On October 2, the Tzu Chi Foundation held a tea party to celebrate completion of the second phase of a new community it built in south Taiwan. They built it for those who lost their homes to Typhoon Morakot in August 2009. At the ceremony, 250 homes at the Shanlin Da Ai Community, in a suburb of Kaohsiung, were handed over to their new residents, taking the total of 1,002 homes. Construction of the new homes began on March 12 this year. Attending the party to welcome the new residents were Chen Chu, Mayor of Kaohsiung City, Dr. Chen Jenn-Chuan, Deputy Chief Executive of the Morakot Post-Disaster Reconstruction Council, and Lin Pi-yu, vice president of the foundation. The residents who moved into the first phase led their new neighbors in singing and dancing; the Da Ai Tourism and Culture Troupe performed a traditional aboriginal welcoming dance.
Du Chun-yuan, honorary chairman of Da Ai Television, read a letter of blessing from Dharma Master Cheng Yen. He said that he wished the new residents to move into the community with a heart full of respect and happiness. In his speech, Mayor Chen expressed her gratitude to the Tzu Chi Foundation and said that it always played an important role in stabilizing society during times of disaster. This new community in the Shanlin district includes people from many different ethnic groups.
The treasures of Taiwan are love and kindness. The Tzu Chi Shanlin Da Ai Community has 1,002 permanent houses, of which 752 houses were built during the first phase of construction. Lin Pi-yu, vice president of the foundation, said that the Shanlin Da Ai Community is an ecological community, with a safe and well-designed environment. Combining their different cultures and creativity, the residents have created their own brand of handcrafts: the Kaohsiung city government has helped to set up sales outlets. Ms Lin presented a model of the permanent house to Mayor Chen, who then gave it to the representative of the new residents. The community was built with the charity donation from 52 countries and is a symbol of Tzu Chi's love and care.
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