French Priest Awarded Taiwan Presidential Culture Award But Only Wishes To Build New Nursing Home

French Priest Awarded Taiwan Presidential Culture Award But Only Wishes To Build New Nursing Home

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French priest Yves Moal is currently working hard to raise funds for building a nursing home for elderly physically challenged people. The home needs a total of NT$ 80 million in funds, but has only raised NT$ 20 million so far.

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Having lived in Taiwan for nearly 50 years, French priest Yves Moal was awarded the Presidential Culture Award in the humanitarian category this month. Moal has devoted himself to caring for the physically and mentally challenged, homeless, orphans and other underprivileged groups in Hualien. Despite being constantly congratulated after receiving the award, Moal isn’t too overjoyed. The priest is only worried about the NT$ 60 million (approximately US$1.8 million) shortage of funds in building a nursing home. Moal says that what he is doing has a very small scale and there are a lot of people that are more qualified for the award.

Liberty Times reports, Moal comes from Brittany, France and arrived at the Catholic Diocese of Yuli, Hualien when he was 25. He is the most respected “father priest" in Yuli and even took over Anders, a center for special education founded by another French priest in 1980. The center is now home to around 50 physically and mentally challenged people.

Moal’s work mostly relies on fundraising support and a very little amount comes from selling the clocks, picnic chairs, shelves and other woodwork made by the residents of Anders. The priest has even opened up a second-hand bookstore to raise more funds.

NTDTV reports, in order to provide a permanent home for elderly physically challenged people, Moal is preparing to build a nursing home, Yi Feng Garden (unofficial translation).

UDN reports, when asks what he wishes to say to the president when presented the award, Moal says if the president has the money, would it be possible for him to donate some to the garden so it can be completed earlier. The priest also hopes to exchange the award into funds so he won’t have to worry about money for the garden anymore and the elderly can have a permanent home.

Moal says Yi Feng Garden is designed for elderly physically challenged people and the construction schedule has already been planned. It is currently waiting for the county government to issue a construction permit, and requires a total of NT$ 80 million (approximately US$ 2.4 million) in funds but has only raised NT$ 20 million (approximately US$ 600,000) so far. Though they are still far away from their goal, Moal is still optimistic and believe they will succeed with the love of the Taiwanese. They are also selling self-made brooms, shelves and other handmade crafts to raise money.

The priest says that the law in Taiwan is unfair and should be modified. Moal points out that regulations relating to the physically and mentally challenged state that centers can’t take in residents over 45 years old. But most of these people are seriously ill or have elderly parents and are unable to take care of themselves. Staring at the land covered with weeds, Moal has confidence in his eyes and says that he hopes to see residents in the new nursing home next year.

Translated by Olivia Yang

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