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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Tuesday, 12 November 2013 00:00

Launching of Philippines Typhoon Haiyan Relief Effort in Melaka

Written by  By Loh Siew Chien, Melaka / Translated by Hew Kwee Heong

Tzu Chi Melaka's staff donating to the typhoon victims in the Philippines.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

The Philippines was devastated by the most powerful typhoon on record recently. Tzu Chi Melaka began its relief effort by launching a fundraising campaign, hoping to bring love and care to the victims as soon as possible.


On November 8, Typhoon Haiyan - known as Yolanda in the Philippines - made landfall in central Philippines, bringing strong winds and heavy rain that resulted in massive flooding, landslides, and widespread devastation.

Tzu Chi Taiwan Headquarters has embarked on a relief effort for the victims by dispatching a relief team, comprising volunteers from Taiwan, Malaysia and Philippines, to go into the disaster areas on November 13.

Be reverent and diligent

Malaysian volunteers felt extremely sad for the victims. After gaining permission from Master Cheng Yen, they launched their fundraising campaign to bring love and care to the victims, commencing November 12.

For the first-stage of the campaign (for a duration of one week), volunteers would go to the streets with donation boxes to invite the passers-by to help the victims. This will be followed by visits to corporations, offices and communities, where they will hold tea-parties and fundraising activities.

Master Cheng Yen also urged that, at a time of crisis, we can also bless the victims by observing vegetarianism, besides extending aid.

In the face of great disasters, like the one brought by Typhoon Haiyan, Master Cheng Yen urged Tzu Chi volunteers to be more diligent in learning the Buddha-Dharma and to practise it in their daily life. She said that when everyone has a peaceful mind, the four elements (earth, wind, fire and water) will be in harmony.

Deputy CEO of Tzu Chi Melaka, Loh Siew Cheng said the purpose of holding the fundraising campaigns are twofold, that is, to inspire people to give their love and to be awakened by this great disaster.

Accumulating millions of kind thoughts as blessings

On the evening of November 11, volunteers participating in the "Xing Yuan" performance for the Year-end Blessing Ceremony donated money they had collected for supper to the victims. The following morning, staff of Tzu Chi Melaka and the housekeeping volunteers officially kick-started the donation drive.

Volunteer Liu Fen Jun was shocked to see the vast devastation caused by the disaster from the news clip played before the rehearsal. He said he would pray for the victims besides donating money. He added, "Our thoughts can affect the weather. If we do not want such disaster to befall on us, we must always have right thoughts and do good deeds."

Volunteer Teng Swee Ueng felt sad that mankind is ignorant. When they do not experience disaster, they think it is none of their business. He said, "Nowadays, people do not interact with their neighbours. They lock themselves up with high gates and big locks; some even keep a dog to watch over their house. What has happened to our world? I think only Buddha-Dharma can regulate our minds."

Swee Ueng is very grateful that he is a member of Tzu Chi and has the opportunity to study Buddha-Dharma and apply it in his daily life.

Buns charity sale to help victims

Volunteer Lee Ang Whey, happily passed RM500/-, the proceeds from the sale of buns in the past few days, to fellow volunteer, Ng Geok Hoong, for submission to the office. The money was initially intended for purchasing kitchen utensils, but the Bun-making Team had decided to donate it to Philippines' typhoon victims instead.

Geok Hoong said, "We are so happy that we can donate this amount of money as we are all retirees. The timing is just right."

The team will continue to make buns for charity sales in the next few days to collect more money for the victims.

 

On November 11, the Melaka volunteer team established their fundraising plan.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】 The “Xing Yuan” sign-language performers singing the “Prayer” song for the victims.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

On November 11, the Melaka volunteer team established their fundraising plan.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

The “Xing Yuan” sign-language performers singing the “Prayer” song for the victims.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】
Teng Swee Ueng (right) felt sad that mankind is ignorant. He thinks Buddha-Dharma can help regulate our minds.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】 Staff giving a helping hand to prepare the donation boxes.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Teng Swee Ueng (right) felt sad that mankind is ignorant. He thinks Buddha-Dharma can help regulate our minds.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Staff giving a helping hand to prepare the donation boxes.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】
Ng Geok Hoong (left) and her Bun-making Team were happy that their effort had allowed them to donate generously towards the fundraising.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

Ng Geok Hoong (left) and her Bun-making Team were happy that their effort had allowed them to donate generously towards the fundraising.【Photograph by Yong Siew Lee】

 

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