A Compassionate Heart Never Stops Caring
With much appreciation for the assistance of local government as DDM’s disaster relief team enters Laonong and Baolai villages on August 16th.
In light of the three-phase rescue principles of emergency rescue, settlement and counseling service set out by DDM’s founder, the late Master Sheng Yen, a series of organized disaster-response operations consisting of inspection, search and rescue, consolation visits, medical treatment and counseling service was implemented to help the survivors of Typhoon Morakot cope in the aftermath to regain peace of mind.
The "88 Flood" destroyed houses and turned typhoon-devastated areas into a hotbed for pests and diseases as unbearable odors filled the air. Volunteer force totaling over 10,000 joined the relief efforts to help clean up the flood-stricken areas to prevent possible outbreak of diseases.
Volunteers and medical workers from different parts of the island also pitched in to help in places such as Jiadong Township and Linbian Township of Pingtung County, Madou Township, Xuejia Township and Danei Village of Tainan County, Chishan Township of Kaohsiung County and Chiayi City.
DDM sprang to action with relief efforts, and within two days of August 15th and 16th promptly mobilized and dispatched over hundreds of volunteers from Taipei, Taipei County, Taoyuan and Linkou to Jiadong County which was stricken with severe mud problems.
As restoration efforts continued, DDM also began visiting disaster-stricken families to express concern－on August 12th and 14th , Mr. Xiong Ying Hui from the 921 DDM Peace of Mind Relief Station in Nantou visited various affected regions to express concern on behalf of DDM and offered relief funds to families who lost their loved ones in the disaster as well as providing end-of-life chanting service.
The outpouring of support and concern warmed the hearts of families as they resolve to move forward with their lives. Director of DDM Tainan Center, Venerable Guo Qian headed the relief effort to give support and to encourage those affected by the disaster.
DDM also assisted in distributing relief supplies and daily necessities airlifted to the cut-off mountainous areas of Chiayi and Taimali of Taitung, as well as visited families of victims and of missing persons to express their love and support. Monastics and volunteers from Taidong’s Xinxing Monastery also came forward to assist the local government with the over-abundant donation goods that have arrived in the area.
DDM’s relief efforts are still underway so that more people in need will be reached in a timely manner. Some 20 volunteers experienced in offering spiritual and emotional post-disaster counseling were assigned to the Peace of Mind Relief Station set up in the hard-hit Liugui Township on August 14th to provide local residents with counseling service and support.
On the 16th, the relief team headed to Laonong and Baolai villages where residents are still left stranded. The areas were ravaged by the storm-triggered mudslide and as a result virtually changed the landscape of the area, which only increased the difficulty of the rescue mission.
DDM disaster relief team however was not deterred as they pressed on with their mission so as not to let down the typhoon survivors and supporters of the relief effort. DDM is much obliged to the local government for their assistance in the 88 Flood relief work in ensuring the safety of volunteers over the course of the disaster relief mission and in facilitating the efficient delivery of aids to the needy.
Assistance will still be required in the days to come as the scope of the relief effort continues to expand. DDM would like to urge that everyone reach out and do whatever we can to help the survivors to rebuild their homes so they can return to their peaceful lives.
(translated by Lisa Tu)