In April 2019 Majella Kilkey (co-leading the Sustainable Care programme team studying Care In an Out of Place) and Principal Investigator Sue Yeandle visited Taipei to develop our work with Taiwanese partners. Our visit was generously organised by partners at the National Yang-Ming University (Prof Yueh-Ching Chou) and National Dong-Hwa University (Prof Li-Fang Liang). We thank them very much for their work in arranging our visit, which was interesting, informative and productive.

Majella Kilkey and Sue Yeandle at the Awakening Foundation in Taiwan

 At The Awakening Foundation, Taipei
L-R: Professor Li-Fang Laing (National Dong Hwa University), Dr Majella Kilkey (Sustainable Care Co-Investigator), Professor Sue Yeandle (Sustainable Care Principal Investigator) and Chan-Yun Tseng (Senior Research Fellow, The Awakening Foundation)

8th April

We were welcomed by Prof Shu-Man Pan, Dean of Social Sciences, National Taiwan Normal University, who hosted a well-attended Forum on Long-Term Care in the afternoon. Speakers were Prof Yu-Chun Lee (National Yang-Ming University and former Deputy Minister, Ministry of Health & Welfare) who spoke about Policies and Implications of the new Long-term care system reform in Taiwan; Chieh-hsiu Liu, MD (geriatrician and PhD candidate, Oxford University) who spoke on Ideas and Politics of ‘Care Going Public’ in Taiwan’s Long-term Care Reform, and Prof Sue Yeandle and Dr Majella Kilkey (University of Sheffield) who discussed Care arrangements in the UK: trends, challenges and strengths. A lively Q&A session followed with the active participation of the audience of senior scholars, policymakers and graduate students.

9th April

Our second day was mainly devoted to a research-sharing workshop in which researchers from Taiwanese universities (senior, mid- and early-career scholars and graduate students) discussed their work on issues relevant to our programme, especially on dispersed family networks, distant/transnational care and the contributions of migrant care workers. Dr Li-Fang Liang (National Dong Hwa University) discussed her research on migrant live-in care workers in Taiwan. Prof Ming-Shen Wang (National Taipei University) shared insights about available data in East Asian countries and collaboration opportunities in his areas of interest (carers, migrant care workers, long-term care policy, elder abuse). Prof Yueh-Ching Chou and her team (Li-Fang Liang, Chia-Ling Yang, Bo-Wei Chen and Li-Yeh Fu) discussed their plans for work on Migration, Care, Gender and the Welfare State. Later, we visited the Taiwan International Workers Association (TIWA), accompanied by Li-Fang Liang, and met TIWA staff member Jing Ru Wu who explained the background and achievements of TIWA, which has been active on migrant worker issues since the early 2000s, and discussed contemporary issues of concern and campaigns relating to Taiwan’s 250,000+ migrant care workers.

10th April

In the morning, again with Li-Fang Liang as interpreter/guide, we visited the Pearl S Buck Foundation (Taipei), meeting Executive Director Ling Hsiao and Ying-Fu Yu (Chair of the Board). We learned about the foundation’s work to support children in low-income families, including its specialist support for some of Taiwan’s 500,000+ families formed through marriage migration, principally from mainland China and south-east Asia. The foundation is a member of the Alliance of Social Welfare Organisations and undertakes social, advocacy, parliamentary and educational work, with a particular focus on empowering disadvantaged women. In the afternoon we visited the Awakening Foundation, established in 1987 and the first women’s organisation in Taiwan.

Majella Kilkey and Sue Yeandle at the Pearl S Buck Foundation in Taiwan

At the Pearl S. Buck Foundation
Ling-Hsiao (Executive Director), Dr Majella Kilkey, Professor Sue Yeandle and Professor Li-Fang Liang

We were privileged to meet Senior Research Fellow Chau-Yun Tseng, who shared her knowledge about campaigns for gender equality, care leave and employment law in Taiwan, as well as Director of Advocacy & Information Co-ordination Yu-hsuan Chou and Chairperson Shu-Yung Wang. The Foundation is prioritising long-term care leave as its main campaign for 2019 and we heard about how various Taiwanese NGOs have addressed this issue. Care leave is a live issue of contemporary concern and it was most interesting to learn about the foundation’s campaigning strategy, using awareness raising and seeking to influence legislative developments.

11th April

On our final day we were privileged to visit two innovative support facilities serving the needs of older people, carers and care workers in local communities in Taipei. The visits were arranged by Prof Chen-Fen Chen (Chinese Culture University, Taipei, and past Chair, Taiwanese Association of Family Carers) who has been an active participant in the international carers’ movement and now leads an innovation and research programme in collaboration with the director of the facilities we visited, Mei-Yin Li. We visited two centres, both with inspiring facilities and atmospheres in which an integrated approach to local community support for older people is being pioneered. Later, we visited the Center for Assistive Technology Resources and Popularization with our host Yueh-Ching Chou and our Finnish partner Prof Teppo Kröger, also visiting Taipei. We were introduced to the Centre and its purposes by Chieh-Min Lu (Physical Therapist & AT professional) who explained how the centre operates, and Juei-An Lin who collaborated with him to demonstrate the Centre’s equipment and facilities. Our visit concluded with a meeting with Yueh Ching Chou and Teppo Kröger on ongoing research collaboration, plans for joint publication and the Sustainable Care international network meeting in Copenhagen (in June 2019, at the Transforming Care conference).

Majella Kilkey and Sue Yeandle and Teppo Kroger in Taiwan

At the Centre for Assistive Technology, Resources and Popularization (CATRP)
L-R: Chieh-Min Lu (CATRP), Dr Majella Kilkey, Professor Sue Yeandle, Professor Teppo Kröger (University of Jyväskylä), Yueh-Ching Chou (National Yang-Ming University) and Juei-An Lin (CATRP)

More pictures from our visit

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