News (2006-2016) News 2010 News Tzu Chi Distributes to 50,000 Pakistanis

Tzu Chi Distributes to 50,000 Pakistanis

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On 2 and 3 November, Tzu Chi volunteers distributed instant rice and blankets to 50,000 people displaced by floods and living in camps in the south Pakistan province of Sindh. They also gave out a letter of support from Dharma Master Cheng Yen.

As the first post-flood aid distribution began in Pakistan, Tzu Chi vows to be at the side of its people every step of the way.
The arrival of aid from Taiwan has been supported by local officials and business people, who hope Tzu Chi's distribution will spark new hope for the flood victims of Pakistan.
The name "Tzu Chi" may be new to the people of Pakistan, but it is synonymous with hope after the Foundation's aid distribution at Sujawal to help the people to get through the winter.
Students from the University of Karachi assisted voluntarily in the distribution.

It was the first distribution by the Foundation since unprecedented rainfall swept the country from July, covering up to 20 percent of the nation in water. The Foundation decided to start its aid in Sindh, one of the worst hit provinces, where floods have took 400 lives and forced 1.8 million to live in 4680 camps.

It held the distribution at a large sugar factory in Sujawal, in the Thatta district. The area was a plain where farmers plant rice, cotton and sugar cane, but was totally submerged by water during the flooding. The residents not only lost their homes but also their crops.

The eight-member team from Taiwan was helped by local students and businessmen as well as nearly 100 volunteers who received pay under the Foundation's work-for-relief programme. The local police too stepped in to offer security for the distribution.

Tzu Chi gave out a total of 103 tons of instant rice and 25,000 blankets made from recycled plastic bottles to 6800 households; each received 15 kg of rice and four blankets. They also distributed 8000 letters written by Master Cheng Yen and translated into the local language, in which she expressed her concern for the suffering of the people and her hopes of a better life for them.

A member of the team, Chen Jinfa, noted that they needed to use everything they had learnt to ensure that the distribution went smoothly: “That is what the Master has told us to do – to distribute supplies for the distressed people as quickly as possible so that they may happily return home.”

The relief team was assisted by nearly 30 students from the University of Karachi recruited by a local volunteer named Asif. Before the distribution, the students attended a training session to learn the Foundation’s humanistic principle to aid work. The team’s efforts moved the wealthy owner of a Karachi clothing factory named Anis; he saw the hard work the Tzu Chi volunteers have put in over the last 10 days to prepare for the distribution and gave 200,000 rupees (US$2,400), making him the first Pakistani to donate to the Foundation.

“(From your effort,) I realized that if one wants to help poor and needy people, this is how we should organize it,” he said.

Zhu Zhanglin, a member of the relief team, added: “We are direct, we are focused and we are respectful. Mr Anis can rest assured that whatever money he gave to Tzu Chi, it will be well used."

On 5 November, the relief team planned to return to Taiwan to draw up a medium- and long-term relief plan with the headquarters, which may include construction of temporary homes and providing medical clinics.

Tzu Chi's aid to flood-soaked Pakistan arrived on 27 October after a two-week journey from Taiwan in ten 40-foot containers on a ship belonging to the Yang Ming Marine Transport Corporation. The shipping company delivered the goods free of charge, in a gesture of support. This decision had certainly moved everyone concerned with Tzu Chi’s Pakistan operation.

The people of Taiwan and Pakistan are thousands of kilometers apart. But this terrible disaster has brought them together, as if they were families living under the same roof, sharing the same trials with selfless love and an understanding of the other.

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