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VP-elect urges Taiwan's youth to participate in volunteer work

2012/05/05 14:29:20

Taipei, May 5 (CNA) Vice President-elect Wu Den-yih on Saturday encouraged more of Taiwan's youth to take part in voluntary services, saying that volunteering is one of the best ways to contribute to society.

Volunteering brings warmth to the world and makes it a better place for those in need, Wu said at a ceremony held to honor hundreds of distinguished volunteers, including 148 adolescents.

The vice president-elect, who is a long-term Red Cross member, added that volunteering transcends borders, race, gender and age.

Also at the event, organized by the Red Cross Society of the Republic of China, was Chen Charng-ven, president of the charitable organization.

"There would be no Red Cross without volunteers," Chen said, emphasizing the need to cultivate younger volunteers because "they have 30-40 years of life to serve the public."

According to statistics, there are about 3,000 student volunteers, running 73 youth Red Cross volunteer teams nationwide. Most of them work as lifesavers, caretakers and administrative staff.

The number is growing slowly but greater efforts need to be made to recruit more new blood, Chen said, drawing attention to the story of Henry Dunant, a Swiss businessman who heroically helped the wounded on battlefields and inspired the creation of the Red Cross in 1863.

"We must not forget his original passion," he said, adding that doing good is not only about donating money but also offering oneself.

Dunant, who received the Nobel Peace Prize in 1901 for promoting humanitarian principles, died in 1910. The date of his birth, May 8, is now celebrated as World Red Cross Day.

(By Nancy Liu)