The Clinic Group formed by young volunteers from the Providence University, the Catholic Taichung Diocese, and other international institutes flew over to Swaziland to provide services for 21 days. Their stories have been compiled into a book named "Hey! Swaziland ~ A Happy Meet Ten Thousand Miles Away" (嗨！史瓦濟蘭 ～ 萬哩之外幸福相遇). On November 14, a press conference was held at the Taiwan Boulevard Municipal Services Building for the publication of the book, for which deeply moved Mayor Lin Chia-lung writes the preface to share the love stories.
The Roman Catholic Diocese of Taichung has since 2008 organized this annual mission to provide humanitarian care and medical services to residents living in the Kingdom of Swaziland. This summer, the Clinic Group was led by Huang Qing-fu (黃清富), Director of Catholic Taichung Diocese and physician Zhao Rong-qin (趙榮勤) and mainly joined by students of the Providence University. In Swaziland, the team not only provided medical services but also conducted home visits, set up mid-way homes for street children, and planned and carried out programs for community service, educational cooperation, cultural industries and materials collection.
Mayor Lin said, "Giving is more blessed than receiving. Your volunteer services have connected Taiwan with Swaziland by love, and you have gained the most because of self-realization and love sharing.
“Volunteering services are the most beautiful scenery in Taichung. Many volunteering groups, such as Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, the Hondao, the Ganlin, the Buddhism, and the Church, have originated from Taichung. They are very valuable force to help us achieve the vision in turning Taichung into the ‘capital of volunteers’, enhance the public's identity with Taichung, and serve as a driving force to move the city to change.
“The Joint Services Guest House located on Meicun Road has been allocated to our city government from the Ministry of Defense, and our city government has already budgeted NT$ 1 billion to transform the guest house into a cultivation center for non-profit workers and volunteers. It will be a good place not only for international NPO volunteers to get trained and to share their service experience but also for local volunteers to receive life-long learning and constantly improve themselves.”
Swazi Prince Ben Cauchy (班柯西) and Ambassador Thamie Dlamini also attended the press conference to share Swaziland's history and culture. Also joining the press conference were Christopher Cheng (鄭維), Deputy Director-General of Department of West Asian and African Affairs; Su Yao-wen (蘇耀文), Bishop of Roman Catholic Diocese of Taichung and Chairman of Providence University; Wang Jun-quian (王俊權), Vice President of Providence University; and Liu Bao-bao (劉虣虣), President of Footwear and Recreation Technology Research Institute.
Chen Yi-an (陳怡安), student of Chung Shan Medical University, who has joined the 20-day service trip to Swaziland, said Swazi people’s passion, purity, and simplicity touched her very much, and she would join the mission again if there is an opportunity in the future. She and Zhao Ming-zhe (趙明哲) and Wei Bo-jen (魏伯真) sang Swaziland's traditional folk songs with Swazi students in Taiwan to express their thanks to all their supporters.