DDM's Health Servce Center in Sri Lanka

Two years ago, the entirely unexpected South Asian tsunami took away countless lives and destroyed many homes. In its aftermath, disaster relief organizations from all over the globe arrived and joined forces in Sri Lanka, exercising the compassion and wisdom of all humanity.

After the primary relief work was completed and most organizations have left, the DDM Foundation stayed on with the tsunami survivors to help rebuild their homes and communities.

The Dharma Drum team has distributed supplies, comforted the survivors, built 100 houses in the "Taiwan Village," donated furniture and kitchen appliances to 300 homes, started a kindergarten, built water towers, improved water quality and established the Peace of Mind Relief Station.

In recent years, the DDM Charity Foundation has actively participated in disaster relief work worldwide. Master Sheng Yen, the Founder of Dharma Drum Mountain, has set a direction for its relief effort: While supplying needed materials is the most urgent task, helping the survivors recover from the psychological traumas requires the patience of many good-hearted individuals and continuous counseling and care.

Mere supply of materials is not sufficient to help those who have been severely traumatized. Long-term care is essential to calm and comfort the devastated bodies and minds. Therefore, we launched the "South Asia Five-Year Recovery Plan" - in addition to actively participating in emergency disaster relief and providing material assistance, we also established the Peace of Mind Relief Station to help the survivors recover from their psychological traumas.

Since the "South Asia Five-Year Recovery Plan" was launched, the DDM Charity Foundation has dispatched five medical relief teams to Sri Lanka to provide free health services to local residents. Providing medical care is only one way to convey our support, because short-term care cannot cure all diseases nor solve all problems; nonetheless, the loving care of the doctors and nursing staff is the most powerful medicine.

Now that the Peace of Mind Relief Station has opened its doors in the Taiwan Village, the DDM Charity Foundation hopes to provide the survivors with public health education and basic health services, so that they can improve public hygiene and personal health.

The Foundation will also systematically train local nursing personnel to provide better care for their fellow residents. Therefore, the Health Services Center is established in hopes of providing the survivors with better health care so they can settle their bodies, their minds, their families and their business.

Today, we are very happy to witness the inauguration of "Health Services Center". Though DDM Foundation is the major launcher, without the money and efforts contributed by good-hearted individuals from everywhere and assistance from local government and institutions, we can't fulfill these kinds of good work. Hence, we appreciate those good-hearted individuals as well as local officials in particular. And we thank you for making people fulfill their charitable wish of making donations and helping villagers get the best care in body and mind.

DDM has been launching many kinds of caring and education works worldwide based on its vision. Its primary task is to settle people's mind and its goal is to "uplift the character of humanity and build a pure land on earth," so we have been continuously promoting the cause of the Buddha's compassion and wisdom. We also expect that there will be more people participating jointly to build and share a purified global village, to which all of us have devoted our efforts together.

Opening speech by Venerable Guo Qi

Honorable Guests, Ladies & Gentlemen:

First of all, my sincere well wishes to our friends in Sri Lanka. I wish everyone 'Harmony, Respect & Peace' in the year 2007. Time flies! In a flash, two years have already lapsed since the tsunami disaster struck South Asia, reminding us that life is impermanent and our world is fragile!

The destructive impact of the tsunami, which led to immeasurable casualties in over ten countries, has left the world in shock. Yet at the same time, it has consolidated the compassion and wisdom of people around the world, with people joining forces hand in hand to rebuild their homes. Now, we can see the successful result of the reconstruction work.

In recent years, Dharma Drum Mountain has been actively involved in international humanitarian relief operations. We have been following our founder, Venerable Master Sheng Yen's directives, and that is "although the provision of material relief is extremely urgent, spiritual restoration is just as important and requires patience, dedication and compassion.

Hence we have to consolidate the continuous efforts of our volunteers to help ease the emotional trauma of the victims, which will require a much longer time to heal".

The Spiritual Restoration Operation in South Asia is one such operation by the volunteers of DDM to alleviate the victim!|s emotional pains. Other than the provision of emergency relief and material assistance, we have set up spiritual service centers to meet the victim's spiritual needs.

The essential steps in DDM's advocacy of building a stable society and maintaining a peaceful mind involves cultivating a peaceful body, cultivating a peaceful mind, cultivating a peaceful family and cultivating peaceful activities. Of these, cultivating a peaceful body is of paramount importance. We all know that the natural cycle of birth, aging, sickness and old age is inevitable.

To ensure that everyone can enjoy the best of care and attentive assistance, we have established a Health Center to provide people with high quality medical treatment and supplies, and proper education on health and hygiene to improve their sanitation and individual health. The Center is therefore an important interface in the work of spiritual restoration.

Today, it is our pleasure to witness the opening of the Health Center. Although DDM is the initiator, without the generous effort and financial support of others and the assistance of the local government, such favourable causes and conditions would not have arose and we could not have achieved this.

Hence we would like to express our gratitude to our volunteers, patrons and local government officials for giving everyone the opportunity to contribute, so that the mental and physical well-being of the local people can be cared for.

In its worldwide operation of caring and education services, DDM always uphold the goal to 'uplift the character of humankind and build a pure land on earth', with the task of cultivating a peaceful mind as its priority. We hope that more people can join us in spreading the Buddha's compassion and wisdom, in building and sharing a pure and peaceful global village.

Finally, peace to you all in body and mind!

Thank you!

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