Social Affairs Bureau of Taichung City Government hosted the “Volunteer Capital – Taichung Flora Expo” event at Lihpao Land today (20th), where 40 stalls came together for the fair to demonstrate unique characteristics of the community and volunteer squads. According to Mayor Chia-lung Lin, there are close to 100,000 volunteers citywide, and their love and passion for the City of Taichung are greatly appreciated. For the Taichung Flora Expo next year, 20,000 volunteers will be recruited. It is hoped that citizens will proactively participate and support Taichung’s vision in becoming a “Volunteer Capital”, thereby fostering the development of this valuable, intangible local resource.
Many dignitaries have turned out for today’s event, including Mayor Lin, Social Affairs Bureau Director Chien-te Lu, Land Administration Bureau Director Chih-hsiang Chang, Department of Personnel Director Shan-ken Chen and numerous District Executives. Together, they appealed to the public to support the volunteer service, and they also rotated the prop “Flying and Dancing Flowers” to symbolize the propagation of the volunteer spirit. Mayor Lin toured the stalls to interact with the public and take group photos with them.
Mayor Lin suggests that the most resplendent scenery in Taiwan is people, and volunteers enrich their lives through volunteer service. Today is May 20 (520), which is homophonous with “I love you” in Chinese, therefore he has expressed his appreciation for the volunteers’ contribution, love and passion on behalf of the City Government and citizens of Taichung. There are currently 97,829 volunteers in Taichung City, forming the all-important element in transforming the city into a livable city. Next year, approximately 20,000 volunteers will be needed for the 2018 World Flora Exposition, thus citizens are encouraged to actively participate and support this grand international occasion.
In addition, Mayor Lin shared the flora expo’s logo and slogan with the public; in particular, the logo’s design is inspired by Taiwan’s topography, which blends in the imagery of green leaves, blue stream and orange flowers to present the characteristics of three exhibition areas. The jumping man figure hidden within the logo symbolizes the sustainability and symbiosis between people and nature. The slogan “The Sound of Blooming” encourages people to open their hearts and listen to the message conveyed by the land.
Furthermore, Mayor Lin points out that the City Government is planning to transform Taichung into a volunteer capital in 3 stages. In the early stages, Jin-Wu Branch, National Library of Public Information will be reconstructed as the NPO Empowerment Lab, which is slated for opening in January next year. Next, the Combined Logistics Command guest house will be rebuilt into the NPO and Volunteer Development Center. Lastly, Guangfu Village will be used as the base for constructing the INGO Center. The City Government will continue to encourage diverse volunteer participation in an effort to materialize the vision of volunteer capital, and it is hoped that the flora expo will introduce Taiwan’s warm hospitality to the world.
According to Social Affairs Bureau Director Lu, in order to showcase diverse volunteer services to the citizens, today’s promotional event is held in the form of a fair, where 40 stalls came together to demonstrate unique characteristics of the community and volunteer squads via handicrafts or cultural & creative products. A total of 7 volunteer groups will take turn to perform on the stage, including JIUSHE, which is a Taiko drumming troupe consisting of senior citizens with an average age of 65. Their powerful percussion performance demonstrates sheer youthful exuberance and vitality.
Director Lu expressed his thanks to Lihpao Land for offering concessions to the volunteers. Volunteers who have participated in today’s activity will enjoy admission ticket concessions by presenting their volunteer service manual. It is hoped that the volunteers will spend a happy and meaningful day at the park and continue to support volunteer service; moreover, the aim is to encourage more people to participate in the flora expo and render their services.