Connecting a Potato-Shaped Island —Taiwan with the World: Sweet Potato Mama Project

Sweet Potato Mama Project is one of the programs that we are extremely proud of. A group of single mothers are able to own their career thanks to the Genesis Social Welfare Foundation (GSWF). This foundation not only recruits volunteers to teach the moms how to roast sweet potatoes, but also provides them the tools needed for their business, such as the roasters and the cart. In the beginning, the foundation provides the moms with free sweet potatoes to sell on the street. After a while, the moms have to use the money they earn from this batch to buy the next raw batch of sweet potatoes. Instead of directly and constantly providing help the single moms, the GSWF teaches them how to earn a living on their own. Report by CNN.

Fortunately, we encountered the chance to know the sweet potato mamas and developed a project for the foreign travelers to know these single moms and to participate in selling the sweet potatoes on the street. From the very beginning of Topology Travel, we started to promote this project, which allowed our company to have a little impact on and to contribute to the society. Most importantly, through the sweet potato mamas, we are able to connect the Taiwanese locals to the travelers from all over the world. Among those travelers, some occupied a special place inside our hearts until today. Here, I would like to share these unique stories with you. But before that, please visit the link down below to learn more about the Sweet Potato Mama.

Karen (pseudo name) was a university professor from the USA. She ran a social welfare project in Kenya, Africa. Her main job was to assist the single mothers and the patients of AIDS by teaching them traditional weaving so that they can make a living on their own.

For her stay in Taiwan, she wished to find the itineraries that allowed her to participate in the local social welfare or volunteer activities and hoped that she could try something different in Taiwan. Browsing through the Internet, she found the Sweet Potato Mama Project.

Karen followed the guide’s lead around the Potato mamas’ factory, learned how the project worked, and participated in the selling of the sweet potatoes on the street. During the process, not only did Karen experience the hardship of working on the street, but she also applied her expertise on analyzing the big data and suggesting us a better way to promote the Sweet Potato Mama Project. In the meantime, she was thinking about bringing this idea back to Kenya. The 2-hour itinerary ended quickly, but the in-depth international communication definitely made a great impression on all of us!

Another interesting story is from a Japanese gentleman—Kanehisa Matsushita. Matsushita was an engineer, but outside of his office, he was a true master of sweet potatoes! Living in Toyama, Japan, he has his own sweet potato field where countless of purple sweet potatoes were planted. Besides, he researched and developed a huge jar that was used exclusively to roast sweet potatoes. He would sell them at the local farmers’ market on the weekends. For this, he planned a special potato-themed trip to Taiwan so that he could visit the habitats where the tasty sweet potatoes came from. Of course, it was not hard to imagine the joy that he felt when he discovered out Sweet Potato Mama Project online!

We asked Mr. Matsushita why he loved sweet potatoes more than other crops, and he said that sweet potatoes were very healthy to the human being, and he hoped that he could share it with everyone. Watching Mr. Matsushita communicate with the sweet potato mamas with all his heart, study the structure of the sweet potato washing machine and different kinds of grills, and promote the love of his life—sweet potatoes, we started to respect Mr. Matsushita’s passion for them. This spring, Mr. Matsushita is planning another trip to Taiwan, and this time, he is going to bring a group of students to participate in the Sweet Potato Mama Project. In addition to welcoming him, we are also super excited about the new chemistry between us. The different experience that we have with travelers from all over the world allows us to feel a sense of achievement when promoting the Sweet Potato Mama Project.