Welcome to Taiwan

Country Snapshot

Constitutionally, the Republic of China government claims sovereignty over Taiwan. It is a multi-party democracy with universal suffrage. Taipei is the political capital as well as the economic and cultural centre of Taiwan.  During the latter half of the 20th century, Taiwan developed into an advanced industrial economy and its advanced technology industry plays a key role in the global economy. Taiwan is ranked highly in terms of freedom of the press, health care, public education, economic freedom, and human development.

The Constitution of the Republic of China protects people's freedom of religion and the practices of belief.  Catholics make up fewer than 2% of people of religious faith.

Although gender inequality in the education system has been largely overcome, gender segregation remains substantial in higher education systems.  Women’s participation in the workforce is gradually growing, and women’s average salaries as a proportion of men’s continue to rise.                                             

Good Shepherd founding story

The Sisters of the Good Shepherd Sisters went to Taiwan in 1987 at the invitation of the Archbishop of Taipei.  They founded Good Shepherd Social Welfare Services (Good Shepherd) to address the problem of teenage prostitution: girls were sold, tricked into prostitution or went into it ‘voluntarily’.

Good Shepherd today

During years of service in Taiwan, Good Shepherd has expanded its mandate to address in very practical ways many other problem areas which are linked with the prevention of teenage prostitution. For example: women suffering from severe violence in the home ran away and the husband would either sell the daughters or take them as wives.  Thus shelters for such women and children were vitally important.  Today, through the Taiwan Good Shepherd Foundation it conducts 39 Services Centers throughout the country:

  • Services for Children and Youth.

  • Services for Women and Children in crisis.

  • Services for Single Parents and Adoption.

  • Services for new immigrant Families.

  • Services for Aboriginal Families.

  • Services for Anti-Human Trafficking.

In recent years, the sisters have set up new governance structures, inviting lay Mission Partners to take up roles of leadership, so as to ensure the continuity of Good Shepherd ministries into the future. Sisters have put a great deal of effort into training the 280 lay workers especially the 39 Centers directors, different service areas supervisors, two deputy CEOs and a CEO.  In September 2013 leadership responsibility was passed from the senior Good Shepherd Sister to a team of “a CEO and 2 deputies”.  This lay leadership team is based upon the model developed in Australia.          

In 2015 a further restructure was implemented.  Our 39 works are located in12 different States.  So each State has a State Director.  The 12 States grouped into 4 districts: North, South, Central, East and each district has a District Director.  The value of this structure is that Staff are trained not only in Social Work expertise with Good Shepherd Values but, because they are Directors of services, they are trained in administration and management.  This increases the pool of leaders who are able to contribute to the whole as needed.