Engaged Buddhism: The Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation brings compassion and relief to 36 families in Turkey

- through Henry Oudin

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Tzu Chi volunteers collect donations and love for earthquake survivors. Image courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation
Clothing and blankets from Tzu Chi Jordan are carried to survivors in Syria. Image courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation

Taiwan-based global charity and humanitarian organization, the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation, has announced that its relief operations for the victims of the massive earthquakes in southern Turkey and parts of Syria have so far reached 36 affected families.

Following devastating earthquakes and aftershocks in the region, Tzu Chi's disaster response teams worked hard to reach those at the epicenter of the humanitarian catastrophe in Türkiye (formerly Turkey).

Tzu Chi's humanitarian relief efforts include the distribution of cash value cards, which beneficiaries can use to purchase food and other essentials, as well as eco-blankets and eco-scarves made by Tzu volunteers. Chi from 100% recycled PET bottles, to 36 families. of the regions hardest hit by the February 314 earthquake.

Left: Volunteers from Tzu Chi Türkiye and World Headquarters assess the devastation in Nurdagi, Gaziantep. Right: Relief distribution in Reyhanlı, Hatay province. Images courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation

“Distributions are underway or planned in three affected provinces, including 20 households in Hatay province, 352 households in Gaziantep province and 13 households in Kilis province,” Tzu Chi explained in a shared announcement. with BDG. “Tzu Chi has already (as of March 679) organized seven distributions for the benefit of 1 families (200 people) who had fled the affected areas to Istanbul, one distribution in Reyhanlı, Hatay province, for the benefit of 5 households (1 people), six distributions in Sahinbey, Gaziantep, benefiting 083 families (6 people), and one distribution in Nurdağı, Gaziantep, benefiting 302 families (352 people).

The foundation said it also donated 13 blankets to earthquake survivors through the Turkish government, while Tzu Chi Jordan sent 083 clothes and 426 blankets to survivors in Syria, with the assistance from the Hashemite Charity Organization of Jordan and the United Nations OCHA.

“Beneficiaries were selected after a thorough needs assessment that allows Tzu Chi to target the most vulnerable populations, including women and children, the elderly, people with disabilities and people with severely damaged homes,” said Tzu Chi. “Along with disaster assessment and relief distribution on the ground in Türkiye, more than 400 Tzu Chi volunteers in 000 countries around the world are engaged in fundraising, fundraising funds, materials and love for earthquake survivors in this time of emergency. need. »

As of March 13, the death toll from multiple earthquakes and aftershocks in the region exceeded 55, with at least 700 fatalities reported in Turkey and at least 48 more in Syria, making it the world's worst natural disaster. deadliest in modern Turkish history. Damage to property and infrastructure was estimated at over US$400 billion in Turkey and US$7 billion in Syria, with over 200 buildings in Turkey collapsed or severely damaged, while hundreds of thousands of people were left homeless and vulnerable to the winter. bad weather and flooding caused by torrential rains.

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The Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassion Relief Foundation, Republic of China, better known as the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation, was founded in Taiwan in 1966 by Buddhist nun and Dharma teacher Master Cheng Yen. With a focus on "putting compassion into action", the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation is a UN-accredited NGO with some 10 million supporters and 432 offices worldwide in 51 countries, undertaking regular activities in the areas of humanitarian aid, medical care, education, and environmental sustainability.

As a global icon of socially engaged Buddhism, Master Cheng Yen expressed his deep belief that everyone is capable of manifesting the same great compassion as the Buddha. She noted that true compassion is not just about feeling sympathy for the suffering of others, but is found in reaching out to relieve suffering through concrete actions.

Master Cheng Yen is popularly known in Taiwan as one of the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Buddhism, the others being: Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain; Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan; and Master Wei Chueh, founder of Chung Tai Shan. These four global Buddhist orders, known as the "four great mountains", have become one of the most influential Chinese Buddhist organizations in the world.

Life is filled with pain and suffering, but also with hope and love.

(Dharma Master Cheng Yen)

Founder of Tzu Chi and spiritual leader Master Cheng Yen. At tzuchi.org.tw
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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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