Date
19 October 2017
Ting Wai Monastery has survived several robberies and a fire but has fallen into disrepair. Photos: Ting Wai Monastery Facebook
Ting Wai Monastery has survived several robberies and a fire but has fallen into disrepair. Photos: Ting Wai Monastery Facebook

Netizens pitch in for century-old Tai Po monastery

A crowdfunding campaign for the Hong Kong Ting Wai Monastery raised HK$800,000 (US$103,000) in two weeks.

The money will finance conservation work on the century-old temple in Tai Po district, according to Apple Daily.

Lawyer Mary Jean Reimer, who spearheaded the campaign, is looking for volunteers to help promote historical conservation to the wider community.  

She said the strong response to the fundraising shows netizens are generous young people who care about history and heritage.

Ting Wai Monastery, founded in 1921, has survived several robberies and a fire.

A Buddhist nun, Chi Ding, has been responsible for its upkeep for the past 19 years but the building has fallen into disrepair.

Chi said developers have been trying to convince her to sell the land or turn it into a profitable business but she refused.

The 100,000 square-foot plot is estimated to be worth HK$100 million.

“The monastery is not a place for making money,” Chi said.

Chi inspired Reimer to launch a fundraising on FringeBacker, a global crowdfunding platform.

“I was deeply touched by some Christians who offered to help after seeing our video clip online. This effort to preserve an old Buddhist temple has transcended religion,” she said.

Reimer said the conservation work will be a long process involving building consultants, planners and financial advisers.

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