To optimize the intergenerational life services through adult education, Chung Cheng University resides in to help operate the Reciprocal Hub for Old and Young in Dounan, Yunlin
In response to the possible tasks arising from the upcoming aged society in local environment, Chung Cheng University (CCU) for many years has not only given its great attention to Chiayi areas, but also to Yunlin County, trying to help tackle the challenges of those tasks. Recently, on the 14th of April, CCU and the Yunlin County Government signed a cooperation agreement to jointly operate the Dounan Reciprocal Hub for Old and Young, a base that planned to open for service in June this year. In the future, the base will help hub members make cultivation planning on target crops according to the market demands of the aged society, and provide supports to middle-aged and senior citizens to explore the possibilities for new career in their retirement.
The agreement was signed by CCU President Zhang-Hua Fong and Yunlin County Magistrate Li-Shan Chang at the signing ceremony, in order to promote the cooperation and resource sharing between the university and the public sector, and to achieve the goal of providing the life services to both the elderly and the youth at the same time. CCU said that in the past, its professional team has been to Yunlin communities to conduct field survey over aging issues for many times as well as promoting the Sage Education Instructor on Food and Agriculture Training Program. Owing to CCU’s expertise in adult education and the excellent inter-disciplinary performance in food and agricultural industries, Yunlin County Government decided to cooperate with CCU further and rely heavily on the university to be in charge of the Dounan Reciprocal Hub for Old and Young. Yunlin County Government hopes this cooperation can open up a great potential of its intergenerational power.
In an aged society, most food and agriculture industries are facing the difficulty in passing on the business through generations. Therefore, in 2019, Dr. Ya-Hui Lee, Professor of the Department of Adult and Continuing Education of CCU, and Chairman Yow-Zai Chang of the Taiwan Agricultural Science and Technology Development Association, jointly promoted the Sage Education Instructor on Food and Agriculture Training Program, bring the senior education into the six-grade industry on food and agriculture to help prepare the senior members to upgrade their life-changing future. So far, the project has produced 110 senior instructors. And since this role as a sage education instructor has become a choice with potentials for the future career, in fact, among those certified instructors, 20% of them were actually doing it as part of their retirement plan. Thus, the sage education instructor on food and agriculture was chosen in the current issue of Anke magazine and announced as one of the viral occupation for the senior society. Dr. Shi-Ming (Jack) Huang, Dean for the Office of the Research and Development (ORD) at CCU, revealed that the cross-domain cooperation between adult education and the food and agriculture industry has not come easy, it is a result of the joint efforts which have had many parties involved with in a lengthy and on-going negotiation.
The Dounan Reciprocal Hub for Old and Young would officially open its door to people in June this year after CCU has resided in. CCU further stated that the team from the university will help transform the hub members from the industry of food and agriculture who usually do business in a traditional way into the traders of Cloud E-commerce through digital learning, and help people who are about to retire or have retired to build up the entrepreneurial thinking to move a small business from concept to realization. The team will also provide advices to members on how to draft the growing plans for target crops, based on the nutrition needs of the aged community. All that supports are expected to allow middle-aged and senior citizens to prolong their career and work continuously to retain a stable income. On top of that, the team will maintain a close contact with sales channels such as the hypermarkets, EU marketing systems, etc., to avoid the imbalances in production and sales.
Besides, the Hub also plans to set up a Farmer’s Station and a Holiday Retiree Market, serving as a produce promotion platform for small farmers to sell their environment-friendly products, and for the retired middle-aged and elderly people who have chosen to work in the food and agriculture industry. Other than assisting middle-aged and senior citizens to develop their post-retirement life, in the future, two CCU alumni of the Department of Adult and Continuing Education, whom have been recruited by the Hub, are returning to their hometown to help deliver related services over sage education and re-employment to support their elderly members in Yunlin area, strengthening the intergenerational power in local society, according to CCU in a statement.