The 175 music students at Pallotti High School got a major boost to their music studies through the gift of 100 soprano recorders, a $4,000 value, from the cancer-fighting non-governmental organization, the Chou, Ta-Kuan Foundation (CTKF) of the Republic of China (R.O.C.) on Taiwan.
Taiwan’s Ambassador to Belize, H.E. Benjamin Ho joined CTKF founder Chou, Chin-Hua and its president, Guo Ying-lan in presenting the 100 recorders to Pallotti High’s Principal, Sister Clara Teul and the music students at the Pallotti auditorium on Thursday, February. Sr. Clara expressed her gratitude most eloquently.
The Foundation is so named in honor of nine-year-old poet and violinist Chou, Ta-Kuan who died of malignant muscle cancer on May 18, 1997, some five months shy of his 10th birthday, which he would have celebrated on October 29, 1997. Ta-Kuan’s virtuosity on the violin had made him first violin of the Taipei Da Feng Elementary School’s philharmonic orchestra. He had visited Central and South America and the United States on a winter vacation with his family in 1996 and had just returned home to Taiwan when he was diagnosed with cancer. His brave optimism in the face of the ordeal of chemotherapy, radiation therapy and leg amputation surgery is documented in his diary of poems, which his parents published after his death in two illustrated children’s books: “I Still have One leg” and “Ta Kuan”.
Ta Kuan’s father Chou, Chin-Hua and mother, Guo Ying-lan, established the CTK Foundation in 1997 to help other cancer victims bravely face the disease and to encourage all to love life, and to treasure each day and live their lives happily, respecting life, nature and Mother Earth. The Foundation has grown with the support of benefactors in Taiwan and overseas and by 2003 had numbered over 190,000 volunteers involved in holding conferences, workshops, seminars and camps to get out the word to the general public to fight cancer.
At Thursday’s handing over, Chin-Hua and Guo Ying-lan, shared some of their experiences, and leukemia survivor, Ms. Chang Yun-Wei performed two classic music solos on the Guzheng, a form of traditional Chinese harp. The Pallotti music group and choirs also entertained their guests with musical performances.
The CTKF group is on a tour of Central America, their last stop was Guatemala, where they awarded the “Global Love of Lives Medal” to Guatemalan, Carlos Vargas, on Thursday, February 12, for his unselfish efforts to help the poor people and the disadvantaged children. The Foundation has similarly recognized the works of 296 awardees around the world over the past 18 years, inspiring thousands more by the stories of those life warriors and their efforts to serve and look after their communities.