DDM Heads for Nepal to Offer Care and Relief Donations to the Victims

A Richter scale 7.8 earthquake struck Nepal three weeks ago on 25 April 2015, shortly followed by another 7.3 magnitude devastating tremor on 12 May 2015, wreaking havoc on already destroyed structures and further contributing to the rising death toll and casualty numbers. In addition to commissioning humanitarian relief aid volunteers to assess and outreach to the tragedy with the immediate aid through donations and other resources, the Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation (DDMSWCF) further sets goals to focus efforts on supporting infrastructural and human rebuilding as well as future sustainable development in the region. Moreover, through active engagement and anticipated cooperation with other local Taiwanese organizations, it is hoped that resources and supplies would reach the severely shaken remote villages and mountainous areas, counteracting the imminent South Asian monsoon season.

In the wake of the powerful seism on 25 April 2015, DDMSWCF commenced its relief aid operations, gathered information and liaised with various relevant organizations. As well as organizing goods, supplies and other resources at the first instance, including the donation of 111 cartons of blankets, alongside other national NGOs as coordinated by the Taiwanese Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the DDMSWCF relief aid team departed for Nepal on 30 April 2015 and in a joint effort with other local Nepalese Buddhist organizations provided care for and supported the assessment of the natural disaster.

As soon as their arrival at Kathmandu, the DDMSWCF volunteer relief aid team witnessed collapsed structures everywhere and locals were yet accustomed to life in outdoor tents due to the incessant aftershocks. The Team first visited Shechen Monastery and Thrangu Monastery to gauge the relief aid efforts after the quake, where compassionate concerns were expressed and donations were made to both monasteries by way of support on behalf of DDM.

The Team then outreached with care at and made donations to Punarbal Plus, a home for orphaned HIV-positive children in Kathmandu. By the same token, they also shared with other Buddhist centers and temples the compassion and concerns from the DDM monastic and lay communities, and devotedly prayed for the soon return to normal life in the stricken areas.

Furthermore, DDMSWCF will cooperate with relevant Taiwanese organizations such as the Landseed Culture and Education Foundation (LCEF), drawing upon their longstanding involvement and experience, to dispatch medical personnel and volunteers to Nepal to provide free medical care and conduct educational activities. In this same joint effort and to be distributed through LCEF, DDMSWCF will also have the much needed tents provided to affected households in shaken remote Nepalese townships.

Adopting DDM Founder Venerable Master Sheng Yen’s belief “to uplift one’s character through being peace within one’s mind, body, family and deeds or pursuits” as the background principle in providing comprehensive disaster humanitarian relief aid, DDM will continue to be attentive and responsive to the needs in Nepal and actively look for cooperative channels or relief aid opportunities, locally and abroad, hoping to deliver the collective Taiwanese goodwill as tangible benefits to Nepal in this time of great adversity.

(Translated by Navi Chen/ Edited by Chiacheng Chang & Andy You)

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