Local Knowledge Counts
The Alliance Cultural Foundation was founded in 2009 to promote sustainable economic development in the Hualien-Taidong (“Huadong”) Region of Taiwan, which is populated by many aborigine tribes with rich cultural traditions but poor economic resources. Alliance’s mission is to build a platform that provides talented but underprivileged indigenous youth with learning and employment opportunities. Alliance hopes this mission will be shared by other foundations and interested non-profits.
Alliance’s programs focus on:
1. Education Programs-Junyi School for Innovative Learning (“Junyi”) is the realization of an educational reform plan to nurture and support children from under-resourced communities in Taidong and other Chinese communities in Asia. Through Junyi, Alliance provides bilingual (English and Chinese) education for elementary and middle school children, one third or more of whom will be from aborigine and economically disadvantaged families and will be given free tuition. Junyi offers a non-traditional curriculum focused on language, arts, music, life skills, and character education. Alliance is also planning for a high school. Graduates are then given internship and training opportunities with local businesses.
2. Business Advisory Services-Alliance provides consulting service for small indigenous businesses engaged in tribal art, culture, and eco-tourism. Alliance helps these businesses to effectively deploy Taidong’s rich aborigine culture and natural resources. Alliance regularly offers free workshops in design, art, and music for Taidong people.
3. Promotion of Arts and Cultural Projects-These projects include building an Arts Village which will serve as a venue for local artists and conversion of abandoned spaces into visual and performing art venues. Each summer, Alliance also organizes free camps for children of all ages from economically disadvantaged families.
4. Eco-Tourism Projects- Alliance provides training for local youth, most of whom are high school dropouts, so that they may be employed by eco-tourism agencies.
“By providing aborigine youth with education, training, and employment opportunities in the arts, culture, and eco-tourism sectors in Taidong, Alliance hopes to help these young people find self-confidence and realize their potentials, thereby allowing the aborigine minority to find a voice for their cultural identity and a stage for their talents. By preserving Taidong’s rich cultural heritage and unsurpassed natural beauty, young people will be able to restore their family unity, re-build their homes and find dignity as productive individuals.” ~~ Mr. Stanley Yen, Chairman of The Alliance Cultural Foundation.