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Relay for Love - The Night Angel Illumination Program

Relay for Love - The Night Angel Illumination Program
As the global economy continues to worsen, Taiwanese communities and families are sinking deeper into financial quagmires. Schoolchildren from underprivileged families will soon be facing the three crises of being unable to receive education, inferior study performance and deprivation of opportunities for self-fulfillment; and the number of such children is expected to grow even larger in 2009.

To reinforce educational assistance for children from underprivileged families, the Ministry of Education has made special efforts and set up the "Ministry of Education Night Angel Illumination Program" to fund elementary schools and legally registered private institutions in each county/city to use school classrooms, public libraries and appropriate available space to provide after-class schoolwork assistance, group activities and dinners to elementary school children from families certified as having low incomes, with single parents, with no parents, with grandparents in charge of upbringing, or under special circumstances, to ensure they receive proper care in the evening. It is hoped this project can improve the education of children from dysfunctional families.

Although this program is the first of its kind in the country, it has drawn positive responses from different parts of Taiwan. After its inception in September 2008, 236 locations (270 classes) were set up to carry out the program and 3,922 schoolchildren were assisted. The 2009 budget is NT$120 million and 4,200 children are expected to receive help. Due to urgent demand for this service and for financial assistance, 354 locations (436 classes) have been established and benefited 7,631 children so far in 2009. However, the number of people needing help is far greater (99,748 schoolchildren in total according to surveys,) and the funds are inadequate. Fortunately, aid has come from private organizations, indicating that the public identifies with and supports the concept and implementation of this program.

Hopefully, the generosity of these private organizations can draw more concern for the program and more charity groups will make contributions and join forces to help with the education of children from underprivileged families through the "Relay for Love".

"Poverty should never affect education and deprive children of the right to education." By giving assistance for the education of children from underprivileged families, we can all turn on the lights for children from underprivileged families and build the "map to happiness" of education to ensure all children have the opportunity to grow and learn as they deserve.

The Night Angel Illumination Program website:

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