By Chang Ya-chun, Taiwan News, Staff Reporter
TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Saint Kitts and Nevis Ambassador Jasmine E. Huggins on Thursday (Sept. 23) gifted 138 packages of handmade traditional desserts to Taipei Veterans General Hospital to express gratitude to frontline workers as well as celebrate her country’s 38-year-old friendship with Taiwan.
Taiwan was the first country to build diplomatic relations with the Caribbean federation when it was established on Sept. 19, 1983. Since then, Taiwan has been collaborating with it in many fields as “an outstanding friend and partner,” according to Huggins.
She noted that Taipei Veterans General Hospital has made substantial contributions to her nation, including supplemental training for medical and nursing staff, which has saved lives in St. Kitts and Nevis.
In addition to celebrating its independence and friendship with Taiwan, the envoy said she had also wanted to find a way to express gratitude to the frontline workers and medical staff at the hospital, as they have dedicated themselves to keeping people safe and healthy.
When they heard the idea, two students from Saint Kitts and Nevis immediately volunteered to make traditional desserts to give back to Taiwan. Jamella Fraser, who studied finance in Taiwan and now works as an English teacher, baked the desserts. Davina Cranstoun, an architecture student who has been in Taiwan nine years, said she was happy to contribute. “We even danced while baking,” she added.
Students from St. Kitts and Nevis baked desserts to express gratitude to staff of Taipei Veterans General Hospital. (Taiwan News, Chang Ya-chun photo)
“Ｗe hope that this tangible expression of our gratitude to the citizens of Taiwan will bring a warm smile to their faces and a heart full of cheer,” Ambassador Huggins said.
Hospital Superintendent Hsu Hui-Heng (許惠恆) accepted the donation and cited examples of cooperation between the hospital and the Caribbean nation since 2016.
Working with the Taiwan International Cooperation and Development Fund (Taiwan ICDF), the hospital has launched a program to bolster chronic disease prevention and control, especially of chronic kidney disease, to great success, Hsu said. Taiwan’s ambassador to St. Kitts and Nevis has discussed further projects with the Caribbean nation’s health department, including on metabolic diseases like hypertension and diabetes, for future phases of the program.
“We hope that cooperation between Taiwan and St. Kitts and Nevis will deepen the friendship between the two sides and promote the progress and development of medical and public healthcare together,” Hsu added.