Tzu Chi Foundation Taiwan to send makeshift classrooms to disaster-hit Visayas, Mindanao

by Michael Siao, Tzu Chi Foundation, 12 November 2013

Taipei, Taiwan -- Tzu Chi Foundation, at the behest of founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen, will be sending 160 makeshift classrooms to the Philippines to address the urgent need for shelters of the victims of Typhoon Yolanda in Visayas and the armed conflict in Zamboanga.

<< A team of Tzu Chi volunteers are working together to build a makeshift classroom. A total of 160 classrooms, which will be given to the victims of typhoon Yolanda in Visayas and of the armed conflict in Zamboanga, will be sent to the Philippines this month. (Provided by Tzu Chi Foundation Taiwan).

The classrooms, which were assembled in Taichung, Taiwan by Tzu Chi volunteers, will arrive in the country this month. Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Alfredo Li says that each classroom can accommodate 75 students and can serve as temporary shelter for typhoon victims.

Zamboanga liaison office coordinator Anton Lim, key volunteers from Tzu Chi Philippines, and Li have also visited the job site in Taiwan to help assemble the classrooms.

Since last month, over 100 volunteers have committed their time on weekdays and 200 volunteers have come in to help on weekends to speed up the task. Volunteers from Taiwan have provided their own ladders, tools, and even bolts and nuts to lessen the burden of volunteers in installing the tents in the disaster site.

In 2012, the same makeshift classrooms have been donated by Tzu Chi Foundation to Epworth School, Zimbabwe, where students used to study in the shade of trees, without desks or chairs. The school has also been provided with solar street lights for the security of more than 1,000 students.

In the meantime, Tzu Chi Foundation’s Taiwan branch has already shipped thermal blankets and instant rice, which will arrive today, November 12, in the Philippines. These goods will be given to the disaster victims in Leyte, where Tzu Chi volunteers will conduct a survey and massive relief operations from November 13 to 16.

Tzu Chi Foundation is now accepting donations. For more information, please call 7320001 local 211 or 217.

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