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New Taipei school children challenge Swim Bike & Fun event

 To encourage the New Taipei City’s minority school children to bravely chase their dreams, Mayor Eric Chu attended a press conference on Sept. 4 for “swim bike & fun – swimming across the Sun Moon Lake, cycling along the half of Taiwan” to inspire 11 Shanxia Youmu Elementary School children participating in this project, and to recognize the efforts of the Can culture art and nature and the volunteers of the Youmu Elementary School for helping make school children’s dreams come true.

This activity was launched by the Research, Development and Evaluation of the New Taipei City Government and the New Taipei City Youmu Elementary School together. The challenge trip would be started on Sept. 5 for four days, and the cycling team which departed from Shanxia District to Nantou County and consisted of 11 school children, the Can and school volunteers was estimated to arrive at the Sun Moon Lake on Sept. 8 to attend the annual swimming grand festival – “Swim across the Lake by thousands.”

At the press conference, Chu presented a flag to those 11 children, and he encouraged them to conquer all the hardships until the end because all the efforts were worthy when dreams come true; also, he hoped that they could have wonderful memory eventually during the process of bravely chasing their dreams with happiness and enthusiasm.

Chu also recognized the contributions of the Can. He said that this project would help make children’s dreams come true, and also from the process of chasing dreams, children could acquire the best lessons which could foster children to have courage to face challenges. In addition, he indicated that the ideas of the Can were worthily recognized, and he hoped those could be spread to all the New Taipei City, and even to every corner of Taiwan.

The Can is the local community volunteering team in Shanxia District, and starting from seven years ago the team led school children to grow loofah in mountain areas, and harvested loofah, so it could be made into loofah cloth for sale. The loofah dream come true cycling team composed of 11 minority children would challenge a road trip of around 200 kilometers from Shanxia District to the Sun Moon Lake in Nantou County and a swimming range of 3300 meters at the Lake within 4 days.

The team lead Huang Fengyi, a recent graduate from Youmu Elementary School, said that they spent two years to do the swimming and physical training, and she hoped that by conquering this challenge she could give herself a special graduation gift and prove to herself that she had already grown up.

The founder of this project Mr. Lin Junchen, also the founder of the Can, indicated that many rural children did not have any chance to leave their neighborhoods, and this project was especially for those children, so they would not lose the opportunity to experience lives due to lack of resources. He also hoped that this journey could not only strengthen children’s recognition to their homeland, but also foster the cooperative teamwork spirits among children.