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Want to learn more about Bright Side Projects beyond our mission statement or origin of creation? We’ve provided a very few basic details questions below and more that will be answered in a few short days.

Having the opportunities for kids to hang out with us “Big Kids” has also opened our eyes to seeing the world as they often do – brand new and so many questions unanswered. The more we ask the more we learn. Comment below or send in an email!

Spending time with kids between activities Photo Courtesy 鄭又綺

Spending time with kids between activities
Photo Courtesy 鄭又綺

如果你讀過我創辦志工招募網站Handful of Sapphires的緣起,就會明白,臺灣嚮光協會是唯一合理的下一步。我在其他的組織從事志工服務,看見許多促進人與人互動及深入交流的可能。在接觸的族群中,我看見與他們建立長期關係的需求。所以,我以從事志願服務的社群為基礎,開始把一些有趣的人組織起來。

Why did you start Bright Side Projects?
If you’ve read on why I started the volunteer portal site Handful of Sapphires, Bright Side was the only logical next step from that. By being a volunteer at other organizations, I saw opportunities that could be enhanced for greater and more in-depth interaction between people. I saw a need for long term relationship with groups we’ve met. So based on my connections from volunteering I began to organize fun for people to get involved.

Photo courtesy 蘇嘉琦

Our cute Mini Me workshop!
Photo courtesy 蘇嘉琦


What is different about Bright Side from other associations
We may all focus on making a change for the better in the future, it’s how we do so that sets us apart. Here’s a few things.

1) 有別於一位老師帶領一群學生,我們希望志工能與社區成員有更密切的互動,因此志工和孩子的比率約為1:1或是1:3。
Instead of having one teacher take on a group of students, we promote volunteer involvement and high interaction directly with the community so that there’s a between 1:1 or 1:3 ratio per kid/big kid.

2) 限制課程人數,以做到品質控管。有別於人數眾多的課程,也為了讓志工和小朋友都擁有美好的一天,我們將課程人數上限設定在15位小朋友及15個大朋友。雖 然60~100個孩子的大班教學更能節省經費,也更有效率,但卻會大大地影響整體品質及互動的親密,所以我們堅持控管每次課程的人數。
Quality control on workshop sizes. Rather than host huge workshops, we’ve come to the realization that a maximum of 15 kids and 15 big kids is the perfect number of capacity per magical day. For the number of hours in coordinating an event it would be more budget friendly and time efficient to even just have 60-100 kids. However, this greatly affects the intimacy of interaction and overall quality so we stay steadfast on our numbers.

3) 沒經驗,沒關係。我們─任何人─都可以創造改變,臺灣嚮光協會的存在,正是為了提醒每個人這一點。你能夠學到的比書上的更多,我們不只要提醒這點,也要讓你透過實際行動去實踐和成長。
No experience, no problem. We, and anyone, can create. Bright Side is here to remind you of that. Beyond a reminder from self-help books to make you feel empowered, we make it happen and empower you through real action.

4) 我們強調並呼籲平等及多樣性原則,這點在臺灣並不普遍。
A stress and adherence to our Equal Opportunity and Diversity Policy, which is uncommon in Taiwan.

ChingChuan Kids. 清泉的孩子。 Courtesy Starry Cheng 鄭又綺

ChingChuan Kids.
Courtesy Starry Cheng 鄭又綺

5) 「美味餐桌」上,我們一起享用的是新鮮烹調的健康素食午餐。對孩子們而言,從製作沙拉到馬鈴薯泥,都是前所未有的美好享受。
Freshly cooked healthy vegetarian lunches as part of our Kitchen Table that are shared together. It’s been a real treat for kids to have something they’ve never had before, from salad to mashed potatoes.

6) 我們不提供垃圾食物。所有點心都是我們自己做的,我們知道裏頭的成分及原料。巧克力噴泉?薑餅?杯子蛋糕?都沒問題!
Junk food is not permitted. If there are snacks, we create these and we know the ingredients. Chocolate fondue? Gingerbread cookies? Cupcakes? Not a problem!

7) 我們強調語言友善,試著讓更多元、多樣的人參與志願服務,讓志工們互助合作。我們網站的英文介面讓國際朋友能夠加入志工行列,也經常更新最新資訊。
Language friendly. We try to get a good balance of people of diversity and will pair up volunteers in accordance to help each other out. One of the few websites that provides English-friendly volunteer opportunities in Taiwan. Frequently updated as well.

Our "junk food" are fresh fruit popsicles we made

Our “junk food” are fresh fruit popsicles we made.
Photo courtesy 鄭又綺

My occupational background is in doing multi-city global events from streetwear to luxury goods. I try my best to take the same level of organization and quality into these workshops. Even if you do not have the resources, budget, or get paid to do it, you still do the best you can because it’s the right thing to do.

Is there a certain ethos or principle I should be aware of when leading or attending a workshop? 在協會的課程活動中,我是否需注意什麼?

Please read our Manifesto! We also have an equal opportunity and diversity policy intact so we get people from different beliefs and backgrounds. There are a few consistencies that we maintain for all big kids and little kids – we are all capable of achieving anything. This means gender equality, potentially breaking traditional norms. More communication, more tolerance, more love. I want everyone to be able to ask questions and also obtain a logical, rational answer.

Why Taiwan? 為什麼選在臺灣?

Simply because I live in Taiwan. I promote local proactivism because it’s a bit more environmentally friendly. Also because we need to open up our eyes to what is in our immediate surroundings. We don’t need to travel to far off places to find people that need help, things that can be done are all around us. They aren’t problems that exist somewhere else, it’s right here, right now – and we can do something about it. If we could all make that positive change in ourselves and around us, we will change the world.

Photo courtesy 蘇嘉琦

Kids creating a design for silk screen t-shirts.
Photo courtesy 蘇嘉琦

Why volunteer? What does it mean for me to get involved? 為什麼要當志工?我的參與有什麼意義?

All of us are capable of making a change. By getting active, you really get to know know your local community. Why would you wait for someone else to tell you what’s going on the world, especially your neighborhood? I want people to be active in getting to really know their local community by listening and seeing problems not as “tweeted” or “reported on” but firsthand – then being able to get involved, strategize and organize to make a difference, and realize the potential power of impact of one individual can have. This is empowerment.

Artistic Expression class. Photo courtesy James Teng

Artistic Expression class.
Photo courtesy James Teng

How many employees are in this organization? 協會內有多少員工?
One. Urgently need to obtain funding to hire part-time and full-time staff so we can expand and do more! Looking back, I have been lucky that in my past work having been in charge of projects and campaigns from conception to execution. I have also worked in building brands or re-branding companies. If you have experience in project management and wish to get involved, let me know!

Who created your logo? Who took all these photos? 協會標誌是誰設計的?這些照片是誰拍的呢?

台灣嚮光協會的品牌標示設計是Carl Nyman (Sixten),一個塗鴉藝術家。我很幸運在幾年前,因為一個巡迴亞洲的專案計畫認識他(隨後還一起到墨爾本、紐約和洛杉磯)。所有的照片都是我們的長期志工和創辦成員所拍攝,感謝白炯涵蘇嘉琦鄭又綺。多才多藝的James Teng老師也為我們的活動拍攝了許多珍貴的照片,但他通常都在活動中陪伴與帶領孩子。

The creator of the logo(s) for Bright Side Projects is Carl Nyman (Sixten), a graffiti artist I was fortunate enough to have met several years ago when we flew him out on a project around Asia (and subsequently to Melbourne, New York, Los Angeles). All the photography are courtesy of some long term volunteers and part of our founding members, so thanks to Jonathan Burke, 蘇嘉琦, and 鄭又綺. Teacher and renaissance man James Teng also has shot many gems but he’s usually designated as being very hands-on with the kids during workshops.

More questions? Fire away!

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