Taiwan vegetable vendor wins Magsaysay award
Photo Taiwan Today
By Rachel Chan | Taiwan Today
Taiwan veggie vendor cum philanthropist Chen Shu-chu was named winner July 23 of the prestigious Ramon Magsaysay Award in recognition of a lifetime commitment to helping the less fortunate.
The pure altruism of Chen’s personal giving, which reflects a deep, consistent, quiet compassion, has transformed the lives of the numerous Taiwanese she has helped, according to the Ramon Magsaysay Award Foundation.
The 63-year-old, who operates out of a traditional market in Taiwan’s southeastern Taitung County, has donated nearly NT$10 million (US$331,720) from her modest earnings over the years to various charitable causes.
The ROC Ministry of Foreign Affairs praised Chen’s efforts, stating that her generosity illustrates the nation’s soft power and is in line with the viable diplomacy policy of President Ma Ying-jeou. All necessary assistance will be provided to help Chen attend the ceremony, the MOFA added.
The veggie vendor’s good deeds are well recognized in the international community. In 2010, she made Time magazine’s list of the world’s 100 most influential people and won the Reader’s Digest Asian of the Year Award.
Sharing the award with Chen are Indonesian Ambrosius Ruwindrijarto, Indian Kulandei Francis, Filipino Romulo Davide, Bangaldeshi Syeda Rizwana Hasan and Cambodian Yang Saing Koma. She is the 10th ROC national to receive the honor.
“The Magsaysay awardees of 2012 are six remarkable individuals, all deeply involved in creating sustainable solutions to poverty and its accompanying disempowerment,” RMAF President Carmencita Abella said.
“Working selflessly in unpretentious yet powerful ways, they are showing how commitment, competence, and collaborative leadership can truly transform millions of individual lives and galvanize progressive community action.”
The six Ramon Magsaysay Award winners will be honored at a presentation ceremony scheduled for Aug. 31 in Manila where they will each receive a certificate, medallion and cash prize.
Established in 1957 to commemorate former Philippine President Ramon Magsaysay, the award is one of Asia’s highest honors and has more than 290 laureates to date. It is Asia’s equivalent of the Nobel prize.