Exclusive Interview with Indonesian co-founders of Universal Volunteer in Taiwan

The volunteers in green shirts comprise of Indonesian migrant workers, caregivers, white-collar professionals, and students

Taiwan News
Date: 2019/01/20
By: Sophia Yang, Taiwan News, Staff Reporter

The photo shows Mayasari (left) and Mas Ade Warhanto, co-founders of Universal Volunteer. (By Taiwan News)

TAIPEI (Taiwan News) – On weekends, a group of people in green shirts can be sighted at parks, mountains, and beaches in Taiwan, carrying garbage bags filled with glass and plastic bottles, aluminum cans, and other non-decomposable waste. They are volunteers from Indonesia who want to make their second home sustainable, and a better place to live.

Instead of hanging out with friends at shopping malls, Mayasari and Mas Ade Warhanto, co-founders of Universal Volunteer based in Taiwan, choose to meet their fellow Indonesian and Taiwanese friends outside work for hiking tours across Taiwan. The hiking tour is, however, like no other, in which Mayasari and her trekkers pick up one or more bags of garbage as “souvenir” after each trip since starting in 2016.

Mayasari told Taiwan News that she joined a group – Taiwan Hiking Community – in her first year working in Taiwan. The group was formed by a small group of Indonesian migrant workers who are nature lovers and they go hiking together on weekends. In the beginning, they picked up litter along the way with bags.

In April of 2018, Mayasari and Warhanto began naming the initiative “the cleanup project” under their newly co-founded non-profit organization “Universal Volunteer,” which aims to help those in need, regardless of race, gender, age, or socio-economic status.    [FULL  STORY]

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