Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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May 23rd
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Home Feature Stories Help Haiti with Love Help Haiti with Love!

Help Haiti with Love!

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(San Dimas, CA, USA) Tzu Chi relief team has conducted several small- and large-scale relief goods distributions as of February 11, benefitting over 15,000 survivors in Haiti. Tzu Chi will continue to conduct large-scale relief goods distributions on a weekly basis. Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) has provided medical and dental services in Haiti, serving hundreds of patients in the area, and will continue to send in doctors to provide help on a weekly basis. Tzu Chi’s relief work program has officially launched on February 8, providing cash and meals to the survivors/participants and bringing love and hope to the people in Haiti.

The CEO of Tzu Chi USA has met up with the Prime Minister of Haiti on February 10, discussing the plans for long-term relief work in Haiti. Tzu Chi will be there to accompany the survivors in Haiti for as long as there’s a need. Tzu Chi USA will be holding a nationwide campaign on February 12 at 4:53pm EST (1:53pm PST), inviting everyone in the nation to send blessings and prayers to the people in Haiti at the same time.

Relief Goods Distribution
Ever since late January, Tzu Chi has conducted several small- and large-scale relief good distributions. The most recent one being the relief goods distribution at the St. Mary Church on February 10 and at the Impact for God Church on February 11. On February 10, 2,290 people received goods, such as rice, beans, buckets and reusable utensils, from Tzu Chi outside of the St. Mary Church. A total of 62 volunteers (including Tzu Chi volunteers, medical doctors, local church volunteers) were mobilized to assist with the distribution. There were US military soldiers at the distribution site to provide security protection. They said that Tzu Chi’s relief goods distribution was the most touching and heart-warming distribution they have ever seen.

On February 11, the distribution will be held at the Impact for God Church, benefitting approximately 7,000-8,000 people in the city of Tabarre. Tzu Chi will continue to hold small- and large-scale distributions over the next few weeks as part of its immediate relief efforts.

Medical & Dental Services
Tzu Chi International Association (TIMA) started providing medical & dental services in Haiti on February 6. Within three hours on February 6, the medical team provided services to 118 people. Not only did the TIMA provided services to the survivors, the team also provided services to the peacekeepers who were helping to provide relief work and security protection. TIMA will continue to send in teams of doctors and medical personnel to Haiti to care for the survivors.

Relief Work Program
Tzu Chi has initiated a relief work program near the Impact for God Church, in the city of Tabarre, providing the participants/survivors meals and cash in exchange for clean-up work in their local communities. Each day, participants work in the morning, earning approximately US$5 per day and receiving hot meals for their family members and themselves. The program gives the survivors not only urgently-needed food and cash, but also a sense of hope and respect. One of the church’s pastors, Damas Destine, said that they are extremely happy and thankful to receive this help. “We are in such need now. We need food and we need help,” he said.

Tzu Chi volunteers have proposed to the pastors a service of blessing on February 12, which marks the first month after the earthquake. A Christian church and a Buddhist organization are working hand-in-hand; as they work together, they take a step closer to help the people of Haiti. Tzu Chi volunteer Zhang Jiduo said, “We want to use love to heal the wounds of the heart and hope that it can bring peace and tranquility to the people.”

Education
Besides providing food, relief goods, medical & dental services, and work opportunities, Tzu Chi volunteers try to educate the people in Haiti through any opportunities they get. For example, while the survivors are waiting in line for medical & dental services, or for receiving goods, Tzu Chi volunteers would take the opportunity to provide some sanitary and health education. Tzu Chi volunteers would also encourage the relief work program participants to line up and wait patiently before receiving meals.

In addition, a Tzu Chi volunteer from Argentina told a story to the relief work program participants regarding sharing kindness and love to everyone around us. Before the story, the relief work program participants were reluctant to share their food with others who were also starving; however, after the Tzu Chi volunteer shared the story with the participants, the participants understood the moral of the story, and they applauded and said that they would spread the spirit of Great Love to others around them.

Meeting with the Prime Minister of Haiti to Discuss Long-Term Reconstruction Plan
On February 10, the CEO of Tzu Chi USA, along with the Executive Vice President of Tzu Chi USA and four other Tzu Chi volunteers visited the Prime Minister of Haiti, discussing the possibility of long-term reconstruction work. The Prime Minister remembered Tzu Chi from the relief work in January 2008. The CEO of Tzu Chi USA, William Keh, told the Prime Minister about Tzu Chi’s reconstruction work after the Southeast Asia tsunami in Sri Lanka, the earthquakes in Indonesia, the earthquakes in El Salvador, the mudslides in Kaohsiung County after Typhoon Morakot, etc, and that Tzu Chi has built permanent villages in different parts of the world after disasters. Tzu Chi respects each area's religions, ethnic traditions and cultures when building the permanent villages.

For example, after Typhoon Morakot devastated Kaohsiung County, Tzu Chi volunteers, construction workers and relief work program participants worked together to finish the first phase of permanent homes and churches for the Typhoon Morakot survivors in just 88 days. The first phase consists of 600 homes and two churches.

The Prime Minister hopes that Tzu Chi can assist with the reconstruction work in Haiti as well and set an example for other NGOs to follow. Tzu Chi will continue to assess the situation and develop a detailed long-term reconstruction plan.

Nationwide Campaign to Send Blessings or Prayers to the People in Haiti on February 12 at 4:53pm EST
On February 12, a month after the earthquake in Haiti, Tzu Chi is launching a nationwide campaign to observe a minute of silence and send blessings or prayers to the survivors in Haiti. At 4:53pm EST, or 1:53pm PST (the time that the earthquake happened on January 12), all the Tzu Chi volunteers in the United States will pray or send blessings to the people in Haiti. Tzu Chi is inviting everyone to send your blessings or prayers to the people in Haiti at the same time. No matter from a local Tzu Chi office, your home, office, street, supermarket, school, etc., everyone is invited to join in the campaign and send blessings to the people in Haiti. This will create a collective force that brings hope and love to the people in Haiti. For more information about this campaign, please visit www.us.tzuchi.org.

Tzu Chi will be there to accompany the survivors for as long as there is a need, and Tzu Chi will help to deliver love to Haiti from around the world. Every cent of the donation received for Haiti relief will be used for the immediate, mid-term and long-term relief operations in Haiti.

Together, let us help Haiti with love!

 

" Bodhisattvas are not idols made of wood; real Bodhisattvas are people who eat, talk, work, and relieve suffering in times of need. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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