A well-attended meeting on 30 August 2015 heard the interesting story of a house building project in Nepal which was attended by nearly 100 New Zealanders. Mrs “Blue” Kerr from Fairlie shared her infectious enthusiasm for the project with our members. The houses were built mostly from local materials. They had a wooden frame filled in with plaited bamboo slats which were then plastered over and painted. The project was undertaken in November 2014, before the subsequent disastrous earthquake which caused so much damage and loss of life. Only one of Habitat’s new buildings was damaged proof that the new buildings were quite robust. Almost everything, even tasks like mixing concrete, was done by hand. This is not a handout. Those receiving the new houses contribute money and labour to the project. Volunteers pay their own way and also make a contribution to the cost of the project. It cost Kiwi volunteers about $6,000 each to attend.
Habitat for Humanity is a worldwide organisation which has built houses in many countries. It was established in New Zealand in 1993 and to date has assisted over 900 Kiwi families into homes which they otherwise would not be able to afford.
As usual, the meeting was preceded by a Chinese meal which was enjoyed by all.
The development of the Confucius Resource Centre at Aoraki Polytechnic in Timaru continues. A Cultural Day is planned for 19 September 2015. We were pleased to have three young ladies from China, Sunny, Bonny and Daisy who are involved in planning for the Day at our meeting.
We also welcomed Mandarin Language Assistant at Timaru Girls’ High School, Alyssa Du.