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Photo exhibition featuring photos taken by children in Taiwan and around the world opens in Huashan Creative Park in Taipei(03/19/11)

Today at the Huashan Creative Park in Taipei, World Vision launched a photo exhibition entitled “I Am Changed…Because of You” that features photos taken by over 140 sponsored children who used a camera to document their daily life and how their lives have been changed through Taiwan’s support.
 
Twenty-six (26) of the children coming from different parts of Taiwan and countries across Asia, Latin America and Caribbean, Africa, and Eastern Europe opened the exhibition together. Taiwan’s First Lady Chow Mei-Ching and seven ambassadors from Central and South America also made appearances in the event.
 
“Today we open a very special photo exhibition here,” Mr. Hank Du, Executive Director of World Vision Taiwan. “Do you know who the photographers are? They are children from across Taiwan and the world. Through this exhibition, we are giving voice to children, and behind each photo is a story of a child’s life being transformed.”
 
“We want to thank the 180,000 child sponsors in Taiwan who are supporting 200,000 children around the world. You are the best friends of children,” he said.
 
A few children were on stage to greet the audience on behalf of all the young photographers who came to Taipei to attend the opening ceremony.
 
“Ni Hao Ma (你好嗎)?” greeted Anita Rajbhar. “I’m from the east part of India. I like the food and my sponsor in Taiwan.”
 
“My name is Han Hong Son from Vietnam. I am very honored to be here on behalf of the children in Vietnam sponsored by Taiwanese people.”
 
Following the opening ceremony, the children, who are from Taiwan, India, Vietnam, Philippines, Thailand, Armenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, El Salvador, Haiti, Bolivia, Rwanda, and Democratic Republic of Congo, hosted an exhibition tour for First Lady Chow to share their own photos and stories.
 
Rodrigo Chile, 11, from Bolivia, stood in front of his photos and explained to the First Lady that his father shown in one of the photos is a miner, and his family has been working in the mines for at least four generations.
 
“Great photos!” commended the First Lady, “was this your first time taking photos?” When knowing that most children had never used a camera before, she was amazed by the talent and skills shown in these children’s photos.
 
Jean Tseng, 13, from Democratic Republic of Congo pointed to two of his photos explaining how his village used to fetch polluted water and now have access to clean water after World Vision drilled a borehole for the village.
 
Em-On Buakaew, 15, from Mae Salong in northern Thailand, introduced her photos in Mandarin which she learned from Chinese classes that she has been able to pay for with the gifts received from her sponsor.
 
“Your introduction was great. Your Mandarin is great. And your photos are excellent!” the First Lady encouraged Em-On after hearing her briefing.
 
When seeing a photo of sunrise at Ali Mountain, the First Lady asked its photographer, Shi-Xuan, 13, from Alishan Township, Chiayi County, “Did you try many times from different locations before taking this particular photo, or was it just one successful shot?”
 
First Lady Chow and President Ma Ying-Jeou currently sponsor 15 children through World Vision across the world.
 
Today the First Lady had a private meeting with two particular boys - Guemana Jean-Baptiste, 13, from Haiti, and Shi-Xuan from Alishan, Chiayi, who happened to be elder brothers of the First Lady’s sponsored children.
 
“I met your sister Noa in Haiti last year. She is very cute!” the First Lady said to Guemana, “I will be happy to meet her again.”
 
She also asked what the boy liked the best. Guemana replied, “Football. The Brazilian team is my favorite.”
 
The First Lady has paid a visit to another boy Shi Xuan and his brother after Typhoon Morakot destroyed their home in Laiji Village, Ali Township.
 
“You are now a junior high school student. How far is your new school from your village? Has your little sister entered a primary school?” she asked Xuan.
 
When knowing Guemana is going to Chiayi this afternoon to attend another opening ceremony on Sunday, she told Guemana that he could travel with Xuan because it is his hometown. 
 
In addition to the photo exhibition, a Latin American Cultural Fair was held at the same venue featuring nearly 200 pieces of cultural artifacts, such as traditional costumes, paintings, handicrafts made of wood, pottery, metal, and leather materials.
 
These items were provided by seven Central and South American countries’ embassies in Taiwan, including Nicaragua, Dominican Republic, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, Peru, and El Salvador.
 
Later this afternoon, two groups of students from the Dominican Republic and Guatemala will share a stage with four Taiwanese indigenous children’s cultural teams supported by World Vision to perform their respective traditional songs and dances.
 
Also part of the afternoon’s activities, Rodrigo Chile and another young photographer from Bolivia, Juan Armando Cala, 11 presented to the audience a film entitled “Daydreamers in Search of Dreams,“ that was produced by these two boys as the director and animator respectively. This film won first prize in an international film festival called “Kolibri.”
 
Juan’s sponsor, Pei-Yu Chen came to meet him in person at the exhibition venue.
 
“I was so touched by Juan’s film!” exclaimed Ms. Chen. The many gifts brought by Ms. Chen covered the surface of an entire table. She explained, “I had begun to prepare gifts the first day when knowing Juan was coming to Taiwan. When I thought of something suitable, I would go out and buy it. I also consulted my family for gift ideas.”
 
Jing-Hong Chuang, sponsor of Jean Tsenge from Democratic Republic of Congo, handed gifts to his sponsored child with his injured and casted left arm.
 
Mr. Chuang explained how he chose the gifts, “I had thought of giving him photography equipments, but I was afraid if there is no electricity in Jean’s hometown, those things will be useless. So I decided to give him a drawing book and a box of crayons; so anytime when he feels like expressing his creativity, he can paint instead of taking pictures.”
 
Mr. Chuang asked Jean to pick his favorite photo from the exhibition and bought it for him. Jean chose a photo taken by Hakob Khachatryan from Armenia of the church Hakob visits frequently.
 
“I like this photo because in my country I’ve never seen a house as beautiful as this one,” explained Jean.
 
Exhibition visitors can buy any of the exhibited photos with a donation of NT$1,200. The photo was printed and framed immediately for its buyer.
 
In addition to Taipei, the exhibition will be held in Taoyuan, Taichung, Chiayi, Hualien, Kaohsiung, and Tainan from March 19-26. An exhibit of selected photos will also tour through 17 Starbucks stores throughout Taiwan from March 19 to July 31.
 

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