Southern Taiwan Buddhist group gives scholarships to poor pupils

by By Han Nai-kuo, Central News Agency, Jan 11, 2009

Kaohsiung, Taiwan -- Two affiliated organizations of the Fo Guang Shan Monastery -- a Buddhist Temple in southern Taiwan -- on Sunday donated scholarship funds totaling NT$1.8 million (US$54,300) to help less privileged schoolchildren in Kaohsiung.

The funds, donated by the Fo Guang Shan Compassion Foundation and the Fo Guang Shan Nan Ping Monastery in Kaohsiung's Zuoying district, was handed over to the Kaohsiung City government, which disbursed the scholarships.

Nearly 2,000 people attended the ceremony, including the 1,200 recipients of the scholarships, their parents and other invited guests. Students from low-income families were each awarded a scholarship of NT$1,200.

The foundation also donated an additional NT$200,000 to the Social Affairs Bureau of the city government, which will use the money to provide meals for less privileged students from Kaohsiung's low-income families during the winter vacation.

Kaohsiung Mayor Chen Chu thanked the two organizations and called on other organizations in the private sector to join in the efforts to extend a helping hand to less privileged people, who she said are feeling the impact of the global economic recession.