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August 1, 2019

Assembling of Temporary Housing by Marawi Workers

Marawi Workers come to Tzu Chi to learn how to build the sturdy Temporary Housing donated by Tzu Chi. To the surprise of their instructors, it took them less than a week to learn. 400 units will be sent to Marawi for the displaced families.


By Anna Geronimo



It was a blustery 1st of August when the volunteers of Marawi came to the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus for their 3rd day of training. They were all there to learn how to build a temporary shelter, 400 will be sent to Marawi courtesy of the Tzu Chi Foundation. Made of recyclable material, the durable housing units can withstand a lot of calamities.


The team led by Tzu Chi Livelihood trainer Rico Balid, was given the assignment to dissemble a temporary shelter and reassemble it in a different position. In under an hour, using hand tools, the builders dissembled the house, they had previously assembled the day prior, in record time.


Zenaida S. Nafa, School President of Hope Healthcare Institute tells us, “We are here for a seven day training for building these houses. We are 24 in total and we are the first group that will build these houses. These type of houses will be given to the internally displaced people, who were victims of the Marawi Siege and the survivors. 20 initial housing units out of the 400 will be sent to Marawi to test the site itself”


When asked about why she chose the particular group, “The people that came here were chosen because they already had training. They also graduated from carpentry and also passed the national examinations. It’s a good thing that TESDA (Technical Education and Skills Development Authority) gave training and now they have a livelihood that will give them allowance. They have earned something from their training and now they would be able to help the people who will receive these houses.” She also said

One of the main builders, Maricris Aberoja, tells us while the workers rebuilt the house, “Since Monday, when we arrived, until now, we’ve been learning to assemble and disassemble the houses.  They said it will be one to two months depending if we were going to learn the building of the houses fast, but it looks like it took us only one week to learn and we would be able to return home on Monday. It’s one week because we were able to get it.


Sir Rico told us that beginners can’t do it in one day but we did. They also said that they could build the house in three to five hours. We didn’t believe it, but when we tried it, it didn’t even take us five hours.


To us, the speed is nothing because dissembling is also a part of it.  In dissembling, it will take you half a day, but for us it only took us about 30 minutes. Just like Tzu Chi Foundation who wanted to help us, the people who are affected by the Marawi Siege, we also wanted to reach out to help our fellow men. That’s why we volunteered and learned how to build a house, so that when we get back we are the ones who will teach them to build their own houses.


I am a trainer for Electricals and I also do a little carpentry that is why I have some idea on what to do. It feels good when you are the one that builds the house even if you will give it to others. I feel happy about it. Not only do you work hard, you also help others.”


And indeed it took them under 3 hours, to everyone’s surprise, to complete the temporary shelter. The Workers are excited to learn they will return home by Monday.

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Tzu Chi Philippines

Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation, Philippines - Jing Si Hall

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(632) 8714 - 1188

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