DDM Global News

UNICEF USA Donation and Visit

On May 3rd, the former Abbot President Ven. Guo Dong, along with Ven. Chang Zhen, Ven. Chang Ji, Ven. Chang Hwa, and 9 laymen members of DDMBA (Dharma Drum Mountain Buddhist Association), visited the UNICEF USA New York headquarters in downtown NYC for a donation ceremony. The donation was for the earthquake relief in Turkey/Syria and was raised by 15 chapters of DDMBA in the States and Hong Kong. The donation was given to UNICEF USA and other charity organizations that are working on the ground. DDMBA and UNICEF USA have collaborated several times in the past few years, such as the 2017 Haiti earthquake relief, the 2020 COVID-19 and this time.
Ms. Darla Silva, Chief Programs Officer of UNICEF USA, greeted the former Abbot President and the DDMBA delegation. She shared some statistics about the disadvantaged children around the world, their current situation and the help needed. She explained UNICEF's global work on the safety, health, hygiene, potential development and emergency relief of children and their families. She also emphasized the ongoing relief efforts in the affected areas, such as: providing clean water and sanitation, supplying medical and nutrition for affected people, providing mental health care and child protection, rebuilding schools and healthcare infrastructure.
The former Abbot President listened attentively to Ms. Darla Silva's presentation, and then spoke on behalf of DDMBA: under the instruction of our late founder Master Sheng Yen, DDMBA has obtained UN ECOSOC consultative status. The representative to the UN is Ven. Chang Ji. DDMBA is committed to serving humanity by working to relieve the various forms of human suffering -- physical, emotional, and spiritual. Its programs range from international dialogues on peacebuilding to training on methods of cultivating peace within. DDMBA supports scholarly research in the field of Buddhism, sponsors intercultural and interfaith seminars and conferences to enhance mutual understanding and respect between different cultures and religions. It also initiates programs for environmental protection, leadership training for young adults, and it provides charitable aid to those in need. DDMBA Emergency Relief Project has three stages. The first stage focuses on saving people, saving lives, and comforting the deceased. The second stage focuses on providing shelters, water, and food. The third stage focuses on reestablishing emotional, mental, and spiritual health.
Finally, the former Abbot President sent a blessing to all:
Mindful of affinities and conditions, opportunities arise
All times, all places, always cherish the present moment.
Calmly, steadily, transform uncertainties into possibilities.
Appreciate causes and affinities to create golden opportunities.
Sharing and helping, practice according to principles and situations.
Develop potentials to engage at full capacity.
Freely and peacefully, all is filled with vitality.
The former Abbot President explained these blessings and spread the compassion and wisdom of Buddhism to everyone present at the right time. Impressed by the words, the Assistant Director of Global Cause Partnerships UNICEF USA, Austin asked for the English translation of the blessings and shared them with his colleagues after the event. He said that the words gave them great encouragement and resilience as well to keep going in their line of work.
Finally, a donation ceremony was held, in which the former Abbot President, on behalf of DDMBA, donated 100,000 US dollars to UNICEF USA, then the two organizations exchanged souvenirs.

Translated by: Dajun Hou (侯達俊)
Photo: Andy Liaw