Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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Oct 14th
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Diplomats Turn Volunteer at Shanlin Village

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Four diplomats turned volunteer in a tour of Shanlin village, which the Tzu Chi Foundation built for survivors of Typhoon Morakot, as a way of showing their appreciation for the project.

The four joined staff of the International Co-operation and Development Fund (ICDF) to see at first hand the new home of the survivors. Under the hot sun, the four lined up to lay interlocking bricks. “This is my first time and it feels great to contribute,” said Carlos Martinez Ruizdiaz, ambassador of Paraguay.  “The construction itself is amazing,” said Victor Manuel Sanchez Pena, ambassador of the Dominican Republic.  Adela Jimenez de Perez, a minister at the Paraguayan embassy, said that she wanted to help the survivors of the typhoon because she had made a promise to Master Cheng Yen to do so. Tang Jiren, deputy secretary-general of ICDF, said that the love of Taiwanese people could ripple around the world. “We came here today to learn about the spirit of great love in Tzu Chi.”

After they had finished laying the bricks, the visitors went to see one of the new homes. Mario Choulotte, a minister of the Haitian embassy, expressed his admiration for its comfort and detailed design. “Haiti is short of construction materials, which need to be imported. If we can build similar houses in Haiti, that will be great.”  They saw a performance of sign language by the residents and practiced the exercises themselves; they also prayed with them. It was a day to experience the love and warmth which envelops the Great Love Village.