As international exchange activities go on more and more frequently, transnational marriages become popular in Taiwan. As a result, many new immigrants and their children are seen in each and every community. To help the new immigrant friends to adapt to the lifestyle in Taiwan, the concerned city authorities have designed a number of programs to offer comprehensive services to them, including workshops for getting motorbike licenses, life adjustment, residence and settlement, local customs, employment, health, education, parenting, personal safety, basic rights, language learning, job counseling and others. The workshops are regularly held in each of 29 administrative districts of Taichung City. Moreover, to provide the school kids of new immigrants with leisure activities during their summer and winter vacations, a number of recreational camps have been opened since 2014. In addition, to sharpen the new immigrants’ competitive edges in the job market, the Civil Affairs Bureau has launched the bride secretary training classes for two consecutive years. Not only are the classes free of charge but free childcare service is also provided to participants in a hope that they can fully devote themselves to learning.
The number of new immigrants has been showing a positive growth trend in Taichung City, indicating a growing need and responsibility for the city to take care of the new immigrants. As we judge that the priority is to provide space for the new immigrants to express their emotion and exchange their culture, we set up the "Taichung New Immigrants Arts Center" on the 1st floor of Activities Center of Fengle Sculpture Park in Nantun District. The facility has been open to the public since July 19, 2014 and a volunteer team of new immigrants has been also formed since then. They are scheduled to serve the visiting new immigrants and the general public as well. This Center provides space for the new immigrants to perform, to learn, to counsel, to publish, to make friends, to exhibit, to serve and so on and so forth. Certainly a multi-cultural exchange venue for the new immigrants, it is also open to the general public so as to narrow the distance between them and Taichung citizens and to promote multicultural exchange. In addition, the “Taichung New Immigrants Classroom” has been also set up on the 6th floor of the Xitun District Office. The classroom can accommodate 50 plus people and is used not only to conduct courses or seminars that fit the needs of new immigrants but also to convene meetings to discuss issues concerning the new immigrants.
New immigrants scatter everywhere in the city and they may vary in understanding and accepting the assistance and welfare programs offered by the city government, resulting in a common feeling of uneven distribution of resources. To solve such a puzzle, the Civil Affairs Bureau has set up on its own website a special webpage called"New Immigrants Zone"to post the latest messages and the most needed information quarterly aggregated from the bureaus and agencies of the city government, such as the relevant activities and the course materials that may benefit the new immigrants. Of course, it is up to the new immigrants to decide how to use the messages and information and whether to take part in any class or event.
The issues and difficulties that the new immigrants may encounter in their livesvary, highlydepending on the people whom they live together with, the place and environment where they live, and the social atmosphere of tolerance and acceptance in which they feel. We at the city government have thus decided to collaborate in turning Taichung City into a multicultural and friendly and prosperous city, in which the new immigrants can live and work and feel at ease.