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    Kennis | 知识

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    Samenwerking | 合作

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    Werelden verbinden | 国际接轨

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    Ontwikkelingen | 发展

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Devout elders find a haven in their twilight years, in a community that takes care of both their physical and spiritual needs. Yan Yiqi and Shi Xiaofeng report from Ningbo, Zhejiang province. Weng Xiuju, 79, has been living in Guangde Temple for 13 years. As a Buddhist follower, she gets up at 3 am every morning, attends the temple's morning class with other lay Buddhists and helps in the kitchen during meal times. For Weng, her twilight years will be peaceful and worry-free under the roof of this temple. Her wish: To die in the temple with blessings from the Buddha. Weng has chosen to spend her last days in the temple not because she has no relatives to take care of her. She has two sons who are successful businessmen in the local area, but she simply wants to relieve them from the burden of taking care of her. As the nation's shortage of elder care becomes more acute and its population ages, Guangde Temple might provide new options for those who want to spend their old age in comfort. The temple, located in Ninghai county of Ningbo, Zhejiang province, provides nursing-home services for its believers older than 60. Currently serving more than 30 elderly residents, the temple managers plan an expansion that will double its current size, and establish an elder-care area that could take in more than 300 people within three years. By then, it expects to offer a more complete package of care, including nursing, mental health and even hospice facilities. Shi Youyuan, head abbot of the temple, says it is the temple's responsibility to provide a peaceful environment for its believers that are in need. "In Buddhism, a happy ending is one of the two most important things in one's life. Therefore, we value the quality of our believers' twilight years. We hope, with our service, more elderly can find peace during the last years of their lives," he says. Hidden in a small village within Ninghai county, Guangde Temple is far away from any modern city's hustle and bustle. Surrounded by woods and a river, the temple is an oasis of tranquility for its residents.

Chen Yongge, an expert with Zhejiang Academy of Social Sciences, says . . . . read more


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