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May 22nd
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Home Feature Stories Typhoon Morakot Tzu Chi Completes 4th Housing Projects for Morakot Survivors

Tzu Chi Completes 4th Housing Projects for Morakot Survivors

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The foundation has completed the last of four new housing projects in Taiwan for those who lost their homes to Typhoon Morakot a year ago, with 154 families moving in to the Changzhi Baihe settlement at August 6 in Pingtung county on the southern tip of the island.

It was a day of joy and gratitude for the families, from seven tribal communities in the mountainous Wutai and Sandimen townships; they had been living in temporary accommodation for the last 12 months, since Morakot destroyed their homes on August 8 last year. Elders from the Rukai tribe performed a christening ceremony, to signify completion of the project. Work began in April and was completed in just over three months; it was built thanks to the generosity of Tzu Chi volunteers around the world who contributed money and to the hard work of the professional construction crew. The residents will no longer have to worry about natural disasters; all the homes were built to withstand the earthquakes, typhoons and rainstorms which regularly hit Taiwan.

The residents received the keys to their new homes on August 4, two days before the inauguration ceremony. It was a moment for which they had waited a year; they danced with joy, to show their feelings.  They come from seven different tribes, descendants of the indigenous people of Taiwan who lived here before the arrival of the Han Chinese from the mainland in the 16th century. They chose as the name of their new community ‘Baihe’, which means ‘lily’, a symbol of two of the seven tribes represented, Paiwan and Rukai. In Chinese, the lily represents unity and prosperity. So, for the residents, it is a symbol of their shared heritage and hopes for a harmonious  future together. As she moved in, one grandmother transplanted wild lilies from the mountains to her front yard.

Taiwan's President Ma Yingjiu came in person to attend the historic moment and convey his blessings. "I have a personal message to the Tzu Chi Foundation,” he said. “We thank Tzu Chi for promoting a world of universal love, where everyone can contribute, and helping to create a loving society. I hope every one will enjoy their new residences and turn them into real homes."

Tzu Chi Foundation Vice President Lin Biyu said: "Along the way, it has really been ‘cultivating compassion in the face of adversity and testing wisdom in adapting to change’. We Tzu Chi people ask for nothing in return. We only wish for the Earth to be free of disasters and for all living things of the world to enjoy peace and harmony. We also hope that there be no more victims of disaster and everyone may live happily ever after."

On Tuesday August 3, the foundation completed the Yujing Da Ai (Great Love) community in Tainan County in southeast Taiwan, which houses 26 families. That was the third and the Changzhi settlement the fourth community which the foundation built in the south of Taiwan for the survivors of Typhoon Morakot. It completed the other two, Shanlin and Gaoshu, earlier in the year. In the four communities, nearly 1,000 families have received new homes free of charge. The money for the construction came from donations from members of the foundation in 52 countries around the world.

The Changzhi Baihe Settlement is ready!

 

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