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Students raise money to help typhoon-ravaged village
Central News Agency
2014-07-09 08:30 PM
Taipei, July 9 (CNA) Some of the residents of an indigenous village in Taiwan who lost their homes to typhoons over a decade ago will soon fulfill their long-awaited dreams of moving into permanent new homes, thanks to a group of university students. Eighteen students in a creativity and entrepreneurship program at National Taiwan University have recently raised NT$1 million (US$33,414) to help the residents move into new homes built for them by the government. The residents, all of whom were from the Atayal village of Hagay in Taoyuan County's Fuxing Township, have lived in temporary housing since Typhoon Herb in 1996, and various subsequent typhoons over the years, destroyed the village. Using skills they learned from the program, the students launched a crowdfunding website in May, cooperating with pineapple cake manufacturer SunnyHills to sell pineapple angel cakes, each six inches in diameter, with all of the profits going to the villagers. By mid-June, the students had sold 4,000 of the cakes and hit their NT$1 million target. Hou Chao-yuan, a representative of the students, said Wednesday that the students sold the cakes on campus, as well as on Facebook. One newlywed purchased 150 cakes to give to family and friends, he added. The chemical engineering major said the students had wanted to assist the Hagay villagers ever since learning about their plight in January. Even though construction of the government-built permanent houses is slated to be completed soon, each household is required to pay NT$650,000 to apply for one of the homes, and they have to cover the cost of decoration out of their own pockets, Hou said. Although the money raised by the students will benefit only four or five households out of the 21 affected, Hou said the students hope that their efforts will inspire more people to help the Hagay villagers. (By Hsu Chih-wei and Christie Chen)
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