The Sichuan Buddhist Association and the Office of Religious Affairs in the Sichuan Province has presented Dharma Drum Mountain with a plaque of appreciation for providing humanitarian aid to victims affected by the recent earthquake. Rescuers from Dharma Drum Mountain Social Welfare and Charity Foundation are still working in the devastated areas in the Sichuan province, China.

On May 24 2008, Chinese television network SETV aired a special program about the compassion shown by Taiwan towards victims affected by the earthquake. Venerable Guo Hsien, Vice Provost of Dharma Drum Mountain Cultural Center and Kang-chi Huang was invited on the program to discuss the charity shown by Dharma Drum Mountain and other welfare organizations from Taiwan.

Venerable Guo Hsien told SETV, "The Buddhist attitude toward human beings who are suffering is to share their grief and help them overcome their tragedy. As the people of Taiwan had suffered through a strong earthquake that struck the island on 21 September 1999, we could feel the pain of those affected by the death of their beloved ones. Knowing the damage caused by the earthquake, non-governmental organizations and private enterprises in Taiwan donated many humanitarian supplies to help victims within a very short time."

The devastating earthquake has left many orphans and homeless teenagers who may be suffering post-traumatic stress and other psychological problems as a result of the disaster. Venerable Guo Hsien explained that the spiritual and material support that welfare organizations will be providing those affected will be divided into three stages: the first stage is offer the affected regions relief material and medical care; the second, to help the victims rebuild their communities, homes, schools, hospitals and to find homes for orphaned children. The third stage is to offer spiritual consolation to those who will be affected long-term.

Finally, Venerable Guo Hsien asked all viewers to do what they could to assist the affected areas of Sichuan and Burma. She urged people to look beyond ethnic and political differences and show concern for those in need.

(translated by Susan Chen/edited by DDM Australia Editing Team)

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