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Fishermen Migrant Workers, main invited at the Christmas Party held in Yilan Country

Taipei - A Christmas celebration takes place in Yilan Country's Su'ao Township and one of the main invited here is the Migrant Fishermen. This invitation is for the happiness of fishermen workers despite their hard work and far away from their family and it is part of their effort to ensure that they are not treated differently, according to the event organizer.

According to Fr. Gioan Tran Van Thiet, assistant parish priest and Saint Christopher's Church in Taipei said the event will take place on December 21 with the theme "Christmas Celebration - Wellness for Fishermen in Su'ao". About 300 people including Fishermen workers are expected to attend the township's Holy Trinity Catholic Church to celebrate Christmas.

In addition Fr. Thiet said, that the Christmas celebration is including a Mass before the start of the event, Christmas dinner, performances, there are also team games and most of all the exchange gift. Fr. Thiet also provides weekly services to the area where the Fishermen live.

In celebration of the Christmas party, some migrant workers will play team-building games while giving away gifts prepared by students from the Dominican International School in Taipei.

According to Fr. Thiet, many schools have been interested in the topic of migrant fishermen's welfare. And for this reason, the church he serves receives donations from the public such as clothing, hats, and groceries to give to the Fishermen.

A local woman also donated 20 kilos of clothing as she knew of the plight of Fishermen migrant workers in their area. But the woman refused to give her name.

Fr. Thiet said the event aims to make the Fishermen aware that they are not forgotten and that they are socially acceptable. And he was especially pleased that the students were willing to attend the celebration which meant to show that they were united in the care of the Fishermen Migrant Workers.

The event also featured free medical advice and CPR lessons for Fishermen, said Leoni Pascual Ngo the staffer at the Migrant Workers Concern Desk of the Catholic Archdiocese of Taipei.

Fishermen's welfare has been given since the accident in October when the bridge collapsed in Nanfang'ao where six migrant fishermen workers were killed and 19 left homeless due to the wreckage of their boat.

This incident sparked shocking events throughout Taiwan as the media reported the poor living and working conditions of migrant fishermen.

One of Taiwan's major bases for coastal fishing is Su'ao Township's Nanfang-ao Port, which lives and employs more than 1,000 migrant fishermen.


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