's mom's nationality is China so she only can stay in Taiwan six months a year. Ping's family lives in a derelict factory and relies on Ping's mother who only takes a part-time job in Taiwan.

Ping lived in China when she was little. Eventually, she came to Taiwan to live with her father, at that time she was a junior high school student. Her accent was often laughed at by her classmates, but she didn't care about it. She focuses on her school study. Everyday, she goes to school in the early morning and stays at school till 9 pm. When she gets home, she still studies very hard. She is the top one in her school, she is the teachers' assist, she also takes part in several competitions and wins many rewards. Her performance is impressive. Ping said, "I don't care about they mock at me. My parents and teachers all know about this, but I feel I should deal with it myself."

Staff in common good partner of the Mustard Seed Mission heard about Ping's situation, providing regular financial subsidy and resources to the family. Education subsidy is also provided and it makes Ping feel less stressful. Ping also has the chance to let off some steam by social worker's regular care and visit. She is not alone anymore. When her mom talks about all the supports and donations, she has tears in eyes, "We are appreciated to people who are willing to support and help us! I feel we are loved by many nice people. It is good to know there are people who stand by your side..." 

Now, Ping is able to put more effort into her school study. "I know our situation is not good, but I don't want to take a part-time job right now because I think to be educated is the crucial key to make my future have more choices. Moreover, I think I have to study harder in order to make my parents' hard-working and sponsors' support worthy!"

In the community, there are many families like Ping's family that need support. We invite you to work with us, sharing love and giving support to these families in need!

The dining room is where Ping studies at home.
The dining room is where Ping studies at home.
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Children posing with their artwork
Children posing with their artwork

The Lack of Resources

Widening income gap has disadvantaged children who are growing up in developing rural areas, which are often a distance from the more developed urban areas. This has resulted in less access to equal opportunities for these children. Their parents are often spending long hours at labour-intensive work, and it is difficult for them to spend sufficient and quality time in nurturing their children. Furthermore, very few educators are willing to travel to such rural areas to teach. Even though these children have interest and talent in certain areas, their circumstances do not allow for them to unleash their potentials, hence hindering their growth and development.

A Chance at Learning

Jim is growing up in a skip-generation family with his grandmother and elder brother. Due to such unfavourable circumstances, it is expected for Jim to receive little encouragement and discipline at home. This has resulted in the lack of self-confidence in the aspects of both academic and personal growth. The Mustard Seed Mission has been channeling both human and financial resources into art lessons, which aim to help children to discover more about their talents and to understand themselves better, in hopes of increasing the self-confidence of these children through building their artistic capabilities.

Learning for Life

Learning to draw is not simply developing the artistic talent of a child, it is also a way to keep these children company. Art is an enabler, which helps children to express their inner thoughts. With the patience and guidance of the art teacher, Jim was able to develop a sense of accomplishment which in turn enhanced his self-esteem. He was able to enjoy every moment of the art lessons as he had a conducive environment to learn and complete his artwork. This has resulted in a more positive learning attitude in school and an improvement in his academic results. At the same time, he was able to express himself more confidently through art, which has allowed more of his peers to know and understand him better.

During the learning process, it is inevitable for children to meet certain obstacles. They are encouraged to overcome these challenges themselves as it helps to build resilience. Through such experiences, these children become more courageous in facing their own shortcomings. In addition, these art lessons have taught them more about interacting with others as well as to learn more about themselves. In time to come, these children will be able to discover and build on their strengths, which will help develop their self-confidence and enhance their cognitive ability. 

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*Challenge Camp - Help community underprivileged children in Taiwan are able to have the chance to see and learn more!

*Sprout Up Project - Help Vulnerable Children’s Life Have Bright Future.

*Diversified Learning Project for Children- Help Children in Agape Children’s Home and Mustard Seed Youth Home are able to explore more through learning.

*End Hunger  - Build a Food Bank Distribution Center - Sharing food to community needy people and families!  

*Fly High! Empower Disadvantaged children in Taiwan

*Indonesia Tsunami Post-Disaster Recover Project

 

The Mustard Seed Mission

Website: http://www.mustard.org.tw/locale/en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mustard.tw/
Donation Information: https://www.mustard.org.tw/locale/en/tab/898
E-Newsletter: https://goo.gl/e8EUBo
MSM - the 1st registered Social Welfare Organization in Taiwan -  https://youtu.be/qyTAv0L5Sz0

Children in action - learn more about art
Children in action - learn more about art
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Miao's sponsor treats Miao like a her own daughter
Miao's sponsor treats Miao like a her own daughter

I am a social worker in the Mustard Seed Mission. After working here, the biggest change is that I start to value family and living environment seriously.

The impact of the mother's death

Miao's case impressed me the most. She studied in the 3rd grade in elementary school. She was close to her mother, but her mother passed away last year. It was hard for Miao to accept the tragedy. She missed her mother a lot. 

Miao's father is a manual worker and seldom goes home because he has to work in other cities; besides, Miao's eldest siblings also study in other cities. In her hometown, her sixth-grade elder brother and her live in a budokan which belongs to a friend of Miao's father. Her father gives living expense every month and asks his friend to take care of his two children. The father and his children are in a good relationship although they cannot meet often. He always tries his best to spare some time to meet them. 

Environment Full of Love and Security

Miao is skinny and always eats junk foods. She feels insecure without her parents' accompany, so she stays with her brother everyday. She is introverted. With my accompany and hand-written letters from her sponsor, Miao realized that even though her parents are not beside her, there is still someone who cares about her and loves her in the world and it makes her feel like she is a loved one. 

Miao seems to gradually realize that there are many people caring about her, so she wears a smile on her face more often and also be more extroverted. Miao comes and shares with me that she hopes she can help others like what we are doing to her now.

Every time, I am so touched after visiting our sponsored children's families. I want to share to children who encounter difficulties, “Don't let the bad situation make you frustrated. There is still someone willing to give you a hand. When you grow up, hope that you can help others!"

This project is to provide immediate and holistic support to needy families in the community. Through the program of talent learning and self-affirmation growth camps, financial assistance, and various multi-service programs, we aim to provide more opportunities for vulnerable children or youth to learn and well-develop!

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Our Projects:

*Challenge Camp  http://bit.ly/2NKscIM - Help community underprivileged children in Taiwan are able to have the chance to see and learn more!

*Sprout Up Project http://bit.ly/2NJk0bV - Help Vulnerable Children’s Life Have Bright Future.

*Diversified Learning Project for Children  http://bit.ly/2NJoPC7 - Help Children in Agape Children’s Home and Mustard Seed Youth Home are able to explore more through learning.

*End Hunger  http://bit.ly/2NM41Kj - Build a Food Bank Distribution Center - Sharing food to community needy people and families!

*Indonesia Tsunami Post-Disaster Recover Project http://bit.ly/2RAApke

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The Mustard Seed Mission

Website: http://www.mustard.org.tw/locale/en
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/mustard.tw/
Donation Information: https://www.mustard.org.tw/locale/en/tab/898
E-Newsletter: https://goo.gl/e8EUBo
MSM - the 1st registered Social Welfare Organization in Taiwan -  https://youtu.be/qyTAv0L5Sz0
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Organization Information

The Mustard Seed Mission

Location: New Taipei City, Taiwan - Taiwan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @MustardSeedTW?lang=en
Project Leader:
Mustard Seed Mission Taiwan
New Taipei City, Taiwan

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