The Duoling train station is certainly one of the most touristic on the island of Taiwan. Overlooking the Pacific ocean, it shelters an out of the ordinary community tourism project.
Back to August 8th 2008: the Morakot typhoon hits the East coast of Taiwan. Record rain falls devastate the region with many mud slides, leaving behind more than 1.5 tons of wood.
Following this natural disaster, the elderly people of the local Calavi community start falling sick. The younger generation are forced to leave the city and rejoin their village in order to take care of them. However, working opportunities are scarce, and the youth start to face financial issues.
In order to remedy these problems, an entrepreneur decides to donate 10 MA taiwanese dollars to the community so that they can develop a carpentry studio: The Sunrise Driftwood Workshop.
This workshop not only allows for the transformation of recycled wood into diverse type of accessories, decorative objects and furniture, it mostly provided support for the local community. As years passed, the latter, full-blown actors of the project, became trained and certified carpenters, allowing for them to divert themselves in a regular activity and support the needs of their family.
Little by little, the workshop transformed itself into a cultural centre, allowing for the discovery of the local community: the Calavi (pronouced ‘chalavi’). With the addition of a restaurant, gift shop, and a museum, new job opportunities were offered to the villagers.
The extremely welcoming spirit of the population quickly put us at ease. Ru Hang, in charge of the organisation, and Kavi, her assistant, were here to guide and share their inspiring project with us.
As the days passed, we realized the importance of this project for the Calavi community. Its impact is proven, for example, by the simple fact that 50% of the population works in the centre (the village is composed of 60 habitants). As it continues to develop, the centre is a source of hope for the local youth, who welcome living close to their family, to the great pleasure of the children and the elderly.
The “Do It Yourself” activity created for guests to discover carpentry are extremely entertaining. The walks around the village offer splendid views of the bay. Each house offers its share of stories, and the sunrises are exceptional! An additional jewel to promote on the Hopineo platform!
Welcome to the Calavi community! Mali Mali Masaru! (Thank you very much in the local language)