On the morning of September 20, President Tsai Ing-wen met with the winners of the 26th Fervent Global Love of Lives awards. In remarks, President Tsai expressed hope that their stories of passion for life can be shared with even more people so as to inspire and invigorate our communities. The president also said she hopes we will uphold the spirit of Chou Ta-kuan (周大觀) and deliver courage, hope, and love to every corner of the world.
A translation of President Tsai's remarks follows:
First, I would like to thank the Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation for holding the Fervent Global Love of Lives awards, a very meaningful occasion, each year. I would also like to congratulate each and every award recipient. Each time I have met with Chou Ta-Kuan Cultural and Educational Foundation Founder Chou Chin-hua (周進華) and Chairperson Guo Ying-lan (郭盈蘭) at the Presidential Office over the years, I have been able to learn about the stories of more and more awardees.
We hope that these stories of passion for life can be shared with even more people so as to inspire and invigorate our communities. This year's 21 recipients have overcome many difficulties and limitations, not only realizing great personal achievements but also advocating ideals that have brought change to their countries and societies.
Ms. Edna Adan Ismail from Somaliland has been a victim of political persecution and physical suffering. Yet with tremendous willpower, she became the first certified midwife from Somaliland and also went on to establish a modern hospital. Working to dispel outdated customs and myths and dedicating herself to reducing maternal and child mortality, she has changed the fate of many for the better.
Ms. Madeline Stuart from Australia is the world's first model with Down syndrome. She also launched her own fashion label and dance school and has shone brightly at international fashion shows. Through her passion and actions, she is redefining beauty standards.
Mr. David Reyes from El Salvador established a non-profit organization to encourage greater access to education and medical services among people with disabilities. As a parliamentarian, he has actively promoted the incorporation of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities into domestic law to ensure that their rights and interests are protected. He has been an important pioneer in advocating the rights of people with disabilities in Latin America.
India's Mr. Ganesh Baraiya, who has dwarfism, was denied admission to medical school due to his height. His high school teacher helped him hire a human rights lawyer and his case was eventually brought to the Supreme Court, which ruled in his favor. His determination to become the world's shortest doctor and help the most vulnerable, and his journey to break down discrimination and prejudice, have inspired many.
Mr. Suechika Kohya from Japan has overcome intellectual disability to win numerous major awards in piano competitions. He also founded a piano studio with his mother to help people with disabilities to find their place in music.
I would like to thank all of you for traveling to Taiwan to share your life stories and celebrate your awards with us. The stories of all award winners here today from home and abroad are truly admirable. Chou Ta-kuan's life was a story of love and remarkable bravery. Just like him, you are overcoming challenges in life and achieving extraordinary things with courage, positivity, and optimism.
Allow me to once again congratulate all of you on your awards. Let us uphold the spirit of Chou Ta-kuan and deliver courage, hope, and love to every corner of the world.
The delegation was accompanied to the Presidential Office by Somaliland Representative to Taiwan Mohamed Omar Hagi Mohamoud.