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Taiwan's first international centre for volunteering opens
29 April 2005

Taipei: An International Resources Center (IRC), under the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE), opened in Taipei yesterday. IAVE is the first international non-profit organization to open a centre focused on volunteering in Taiwan.

The centre will focus on expanding international volunteer efforts, building a library, establishing a publication centre and sponsoring seminars and trainings on volunteering and youth services, said Liz Burns, IAVE president and chief administrator.

Addressing the opening ceremony, Burns expressed her expectations that the centre will help beef up partnerships between international volunteers and their Taiwanese counterparts and will obtain enthusiastic support from Taiwanese society.

“The opening of the centre represents a physical link-up between Taiwan's volunteers and their global counterparts, and a vision that more people in Taiwan will join the "volunteer family" so that they can carry out their responsibilities as members of the civilized world,” says Li-chiun Cheng, chairwoman of the National Youth Commission.

Wendy Stratton, executive director of the IAVE-IRC, hopes that Taiwan will be a base and a starting point for her to further promote international volunteerism and youth services worldwide. Stratton, a retired geography teacher from Canada, has been involved in international volunteer services for more than 20 years.

Founded in 1970, IAVE promotes and strengthens volunteerism worldwide. Working closely with the United Nations Volunteers, the group was instrumental in getting the UN General Assembly to declare 2001 the International Year of Volunteers.

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