Why Children Believe is excited to advance our Taiwanese friendships

POSTED January 20, 2020

Why Children Believe is excited to advance our Taiwanese friendships

As I prepare to transition to a new organization in March, I’m confident trusted partnerships will continue around the world

By Patrick Canagasingham, CEO,


A big part about working in the international development sector is joining with others, so we can make a greater impact together. I make it a point to talk about this in my blogs, because it’s the reason we at Children Believe are so intentional about co-creating solutions with partners to address complex development challenges.

It’s another reason I feel confident that as I move to another organization, Children Believe is well positioned for its next chapter — because I know good work will continue with our partners, like those we’ve built in Taiwan.

That work began with the Taiwan Fund for Children and Families, an organization that has been partnering with us for more than a decade through sponsorships in Paraguay, Nicaragua and Ghana. They’ve also donated to various projects in Central and South America. We’re deeply appreciative.

More recently, we’ve collaborated with entities, such as Taiwan Alliance in International Development (Taiwan AID), thanks to support and friendship through Catherine Y.M. Hsu, the director-general at the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office (TECO) in Toronto.

We’ve joined with Taiwan AID to implement creative learning centres in India, Paraguay and (potentially) Nicaragua, with funding from Taiwan’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs. It’s been gratifying to see the success of these child-friendly spaces in India where kids are finding fun ways to learn and build their confidence through physical exercise, games and more. The new approach is making it easier for them to grasp language, science and math. Imagine the impact that’s having on children who have traditionally learned through memorization.


So, as we met last week with Madam Hsu (above) and her colleague, Vera Shih-Shih Wang, senior assistant director, TECO, I was extremely grateful for their support and that of their colleagues in Taiwan. It’s a friendship, which will continue.

Gabriel Ollivier (above, left), our Board Chair, said it best as we met: “Thank you very much for [our] partnership; it’s something … that’s very important to us. We’re on a mission together,” he began, adding, “We look forward to being arm in arm, hand in hand with you as we march forward.”

Indeed, Madam Hsu and her colleagues have been an exceptional conduit to help us form new partnerships, and the team here is eager and very keen to define that next level of shared success.

On a personal note, my passion for development work continues as it does for the committed staff at Children Believe who I’ve enjoyed collaborating with to make lasting change around the world.

Take care, and look out for a blog from Dave Wilson, our V.P., people and culture and interim CEO, effective Feb. 1.

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Children Believe works globally to empower children to dream fearlessly, stand up for what they believe in — and be heard. For 60 years, we’ve brought together brave young dreamers, caring supporters and partners, and unabashed idealists. Together, we’re driven by a common belief: creating access to education — inside and outside of classrooms — is the most powerful tool children can use to change their world.