Nauru’s disabled group impressed by Taiwan’s treatment of disabled


TAIPEI — A group of disabled children and young adults from Nauru who just concluded a visit to Taiwan said they were impressed by the special treatment and care given to the disabled in Taiwan.

At the invitation of Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the group of 10 visually impaired, hearing impaired and physically disabled people and their companion visited several facilities in Taiwan designed to care for the disabled. Nauru, a South Pacific nation, is one of Taiwan’s 23 diplomatic allies.

Aged from 13 to 33 years, the group members are students from a Nauruan school for the disabled. They were led by Carol Lynn Manier, a teacher at the school, during the July 27 to Aug. 3 trip to Taiwan, according to the Taipei-based Eden Social Welfare Foundation.

The foundation, which provides care for the disabled, was commissioned by the ministry to organize the group’s itinerary.

Over the past week, the group visited an Eden care center in the northern city of New Taipei, which provides care for dementia patients and the severely disabled, as well as a center offering help to disabled children and counseling services in New Taipei.

Group members also went to a factory run by Eden in Taichung, central Taiwan, which trains the disabled to bake pastries and earn a living, the foundation said.

It was impressive to see the various equipment and resources provided to the disabled in Taiwan, Manier told CNA during an interview in New Taipei, one day before they returned to Nauru.

The trip allowed her to realize the importance of offering special treatments to each of the disabled to meet their individual needs, said Manier, who was visiting Taiwan for the first time.

For example, the Eden foundation said it usually places people with the same disabilities in the same group when providing care for them.

Noting the limited resources for the disabled people in her home country, Manier said her class is a mixture of people with hearing, visual and physical disabilities.

“We really need more,” said the 44-year-old Manier.

Manier, who teaches a class of 13 adults with disabilities at the school, said she will share her experience in Taiwan after returning to Nauru and will urge the Nauruan government and the school to make greater efforts to provide treatment for the disabled.

Anna Namaduk, a member of the group, also shared Manier’s view.

Impressed by the treatment the Taiwanese disabled receive, Namaduk said she will join Manier in calling for more resources from their government.

“That’s also the reason I continue to go to school,” said Namaduk, who was on her first visit to Taiwan.

That way, she can continue to play a part in calling for more attention to the disabled, said the 21-year-old, who is visually-impaired.

In addition to visiting facilities for the disabled, the Nauruan group also had the opportunity to meet with disabled people in Taiwan and increase people-to-people exchanges between the two countries, while learning more about Taiwan’s culture by visiting sites such as the Yingge Ceramics Museum in New Taipei. Yingge is known for its thriving pottery industry.