tv Taiwan Outlook KCSMMHZ July 20, 2013 11:00pm-12:01am PDT
welfare and benefits of burn victims and survivors. on today's program, we are delighted to have our guests, and international affairs -- list at the sunshine welfare foundation to discuss the kinds of programs and services available. welcome to the program. >> thank you. >> can we start off the program by asking you a little bit about the background of the sunshine social welfare foundation? >> the sunshine social welfare foundation was established in 1981 by a group of people who felt that the needs of burn survivors and people with facial disfigurement were not addressed. it all started with a book written by a burn survivor called people who shun the sunshine. in this took, the lady expressed difficulties going back to society after her injury and their ejection seat
-- the rejection she faced not only in the workplace but in society. a group of people after reading this book were very touched. they decided to start a movement to raise funds to establish this foundation because they found these people with facial disfigurement had been left out. they were not considered disabled enough, but they were not considered normal enough either. so they were not receiving adequate welfare services and their rights were discriminated against. at is how the foundation started and the movement was ordinary people who came together and donated. it is a very grassroots. >> the sunshine foundation started international exchanges and cooperative programs back in 2006.
what were the motivations and reasons the sunshine foundation wants to be engaged internationally? >> you can look at it into different phases. we started going abroad and dissenting papers. the motivation was just to share our knowledge. after 25 years, we ate human related experience the area of burns. we thought it would be good to share with others. in these conferences, you act with a lot of your peers. as we begin to take part in these conferences annually, we started to make people and they started to get to know us and they got to know about our services. that is when the offers charted to come in and people asked if you could share your expertise with us.
in 2010, that's when we decided in our strategic planning process that international cooperation would be the next focus in our work. international cooperation became a little more to lack of. >> were there people in taiwan saying we have enough of the problems with burn victims and survivors. why don't you engage the community and help others and spend the resources here in taiwan. where there ever real voices like those? lex yes. maybe some. the way we look at it is our
presence was very well established in 30 years and our services will continue. they continue to grow. last year or two years ago, we reached over 2000 clients served in taiwan only. this local service aspect is going to continue. it will not be impacted. the international part, what we thought of is we have limited resources in terms of money and people because we can't take our local staff and put them abroad to do services. we don't want to take the place of the people on the field in other countries. we don't want to replace them, we want to empower them. what we decided to do was do international cooperation in terms of a knowledge transfer or technical assistance which is less intensive in terms of --
>> the kinds of resources you need? >> yes. it is more efficient. >> over the years, the sunshine foundation has been engaged internationally. what were some of the major achievements the foundation has been able to maintain in the last few years? >> internationally, we have been able to maintain a presence in the international conference circuit and i think over the years, because we have been going annually, more and more people know about us. our presence there is established. in taiwan, we also organize international conferences. on the topic of psychosocial issues of people with facial disfigurement. it is often overlooked. but as we focus on the psychological and social rehabilitation, it is going to
give more exposure to this issue. in 2011, we reached a milestone and had our first international cooperation project. >> international engagement -- what were some of the difficulties that you have experienced in last few years in terms of funding and entering the cooperation with the right counterpart, is that a problem? >> the first issue is how to become international. when you are a local organization and you have local staff, your funding is all local and your outlook is local and the way you look at the issue of burns is focused on taiwan, how do you go and understand burns internationally?
what's the situation in other countries? this process is a learning process and learning how to define your strategy. it's one thing to say a want to cooperate with international organization, what kind of impact do you want to achieve. we don't want to replace people, we want to empower them. we share our knowledge and so when you train the burn specialist in one country, this person can help more people. another aspect is internally how to get people aboard because they will say we have a lot of work here. sometimes you have different voices. >> the pie is so big. if you could take it up a certain part of it, other parts
may not. is it easy to find a counterpart agency? there are similar types of ngos in parts of southeast asia or china or north america or europe. >> there is a lot of nonprofit organizations right now in different countries the on burns. unfortunately, it's an issue that has been overlooked compared to transmitted diseases like malaria or hiv. in these countries, many small organizations have been set up to address the needs of burn survivors. we have tried to get to know them and see if our philosophies match. >> i think the most
important thing is to educate people and be careful in terms of doing anything that could lead to another fire. how is the educational program or arm of the services? is it being strengthened or highlighted in terms of the sunshine foundation programs customer >> in taiwan or internationally? >> it started actually with an incident in bangkok. a small child was burned at that time. he fell in hot water and the foundation got doctors and people together and they decided we should have a slogan to enhance prevention. ever since that time, we have been involved.
we emphasize correct first aid immediately. when you are burned and if you are in water immediately, you will reduce the damage done and reduce the consequences that will happen afterwards. >> do you often go to schools like elementary or middle school? >> yes. we have no grams in schools and elementary schools and in communities. our programs have a two-pronged approach. we first prep -- we first focus on preventing burns, like first aid and how to avoid being burned. that is common knowledge. but we have another aspect that emphasizes the social aspect. we have activities where we get people to wear pressure garments.
with a counterpart agency in nicaragua. that was established in october of 2011. tell us about that project. >> this cooperation project was a long time in the making because we first got to know the organization, it's an association for burned children in nicaragua. we met them in 2007 and immediately we felt there was an affinity not only because we had similar services but a similar philosophy. they provide free services to burned children in nicaragua. we have been touch and they said we want to learn from you. it was a very concrete suggestion to learn pressure garment production. they were already doing pressure garments themselves. in terms of the technique, they
needed improvement and they found our pressure garments were very good. they asked us if we wanted to cooperate with them. we were in the process of planning our strategic vision and international cooperation was part of it. everything matched and we decided we would start with a one-week program of training for seamstresses, not just in nicaragua and in neighboring countries. >> how often do you have the exchange of personnel? >> we go there in 2011 for the first time. we're in the process of a three- year program and we are going again this year. our specialists, including
therapists and seamstress who will go there and train with other people. >> another international program is in india. tell us about that program. >> in nicaragua, we are focusing on a very specific technique, which is making pressure garments. it is a one-week course. pin india, i would say it is a level higher. this organization works with women victims of domestic violence. many women who are victims of domestic violence are burned. in the process, they found these women after leaving the hospital, they had nowhere to go. they decided after meeting us and seeing our work and they decided to establish their own rehabilitation center. it is a home where these women
can go and stay depending on the need and there they can receive physical rehabilitation and psychological counseling. they are training and accepting themselves and going back into society. it's not just one specific technique. >> it's a whole safety network. in the program, where we talk about the kinds of services you have, what the sunshine is trying to do is provide services to empower local people. how is that being implemented in these international programs that you have? backs in nicaragua, what we saw is we have seen seamstresses being empowered because in these
countries, guatemala, the dominican republic, the seamstress is responsible for making the garments. they are not necessarily part of the burn rehab team. it may be a bit off, but because of this program, their relationship with the burn team has become closer and these women probably did not receive any formal training. with this course, they feel more confident making these garments. at the individual level, we have seen they have been empowered. >> and they have become more confident? in terms of protecting the rights of others and other things. >> most important is they become
part of the burn rehab team because for example, in our foundation, the seamstress works closely with the therapist to make garments. sometimes, they just get the order from the doctor to make this garment and they don't really know, they have more knowledge and they have become empowered. because of the change in the seamstress, the hold production processes changed. they have seen the difference as far as making the impact on the children. >> how about in india? in terms of empowering people, how will these women who are victims of domestic violence and possibly burned, how do they rehab into the process of being
reintegrated into their families and society? >> the organization we are working with, they have a lot of experience in domestic violence. how to empower these women, they know how to do it. they focus on the strength of these women. they'd don't see them as victims. now, they are dealing with urns, so there are a lot of different issues, like the issue of appearance. how to deal with that. their staff is not necessarily totally knowledgeable in this area. what they are doing now is we are giving them this knowledge to deal with the goal issues and emotional issues that are beyond domestic violence. >> in addition to the two international projects that you
have, you must be planning on some others. can you share what are some of the priorities that go into your valuation process or strategizing process of identifying or entering into another cooperation project in the future. what would you consider priority factors. have they done a specialized training program? will these things be important in terms of a future strategizing process? >> what we look at verses the partner, who is the partner and what to they do and how do they do it. we are a nonprofit organization. to be frank, burns is a very costly process to treat.
we have allowed a lot of burn survivors to receive physical rehabilitation and we have done it on a philanthropic basis. when we find partners abroad, we hope they have the same philosophy as us. we don't want to share our techniques and knowledge and have this be used -- >> in a commercial way question are >> exactly. we want to make sure they share the same philosophy as us. second, we want our partners to be very motivated. we have limited resource in terms of money, people and time. we want to make sure the partner is motivated to learn. that way we feel like it is an investment. thirdly, we hope the partner has some basic skills or resources that can support this project.
they probably have some techniques or knowledge to learn, but we will have staff, do they have good work ethic, these are things we look at. >> what's important for a lot of ngo is the issue of sustainability. the concern over burn victims and survivors is something very costly. it would require a lot of specialized skills and money. how do you maintain the level of interest of someone who can share the same philosophy as the sunshine foundation and at the same time both organizations can work together to maintain the goal of sustaining the ongoing project. >> locally, in taiwan, for the
international projects, we have been very lucky because we have received support from the ministry of foreign affairs. our project in nicaragua was fully funded and the project in india was partially funded. one of the challenges we are facing is how to find other resources because you cannot just rely on one single resource. you have to diversify your funding. our international projects, how to make them known not just in taiwan, but abroad. >> in terms of domestic support, has there been an increasing awareness on the part of the corporate sector that corporations may be looking into the sunshine foundation doing good things? we should be considering them as a future organization for the
nations? >> for international projects, not yet. >> taiwan is a trade dependent economy. a lot of businesses are engaged internationally in the commercial sense and they do not yet realized the importance of the projects that sunshine may be doing? >> i think this is a process because a few years back, not many local ngos were willing to go international. now we have a lot of organizations doing international work. taiwan companies, they are very focused on local philanthropy, but maybe they will also follow this process and start saying we can't do it internationally. >> we need to take another break on the program. we will be right back.
>> welcome back to our program. we will continue our conversation with the international affairs specialist at the sunshine social welfare foundation here in taiwan. let's talk about the domestic programs and services that you have for people who suffer from burn accidents and how do they deal with the issue of rehabilitation and reintegrate themselves into society? >> our foundation provides comprehensive services to burn survivors.+ we focus on not just the physical aspect, but the psychological and social aspect. one thing is we have a rehabilitation center for burn
survivors. after hospital discharge, they're referred to a strictly by the hospital, sometimes they come by themselves and they can stay at our halfway house and do rehabilitation at our psychiatric center. >> in terms of the kind of issues of earned victims or survivors, right after the trauma is over, what are some of the more pressing concerns in terms of dealing with rehabilitation? was it more physical or more psychological? fax it is a mix of both. the physical aspect is very important. they are in pain and sometimes if they have not started rehabilitation early enough, they have scar contract sure, so they have lost physical function. a can you their hand or they cannot walk.
this will affect their ability to live independently. this also affects their emotions. if you are not able to take care of yourself, your emotions are going to be low. if it is an accident, there is the trauma of this, of reliving that experience. they have to deal with a changed apparance. >> that's not going to be easy. >> the scars will never go away. they might fade a little bit but then you have to learn to live and accept your scars area is a long process, so psychological support is very important. >> will it be important for organizations like the sunshine foundation to educate the family around the burn survivors such mark they are the ones who come in contact most
regularly with the burn victim. how do they react to it? it certainly has a direct impact as to how quickly this person can heal. if they don't react in such a positive reinforcing way, they could have very different consequences. hell that education focus is able to include family and friends of burn victims. >> in the process of rehabilitation, they don't just work with her and survivors. they also work with the family. the family also has to deal with this. as caregivers, they have to take care of burn survivors. sometimes you have physical and emotional exhaustion. >> you have to be very patient. >> yes. they will also have financial
issues. if the person is burned, they cannot work. also dealing with the fact that this person has a changed appearance, although it is the same person you were with before, person looks different and his or her role will change. how to deal with that. this is a whole process and we work with the family all along the way. the burn survivors at our rehabilitation center, they are there for nine months to one year doing rehab. eventually, they have to go back home to their community. we do a lot of reparation work with them and their family and their community to facilitate reintegration. >> going back to the issue of education, we understand the sunshine foundation has had a very successful campaign. you mentioned earlier in the program, regarding what to do
when you suffer a burn accident. can you repeat the steps you would recommend for people? >> it sounds better in chinese. it is rinse first, take off the close over the burned area, then soak, then cover with clean cloth or gauze, and then go to the hospital. >> this has been very successful for people of a young age. has this been something that has become part of life for other people and families? what are some of the feedback you have been getting or the foundation has been getting from family and from parents regarding further education based on this very successful campaign? was there anything else the families are looking for in terms of the five steps, in addition to the five steps you
mentioned? >> for some of the client to follow these steps, they have found the problems afterwards have been reduced. when you are burned, if you don't put water immediately, the heat will continue to seek eager into your skin and cause even more damage. by following these steps, you can reduce a lot of problems. >> is this very successful campaign part of the exchange program you have internationally? maybe by sharing this example with others in different countries, has there been an equal amount of success in places around the world? >> prevention is a little bit tricky. it has to do with a lot of cultural and geographical factors. for example, we use our slogan,
somewhere in the middle of india, they probably don't even have water. if you say go to the hospital, it's probably going to take two or three or four days before they can reach the hospital. prevention at this point in our international exchange, we keep in mind because we feel it is very important. before everything happens, you have to have prevention. to do so in other countries, you have to know more and understand more the epidemiology of burns. who gets burned and why and when. then you can think about the strategy. we have shared this slogan with some of our partners and they have found it is really good. it is how to implement it and
translate it in other cultural reality. >> just by listening to you in the last five minutes, you have certainly been very educational for me in the sense that when you think about transplanting something very successful done in taiwan on to another country would be simple and straightforward. you are entering into cooperation with another agency and talking the five steps, but it is not. it needs to take cultural and social and other factors. this is something easier said than done. going back to the international cooperation side of things, in terms of the world health organization, it has recently been paying more attention to the issue of earning -- or an injury. how serious is the case on the international level in terms of becoming more of a health and
social logical thing for the country's? what is the case? >> if you compare with other health issues, it is very low in terms of ird. in terms of the mortality rate, it cannot compare with this disease. in terms of the incidents, more burns have been then people infected with tb or hiv but the issue has not been getting enough attention. the global problem of burns, the problem of low and middle income countries, 95% of burns
happen in these countries because they are poor and have poor living conditions. unfortunately, these are countries that can least afford to deal with burns as they don't have enough trained people or medical facilities. >> i don't know if this is an appropriate question, but in terms of profile of the burn victim, can you give us some description? what would be the kind of people that are more likely prone to a burn accident? >> usually it is children and women. in central america, out of 10 burns, seven happen to children. mostly children under five. in southeast asia, it is mostly women who are burned.
the people in this society who are the most vulnerable are getting burned. after they are getting earned, they lose opportunities because they lack care and obviously they won't get any rehabilitation. these people then go back home and can't do anything. they cannot be part of society. >> out of all of these incidents involving children and women, are they self-inflicted or self initiated or is it something like the victim of domestic violence? what is the proportion? >> that is hard to give a proportion. in our work in central america, we found it's mostly children who are burned, and it is an accident like scald burns. in nicaragua, they'd don't have
trash management, so they burn the trash directly on the ground. a lot of small children play and then fall into burning cinders and get burned. in india, we have found a lot of women are burned cooking area in india, they cook sitting on the floor. and they wear a very long cloth. >> in case they lose their balance. >> it can catch fire. that violence is a serious issue in india. >> we need to take the final break on our program and when we come back, we will continue this conversation and wrap up the conversation. my guess is the international affairs specialist at the sunshine social welfare foundation.
>> welcome back to the final segment of today's program. we will continue our conversation with the current international affairs specialist at the sunshine social welfare foundation here in taiwan. let's talk about the programs the sunshine foundation has available for oral cancer. this is a fairly recent phenomenon in taiwan but it is actually the roots of this problem for a lot of people. it goes back a long way because of the habit of chewing betel nuts and some people chewed tobacco. since it is something that is socially acceptable, it has been a successful commercial business in parts of taiwan.
how do you try to raise the awareness of the seriousness of oral cancer and how to deal with the victims and families customer >> our approach is to provide services to all cancer survivors. second is prevention. our cancer survivors are mostly related then, blue-collar workers, and they have been chewing the limit for many years. >> many decades. >> yes. suddenly they become sick and undergo surgery. and they become facially disfigured. they face the double stigma. the first stigma is of pdisfigurement. the second stiga is for maybe a lot of people, they would say you brought this upon yourself.
we try to provide services, including rehabilitation and consultation and services for these men because often times they cannot go back to their regular job because it is intensive labor. so we have some programs to help them identify suitable jobs and we have workshops where they can produce things and we can sell them and they can earn money from this. in terms of prevention, we have been doing a lot of prevention in schools and we have been following the same model as burns. we talk about the danger of betel nut and how to avoid oral cancer. we have groups who are not
chewers and we have tried to educate them beforehand. we have the risk for people who chew betel nut and smoke and drink. we asked them to pay attention to their oral health and ask them to go to the dentist and ask if they find something weird in their mouth. people use different kinds of folk remedies. it is already too late. what is special about our prevention working in terms of oral cancer is we have wrought in oral cancer survivors as ambassadors. we honored the ones in good shape and they are motivated and go with us in these prevention activities. when we finished talking about the knowledge part of invention, they come in and share their own
experiences. we found one word from them means more than a thousand words from us. sometimes they cannot be very clear but their message is convincing and touching. >> it also takes a lot of courage to come forward. let's talk about the issue of facial disfigurement, not just from oral cancer but other issues. how do people in taiwan deal with an issue that this is somebody i have known for a long time and now he or she may look different. how do people in general react to facial disfigurement? is it a concern that this is the same person and second, how
do i deal with this person that i do not know if he or she is the same person as before? how do you provide the kinds of assistance or services or counseling at is needed for people who deal with an issue of not just themselves and dealing with a shill disfigurement? >> human reaction, it is normal to look once or twice. this is something that cannot really be changed. like i mentioned before, we work with the family of the person who has been burned, so they eventually regain a certain sense of balance in their relationship. more broadly speaking, in terms of the whole society, taiwan has come a long way. if we look back 30 years ago, i
mentioned the book people who shun the sun, and these people were not willing to go out because they were facing a lot of discrimination. i think a lot has changed in taiwan and people are more accepting. although there still needs to be worked on. that is why we launched a campaign that emphasizes no matter what your face looks like, we all have the right to be treated with dignity and respect and be appreciated for our own qualities. we are trying to push this face equality concept in taiwan to educate the public. but in many of our activities, because we have a lot of activities in the community like charity sales or take our burn survivors on outings and go to the cinema, in taipei, people will be very friendly and to so we have seen over 30 years at things have changed.
>> good. for the remainder of the program, let's talk about yourself. you were born in canada and because of your pursuit of the chinese language, uk to asia and were in china for a number of years studying the language. subsequently you have an in taiwan for almost 12 years. when did you develop this issue -- this interest the committed to helping the burn survivors and the us? >> it all happened, i want to say by accident -- >> a series of coincidences? >> after coming to taiwan, i work for another foundation that helped nonprofit organizations. for example, doing training and capacity building and so on.
in the course of this work, i got to know about the sunshine foundation. at one point, i thought in my career, i would like to be involved in a nonprofit organization that provides direct services. i decided i could give it a try and fly that to send -- it a try and apply it to sunshine foundation. nonprofit organizations often emphasize emotions with touching stories. sunshine is more than that. they have systems in place. >> based on your experience, what would be some of the characteristics or qualities that are needed to do the similar kinds of work that you do now? >> do you mean working
in the international aspect or with facial disfigurement? >> what would be some of the things -- do they need to be specialized or do they need to have extra attention with the people to deal with? >> nonprofit organizations in taiwan really need professionals. sometimes you need a very specific knowledge the problem is everything is very democratic. when you have professional people coming in, you can have difficulties and face small problems. if people are interested in working in nonprofit organizations, you have to be professional and the same time, you have to be open- minded and be able to accept
different points of view and different ways of thinking and doing things. >> finally, if you were asked to use one word or phrase to describe your work experience at sunshine, what would it be and why? >> i would say it very hard to use one word. >> it has been very rewarding and satisfying on the professional and personal site. thank you very much for being our special guest on the rogue ram today. i want to wish you all the best in future professional and personal endeavors. inc. you for watching our program today. i will see you next time.