Nantou Education and Nursing Institute, Ministry of Health and Welfare, formerly the Private Foundation for Education and Nursing Institute of Mentally Retarded Children, was founded by Wu Xiaokun on December 16, 1970. Since Wu’s second son is diagnosed mental retardation, he established the institute based on the intention of “providing equal opportunity of educational and caring for disabled people who have never given up.” To found the institution, he borrowed the land No. 63 to No.153 on Niushichi Section located at Caotun Township from Nantou County government, and collected construction funding from Tsai Hongwen, the chairman of the institute, as well as receiving funds from others of all circles, in order to finish constructing offices, classrooms, bedrooms, kitchen and other buildings in the total area of 747 square meters. At that time the institute accepted 52 children in the age of 8 to16 from all over the cities in Taiwan. When the institute’s business was gradually on track in 1975, Wu had already suffered from liver disease due to exhaustion and passed away on September 18 of the same year. Mrs. Wu then took over the institute’s business.
In September, 1978, the institute was not able to continue to operate thus being donated to the government and renamed to “Provincial Taichung Protectory, Caotun Branch.” On January 26, 1981, the institute was renamed again to “Provincial Yunlin Institute for Special Education” and planned to relocate to the provincial Hebao Mountain at Gukeng Township, Yunlin County for a larger space in order to accept more children. However, the plan was shelved due to budget difficulty. The government later decided to expend the institute on the original location and rename it to “Provincial Nantou Institute for Special Education” in October, 1982. The expansion construction was finished on August 20, 1984. The newly launched institute has a total area of 2.7 hectare and accepts moderately, severely, or extremely mental retarded children with multiple disabilities from the age of 6 to 18 to provide them all-day accommodation service for caring educational training, career cultivation, career training supportive employment, etc. On July 1 ,1999 ,due to the restructuring of functions, business and organization of Taiwan Provincial Government, the institute was renamed again to “Nantou Education and Nursing Institute, Ministry of the Interior.”
The 921 Earthquake occurred on September 21, 1999 in Nantou County, and the institute located on the Celongpu fault zone at Caotun was seriously damaged, tilted, displaced, cracked on the ground thus threatening the service users’ safety. After the experts conducted a safety investigation, they suggested relocating the institute. The government then selected a state-owned land at Fanziliao section, Mingjian Township, Nantou County for institute reconstruction. Meanwhile, 921 Earthquake Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council, Execative Yuan compiled a special budget for the institute. Furthermore, Lin Rongsan, the founder of the Liberty Times, donated for the reconstruction project through 921 Earthquake Relief Fund.
And the construction project received assistance from 921 Reconstruction Committee, Executive Yuan to have enough funds to finish the relocation and reconstruction on October 28, 2004. The new institute has the total area of 7.6 hectares. In the future, the institute plans to provide special education, activity educational training, career cultivation, sheltered job training (such as bakery and cafe, Siyuan workshop, Xinmiao Farm), supportive employment placement, leisure and recreation, medical rehabilitation and other individualized services. The Organic Act For Ministry of Health and Welfare was promulgated by President on 19 June, 2013. The institute is under Ministry of Health and Welfare, namely “Nantou Education and Nursing Institution, Ministry of Health and Welfare” on 23 July,2013.
With rich services, comfortable environment and comprehensive facilities, the institute provided individualize, diverse and normalize services. Located near the Mingjian Intersection of National Highway 3, the two tall bell towers of the institute become the landmark to guide you here. We have a group of specially different children with their own dreams ready to come true. They would be happily trying their best to dance here just like the butterflies flying in the sky and some of them can even fly higher than others. Every child is different from others but very special and beautiful.