Erenlai - Building communities 族群重建
Building communities 族群重建

Building communities 族群重建


The materials here explore how community frontiers and boundaries are being reshaped in Asia, at local and international levels.



週二, 03 五 2011



週二, 15 三月 2011


We quite spontaneously equate “teambuilding” with “leadership.”  This might be a misperception. In the teambuilding process each team member is a team builder, and nothing can be achieved without the active participation of all people involved.  Both team spirit and the fruits of the project on which the team works belong to all those who participated in it.  You may say that in every collective project there are two things created at the same time: the work that is accomplished (a rocket, a magazine, a building, a new medication…) and the team that has produced the work.

However, it is true that, in every team, there are people whose specific service is to ensure the cohesion and wellbeing of the team as a human group. This is a service like another one, as can be the one of cooking, doing accounting or conducting research. Team builders are “leaders’ only in the sense that they empower each and every member to be one of the team builders, that they intuit where the difficulties come from, and invent ways to heal the body divided against itself when conflicts and misunderstandings occur.

The New Testament offers to us two figures of great team builders: Jesus and Paul.  Jesus did not create an “institution”, he shaped the men and women who were following him. But he shaped them as part of a living community. During his final march towards Jerusalem he was leading a group of disciples bitterly divided among themselves. They were quarrelling over who was the greatest among them. Dissensions linked to differences in background, political opinions and appreciation of the situation were obviously growing. During the Last Supper, Jesus shares the bread and the chalice with people who seem to feel confused, angry and bitter.

They will eventually unite, first around the absence of Jesus and then – decisively – around the Risen One. The Acts of the Apostles tell us how they creatively start to build a community with others, in the recollection of the example of teambuilding that Jesus gave them. Paul will continue such work, building local churches and exhorting them, often with tears, to conduct themselves in justice and charity, and to renounce everything that causes divisions.

May we likewise overcome our ego and its limitations, so as to all become the “living stones’ of the teams we work in, and – looking even farther – of an ever-growing human community.

Photo by B.V.

週四, 23 十二月 2010


THC - Taipei Hip Hop Crew,成軍於2006年,由一群熱愛HIP HOP,來自不同國家, 不同文化的人所組成 --- THC的團員來自台灣、美國、加拿大和尼泊爾。他們說著不同的語言:中文、英文與法文,使這個團體變的非常特別 --- 讓我們聽聽他們對音樂的想法!

週二, 17 十一月 2009

Hope against all hopes

One thing that makes you desperate about the world is that problems, big and small, seem to remain around without ever being solved. Afghanistan makes Obama sleepless; the Middle East changes only for the worse; negotiations on climate change are protracted; bankers have gone back to their indecent bonuses; corruption and short-term interests are still hindering the shift towards sustainable development in most countries; Taiwan politics remains… well… Taiwan politics… and the list could go on indefinitely.

Of course, when you look more carefully at the picture you might feel a little less desperate. People easily forget the progresses already accomplished, the breakthrough having occurred in the past, and we all naturally focus on what is still going wrong. Even more important is the fact that most problems are not just fixed in one or two moves but require long-term, incremental adjustments. Nobody ever found a vaccine against cancer, but modes of treatments are indeed more sophisticated and successful than, say, fifteen years ago. Humankind had always been “muddling through”, and will presumably continue do so. “Muddling through” does not make for good movies plots (we go for decisive triumphs and crushing defeats), but constitutes the very substance of our everyday struggles.

As we enter Christmas time, we may be remembered that real progresses are often silent and discreet. They start from something that has changed within us and is communicated around, as a candle’s fire kindles other fires. Just for taking an example: for sure, negotiations on climate change are important, and we need new regulations. At the same time, if humankind is to overcome such challenge it will come from changes in consumption models, awareness of the challenges resulting in shifting behaviors, entrepreneurs’ commitment to shift to renewable, non polluting energies even if there is still some extra cost involved in such a move… These changes are actually already happening, just because concerned individuals and companies make them happen. Networks spread around knowledge and ideas, public opinion translates them into forces for change, and local leaders sometimes are able to mobilize whole communities.

Such outcome never comes automatically. It germinates within the hearts of individuals who have decided to take seriously the challenges to which they can practically respond, and who associate with like-minded people. As happens when we contemplate the Christmas manger, we are often moved by the very weakness of these individuals or local communities: the Pakistani village that transforms itself though micro-credit; Afghan women mobilizing against violence, as Irish women did a few decades ago; aboriginal communities struggling to maintain their identity and traditional setting… Paradoxically, their weakness becomes their strength, as it tells us something fundamental about human life: problems are not solved by problem-solvers; they must be tackled at their root thanks to a revolution from the heart.

(Photo by C. Phiv)

週六, 24 十月 2009














週五, 23 十月 2009














週五, 09 十月 2009




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週五, 09 十月 2009




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週五, 02 十月 2009






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週五, 02 十月 2009






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週五, 27 二月 2009

Thinking Globally, Teaching Locally

In Taiwan, county administrations are responsible for primary education. With 3,8 million inhabitants, Taipei county (which does not include Taipei city) is the most populated of the island. Its population is also the most varied: Minnan, Hakkas, Taiwanese, aboriginal settlements, immigrants from abroad, people from central and southern Taiwan migrating to the outskirts of Taipei...
No wonder, the county puts special emphasis on language education, be it Chinese, minority languages or English. It has edited a series of special textbooks for developing taste and skills in reading and writing, as well as a more imaginative and reflexive outlook thanks to the pedagogical openings that language education provide teachers with. This set of textbooks comes with formation sessions offered to teachers and parents alike.
Her-Ran Liou, chief of the education bureau, shares with us his vision and concern: how to balance opening to other cultures with a healthy respect and interest for one’s own?

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週二, 24 二月 2009

More Than Just a Meal

Aurelie comments on one of the photographs she took for a book presenting twelve associations in Taiwan. Read her introduction to the project below.

A three-storied house on a hill in Muzha, on a Saturday afternoon. In the playground, young kids have a nap after lunchtime. At first sight, you would think you are in a kindergarten. But as I enter, nannies disinfect my hands. Others are giving ‘magic cocktails’, which is medication, to some children. Upstairs, elder kids have class with a volunteer teacher. We are in an orphanage where some children carry HIV, run by Yangjie, a ’second mum’ to the 24 children.
Yangjie’s devotion to the children is a story of love and fight for life; offering a second chance to the ones who need it the most.

This photo book is a story full of interesting encounters, emotions captured through the lens of a camera… The twelve people in this book have different backgrounds and stories to tell, but to me they were one and the same: people who went through difficult times and now are making a difference in the society for others.

For example, after the sudden death of her husband, Mrs Wu built an association to welcome single parents. Following the 1999 earthquake, which devastated Nantou County, Mr 廖振益 built ‘Longyan Community‘ to distribute lunch boxes to the ones in need. Now, these associations have grown bigger and I could see how the combined efforts of the community can put an end to loneliness and turn it into positive energy.

Problems do not simply disappear and it takes time to learn to live with them, but as Mrs Wu working at “Single Families Association” in Taipei, told me: “When I am helping the people coming here, I am also helping myself”. Indeed, as handicaps or hard times affect people’s lives, it can also mean a new beginning to one’s life, a new experience, a new challenge.

All the pictures in this book are matters of reflection to me, and make me think of what can still be worked on: A better access to normal education for children carrying HIV, training courses other than massage courses for blind people, more programs of rehabilitations for ex-prisoners…

As I was photographing, I learned more about the Taiwanese society. These people could be me or you. And as it did for me, I hope this book will call for more collective awareness among others.

Here is the link to Oliver Yang, the other photographer with whom I worked on this project:

Attached media :

For readers in mainland China:

第 2 頁,共 7 頁





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