Help Haiti with Love! Tzu Chiís relief efforts in Haiti

Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation, 29 Jan 2010

San Dimas, CA  (USA) -- The 7.0 magnitude earthquake that struck Haiti on January 12 has caused catastrophic damages and casualties in the country.

<< An injured child in haiti's quake, which have claimed more than 150,000 victims, one of modern time's most calamitous natural disaster.

Tzu Chi USA headquarters immediately established an emergency coordination center on the 12 and held meetings with nationwide offices and the founder of Tzu Chi Foundation, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, on the 13.

Tzu Chi's relief team and medical personnel were immediately mobilized to be on standby. In addition, Tzu Chi has been integrating nationwide volunteers and medical manpower and resources to be on standby for dispatch to Haiti in the long-run. Resources are being shipped from the US as well as from Hualien, including eco-friendly blankets, instant rice, instant corn powder, reusable utensils, clothes, water purifying tablets, tarps, etc. Tzu Chi also initiated a global fundraising campaign, "Help Haiti with Love," with 29 countries participating in the first phase of the global fundraising campaign.

On January 15, Tzu Chi emergency coordination center in the US reached its local volunteers in Haiti, and immediately established an emergency coordination center in its Dominican Republic office. On the 18, first relief assessment team from the US, including the CEO of Tzu Chi USA, arrived at the Dominican Republic. On the 19, the team arrived in Haiti and met with Tzu Chi volunteers in Haiti.

After the earthquake struck, there was a lack of electricity. Therefore, Tzu Chi's instant rice, developed by TIHAA (Tzu Chi International Humanitarian Aid Association), is very useful during relief work. This kind of instant rice can be served 20-50 minutes after pouring in water ranging from hot to room temperature. Tzu Chi also developed instant corn powder, which is one of the main staples in Haiti, to be distributed to the survivors.

The first shipment of goods from Hualien, weighing 10 tons, has arrived in the Dominican Republic on January 26, and will be delivered into Haiti on January 28. On February 1, Tzu Chi will conduct small scale distributions in poverty-stricken areas that have not yet received aid from other organizations.

The second shipment of goods, including 12,000 blankets and 10,000 tarps from the US, will arrive in the Dominican Republic on February 8. In addition, 28 tons of instant rice, 1 ton of instant corn powder, 50,000 eco-friendly blankets and 30,000 sets of utensils (a total of 17 cargo containers) of supplies are on standby in Hualien, ready to be shipped to Haiti.

Tzu Chi will be providing not just immediate relief, but also mid- and long-term relief in Haiti. Tzu Chi will also establish a relief work program in Haiti for the survivors. Based on Tzu Chi's prior experiences, a relief work program not only provides financial assistance, it also provides hope, love and a sense of purpose to the survivors. After Typhoon Morakot and Typhoon Ketsana struck Asia in 2009, Tzu Chi initiated a relief work program to give the survivors wages to help clean their own hometown. The city of Marikina in the Philippines was severely flooded due to Typhoon Ketsana; Tzu Chi volunteers and 80,000 relief workers/survivors cleaned up the entire city in just 18 days, preventing the spread of epidemics.

The CEO of Tzu Chi USA, William Keh, continues to urge the public to pray for or send kind thoughts to the people in Haiti. Tzu Chi will be there to accompany the survivors as long as there is a need, and Tzu Chi will help to deliver everyone's love to Haiti. Donation of any amount will go a long way to help the suffering people in Haiti; every cent of donation will be used for the immediate, mid-term and long-term relief operation in Haiti. Together, let us help Haiti with love!

For more information, please visit www.us.tzuchi.org or send an email to info@us.tzuchi.org

To make a donation, please visit www.us.tzuchi.org , or call 1-888-989-8244 , or send your check to 1100 S. Valley Center Ave., San Dimas, CA 91773. (Your donation is tax deductible in the USA!)

About Tzu Chi

Tzu Chi Foundation is an international humanitarian organization, established in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen, with over 5 million members in 47 countries, providing relief in 69 countries. The foundation dedicates itself in the fields of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection, international relief work and the establishment of the world's third largest bone marrow donor registry. It also promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism.

In 1984, Tzu Chi Foundation in the U.S. was established in California as a non-profit 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Since then, 62 local offices have been established with over 100,000 members in the U.S.

Tzu Chi's International Relief Efforts

Tzu Chi's principles of international relief work include the following: directness, priority, respect, timeliness, practicality and gratitude. In the last few months, Tzu Chi assisted with Typhoon Morakot relief and Typhoon Ketsana relief in Asia, tsunami relief in the America Samoa, earthquake relief in Indonesia, as well as other small and large scale disaster reliefs in the world. In the Philippines alone, 80,000 workers/residents joined Tzu Chi's relief work program, and together with the Tzu Chi volunteers in the Philippines, they cleaned up an entire city in 18 days.

Tzu Chi's Prior Relief Efforts in Haiti

Tzu Chi has previously provided aid to Haiti in 1998-1999, 2004 and 2008-2009. In January 2009, Tzu Chi relief team in the Americas traveled to Haiti to provide relief after the country was struck by numerous hurricanes in 2008. Tzu Chi volunteers from the US, Dominican Republic and St. Martin provided supplies including rice, corn powder, cooking oil, sugar, salt, instant noodles, tarp, eco-friendly blankets, buckets (for food storage), vitamins, dental kits and a set of portable dental equipment, benefiting 3,343 households in poverty stricken areas in Port-au-Prince and Cité Soleil. There were also other long-term plans for charitable and medical assistance.

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