Friday, 18 March 2011

Tzu Chi Launches Earthquake Efforts

"We need your help to deliver everyone's love and kindness to Japan!"

Tzu Chi, the international Buddhist aid charity's Tokyo branch has opened a relief centre to help those affected by the biggest earthquake in the history of Japan.

The centre, on the branch’s first floor, opened at 6.30 p.m. on Friday, less than four hours after the quake. It is providing people with snacks, an Internet service to contact their loved ones, a place to rest and sleep and comfort for those in shock. The volunteers have supplied 500 items to those who were trapped on the streets of Tokyo and unable to go home: two spent the night in the centre because they lived too far away. More than 200 people have made use of the Internet service.

At the foundation’s headquarters in Hualien, an emergency command centre was established on March 11 and held a video conference with the Japan branch to ask what aid was needed. The headquarters has prepared 50 tons of instant rice and 17,000 environmentally friendly blankets; it has contacted the airlines about shipping these goods to the areas affected by the quake.

Unfortunately donating to Tzu Chi from here in the U.K. is a bit torturous, contact details can be found HERE. A better option is to go to the U.S. site and donate in dollars using Paypal (only enter the amount, don't use a £ pound sign!!!).

The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, whose name means "compassion and relief," is an international humanitarian organization with a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council. Founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966, the group has nearly 10 million volunteers and supporters in 50 countries and has provided aid in 70 countries. Tzu Chi's work spans the fields of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection and disaster relief. It also established what is now the world's third largest bone marrow donor registry, and promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism.

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