One-Forty seeks to improve lives for migrant workers in Taiwan

The Nation
Date: June 16, 2018
By: Lin Shih-Tung, China Post, Taiwan  In: Impact Journalism Day, Online Special

Working in a foreign country, often for weeks without a break, with no friends or knowledge of the local language – this was the situation for Yani, a young woman from Indonesia living in Taiwan’s capital city, Taipei. Until then, she had been pursuing her father’s dream for her: a chance at a better life through education. But her father’s sudden death left Yani with no choice but to join the workforce to support her family after graduating high school. Having heard that higher salaries could be found abroad, she left everything familiar behind and emigrated to Taiwan.

Yani’s story is not an unusual one. Many families in Southeast Asian (SEA) countries such as Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and the Philippines send members abroad to find better job opportunities. Today, Taiwan hosts almost 600,000 migrant workers from these countries, or one in forty residents. Although jobs can be found –mainly in laborer positions such as domestic caretaking or fishing– a vicious cycle is perpetuated because these jobs usually offer limited transferable skills, restricting the workers to low salaries when they return home. Just as bad is the isolation endured by these migrant workers due to differences in language, religion and culture.

The One-Forty Foundation, a Taiwanese non-profit, aids migrant workers in cultivating personal goals and bridging the gap with the locals. By doing so, it attempts to improve the structural economic problems in Southeast Asia as a whole. The organization holds a variety of intercultural activities providing a platform for residents and locals to create mutual understanding.    [FULL  STORY]

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