Resettlement Homes That are Strong and Eco Friendly Part 2
My byline with the article I wrote
Made With Care and Devotion
Continuing on directly from last month’s entry, while we were at the Tzu Chi Foundation’s factory, we noticed that these shelters are made with care and devotion. All the workers are volunteers. Some are very old, others are young. We noticed that they had a very quick lunch, then they went straight back to work. No one was standing aside, resting. No one was chatting. They worked in silence.
The volunteers can work as many days as they wish, but must work an entire day from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. The day is started with 30 “seedlngs” who will teach the volunteers what they are supposed to do. The job is quite easy and it is not uncommon to see a woman doing a man’s job, such as welding. There is a container van full of tools in the factory, and a man whose only job is to repair broken or defective tools. In this way, nothing is wasted.
Part one of this article can be seen at this link:
- Resettlement Homes That are Strong and Eco Friendly
After Tacloban, the Philippines was devastated by a Storm Surge, volunteers of the Tzu Chi Foundation were among the first responders.
The same procedure and materials to build the homes is also used for building classrooms. The difference is that the classrooms have no divisions. A typical classroom measures 39.67 square meters. It has six windows, two ventilators, a sunroof and two doors to enhance air circulation.
Once the components are built in Taiwan and shipped to the Philippines, 15 people can assemble a single classroom in two hours. In Leyte 128 classrooms were built last year.
Part 2 of my story in Enrich
Donations given even to civil servants who were affected by Typhoon Yolanda
However, help does not end there. Tzu Chi also donated money to the families so they can work on rebuilding their own, permanent houses. The rebuilding of permanent homes involves gathering material from collapsed houses that they can reuse.
Also, Tzu Chi provided funds to purchase additional materials. Families of 1-2 were given P8,000. Families of 3-4 received P12,000, and families of five were given P15,000. One volunteer told us that even civil servants who were victims themselves were given donations. A total of 20,000 households in Tacloban received the money.
Cover of November, 2014 Enrich Magazine
Donations Continue Today
Surprisingly, even now the help from Tzu Chi continues, despite the fact that as of this writing, gas pipes exploded in Kaoshiung, Taiwan, causing damage to streets, cars, and the foundations of the homes of people who live there.
While we were in Taiwan, we heard that Tzu Chi had already raised P20 million more in a concert that we attended for the Philippines. One reason for Tzu Chi’s success in fund raising is the organization’s credibility.
All volunteers who go to Tacloban and Ormoc do so on their own expense – airfare, food, and hotel costs. They don’t use any of the donated funds, every cent of which goes directly to the victims.
The people of the Tzu Chi Foundation are committed to continue to build these temporary shelters for the Filipino people and to provide funds so that these people will have a decent place to live in and a startup fund to rebuild their permanent home. After all, it may sound trite but true -- there really is no place like home.