(New Taipei City News)—Led by the Youth Department of New Taipei City, five groups of youth social enterprises from New Taipei city participated in the 2023 Social Forum Side events of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva, Switzerland, on November 2nd. The five youth teams from New Taipei showcased social innovation solutions and shared experiences on the global stage to their counterparts.
Focused on the post-pandemic era, the meetings centered around the contributions of science and technology innovation to human rights worldwide, fostering exchange among youth changemakers committed to social innovation to tackle sustainable issues and expanding their influence.
The five youth teams from New Taipei City include: “Cofacts,” utilizing an innovative online fact-checking mechanism to address misinformation and disinformation issues; “Paw For Good,” a Taiwan therapy dog training team dedicating to training stray dogs as professional therapy dogs to assist individuals with physical and mental disabilities; “Turing Certificate,” leveraging block chain technology for digital certification; “Azure Alliance,” employing smart unmanned vessels to tackle marine waste cleanup; and “eFOOOD,” creating a food-sharing map to address global food waste and food security.
The teams are delighted for this rare and valuable opportunity to step into the United Nations arena, engaging in meaningful exchanges with youth from around the world. This Forum served as a platform allowing these young minds not only to comprehend social issues in different corners of the globe but also to return to their roots with newfound experiences. Together, they strive for a future that is more equitable, sustainable, and trustworthy.
The New Taipei City Youth Department, by guiding local youth to participate in international conferences, not only enhances their impact on social innovation and sustainable development but also fosters exchanges and learning opportunities with their counterparts worldwide. “These events provide a great opportunity for youth to showcase their innovative ideas to the world,” says Marcia Chiu, Commissioner of the New Taipei City Youth Department. “We are committed to continuously supporting international youth exchanges and cultivating more young changemakers in the future,” she further added.
Following are brief introductions of Azure Alliance, Paw For Good and eFood:
Ocean Vacuum Cleaner Removes 6,000 Kilograms of Floating Debris Annually
Chen Szu-Ying, CEO of Azure Alliance, discovered the issue of marine debris during a dive, prompting her to invest personal savings in creating the remotely controlled ocean vacuum cleaner, the “Azure Fighter.” Since July 2022, they have carried out over 150 cleaning missions, successfully removing over 6,000 kilograms of floating debris in the past year alone.
In comparison to traditional fuel-powered cleaning vessels, the carbon emissions have been significantly reduced by 51,340 kilograms, equivalent to planting 342 large trees. Chen also expressed her hope to engage with marine sustainability advocates worldwide through social forums, showcasing Taiwan’s strengths and the potential for further growth.
Life Assistance: Paw For Good’s Social Innovation Experimen
Chen Yi-Chun ,Co-founder of Paw For Good, initiated the training of stray dogs to become “therapy dogs” in 2018.Their mission is to offer emotional education and therapeutic companionship for individuals with conditions such as autism and ADHD.
Over the past five years, Chen highlighted, “We have served over 500 organizations, offered more than 450 courses and reached over 21,000 participants.” She expressed the desire to engage with individuals worldwide concerned about animal welfare and mental health issues. The mission is to foster a connection where life helps life, enabling both humans and dogs to rediscover the capacity for love and being loved.
To effectively combat food waste and hunger, eFOOOD Social Innovation’s founder, Chung Fu-Ru, established the “eFOOOD Food Sharing Map,” an online matching platform connecting food donors with those in need. Since 2019, the initiative has successfully facilitated the matching of 430,000 meals, estimated at a value of $1.38 million.
Presenting at the United Nations, Chung shares the experience of using technology to enhance social sharing, aiming to assist welfare organizations in mapping service locations. The goal is to optimize the network for food donation and distribution, with plans for multilingual integration to collaborate with international disaster relief organizations, ensuring food resources reach those in need.
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