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Tzu Chi starts relief across Asia

The Buddhist Channel, Dec 29, 2004

Worldwide, Tzu Chi volunteers in Asia have started to provide aid to local survivors in Malaysia, Thailand and Indonesia in the cities of Penang, Phuket and Medan.

Taipei, Taiwan -- Tzu Chi?s international headquarters in Taiwan is preparing humanitarian aid, medical equipment, tents, and medical supplies.

Tzu Chi?s disaster relief team, along with the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) doctors, is ready to leave to give aid to Sri Lanka. Here in the United States, Tzu Chi volunteers will begin fundraising to help disaster survivors rebuild.

Volunteers from several cities in the US will start street-side funds raising on Jan 1st, 2nd, 8th and 9th to raise relief funds.

Tzu Chi volunteers in the city of Penang, Malaysia have already started to provide hot meals for relief workers and disaster survivors. In addition to personally delivering hot meals, volunteers also provide comfort to the families at the same time.

Malaysia?s Tzu Chi volunteers also went to Penang?s five local hospitals and are on standby to provide care for individuals and families.

They also have ready 700 bags of food and daily supplies and 1,000 envelopes of ready emergency cash gifts to provide financial aid to families.

Tzu Chi volunteers Thailand are contacting families of tourists to Phuket and are also providing food, relief supplies and financial assistance to families.

In Indonesia, where the worst devastation is seen, because of transportation difficulties, local Tzu Chi volunteers are standing by in the city of Medan and are ready to help.

Tzu Chi Founder Dharma Master Cheng Yen in Taiwan is very concerned about the devastation caused by this disaster. Master Cheng Yen remembers last year at this time, the earthquake in Iran also caused the lost of many lives and left many families without fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters.

Sri Lanka is about the size of Taiwan, but the suffering caused by this disaster is multiplied because the residents of this country already have so little.

Through the holiday season each year, Master Cheng Yen has the same vows and wishes for the world: to harbor good thoughts, say good things and do good deed in order for peace to exist on earth and to have a world freed from disasters.

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