“Bright Side Projects” provides a platform promoting long-term community involvement to empower youths and adults in Taiwan.
Created in 2012, we are a grassroots movement fostering friendships that stem from the community. People are connected through a diversity of creative and interactive activities sharing self-prepared nutritious plant-based meals. Through our combined efforts providing a well-rounded support system for individuals, we empower the society as a whole to bring positive change to the world.
While we have events in Taipei and Tainan, our activities are currently mainly focused in Hsinchu’s ChingChuan community and Taoyuan’s MuHsiang’s Children’s Home. Read more about our recent work in Taiwan here to see how we’ve had over one thousand five hundred spots filled in our 80 workshops with a high retention rate of 75%.
For big friends looking to get involved either short term or long term we provide a fun outlet and safe space for community engagement, learning, and friendship building. Interaction is on a ratio of 1:1~1:3.
For communities we have created a safe space with carefully curate events packed with resources for learning, creation, and develop relationships with friends and positively impact each other.
For those wanting to share their skills we have created a platform with logistical planning and resources for full creation of an event. We empower you to make a difference in the lives of others.
We attempt to provide a safe space so that everyone can share their thoughts and create freely by promoting a non-discriminatory and diversity policy alongside taking cues from the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child. Shifting through our DNA will tell you how we’re unique. You are also welcome to view our Manifesto, a document that all potential Big Friends are required to read through to see what we’re all about.
All of the above are essential to breaking down these social constructs and add an additional layer to our safe space to make the empowerment possible. For example, if you tell someone because of their birth assigned gender or perceived race that they cannot do something or are more suited to perform a certain task, you are limiting them. Bright Side Projects also holds zero tolerance for sexual harassment in any shape, way or form.
At a time when we’ve become more digitally connected and addicted than ever before, we’re also increasingly isolated lacking human connections. Research has noted that increased human connections is correlated with confidence, creativity, resilience, and making communities more trusting. Increased face-to-face interactions can help us socially function and better emotionally equipped to deal with potential problems such as alcohol and drug abuse. A strong support system can be the catalyst that motivates that youth or adult to become a positive role model in society.
Social isolation has adverse effects affecting our mental and even physical health. In general households in Taiwan, while 95.5% of parents feel spending time with children is important, over 80% of parents in indicate that they do not spend enough time with their children. We see the urgent importance to build on supplemental relationships and bonds that encourage trust, communities, and friendships. What empowers one of us will therefore impact society as a whole.
To make empowerment possible, Bright Side looks beyond giving material objects or teaching “lessons” in a one time workshop. We are involved in a long term relationship and work at cultural and societal barriers that often results in self censorship. Bright Side Projects works hard first to break down barriers that would inhibit a person from being able to speak out, thus our emphasis tolerance and non-discrimination starting from our Big Friends. Thus we work hard to create safe space so that everyone can share their thoughts and create freely by promoting a non-discriminatory and diversity policy alongside taking cues from the United Nation’s Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Long term Big Friends and those who wish to move towards the mentorship program are required to invest time into our internal training and gender equity workshop co-hosted by 台灣性別平等教育協會 / 翁麗淑 Taiwan Gender Equity Education Association. Workshops are rich in content conjoined with raising social awareness, encouraging critical thinking, speaking up, and presenting our thoughts. Our empowerment moves in a sustainable direction – featuring plant-based food and knowing that by giving someone the ability to express themselves, does not mean it is at the cost or at the oppression of others.
Bright Side Projects events uniquely features the Kitchen Table, freshly prepared delicious vegetarian and vegan meals packed full of nutrients generally prepped on-site by our Big Friends. Studies recently indicate a rise in obesity in the country due to lifestyle and poor dietary choices while malnutrition is increasingly rampant for the underprivileged. Bright Side has not overlooked that while we provide supplemental support for our well-being, we must also nourish ourselves with a balanced diet. This can affect not only our health but also concentration and mood stability.
Our plant-based meals are nutritious, unique and often introduce different cultural cuisines. A high percentage of our budget goes to purchasing quality fresh fruits and vegetables that are sorely lacking but necessary in our diets. We take this opportunity to take a break in the day during our events to share a wonderful meal together, further enhancing our communal ties and to help the environment at the same time.
Starting 2015, we are committed to providing only plant-based meals and welcome you to join us.
三階段計畫 THREE PHASE PROGRAM
We have a three-phase program to bring traction to providing opportunities for interaction and kindness, with a heavy focus on the initial stage of workshops. We’ve featured over 60 events in a little over two years.
In addition, educational and training programs promotes dialogue and talks with experts will also be funded in our future. Motivational guest speakers from a diversity of fields and experiences will provide encouragement and show us that we are capable of anything we put our minds to.