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Relief Update for Türkiye and Syria

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Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association Relief Update for Türkiye and Syria …

As devastating earthquakes shook southern Türkiye and northern Syria in February 2023, more than 270,000 buildings collapsed or were severely damaged, and over 58,000 people sadly lost their lives, with millions left homeless in the cold. The following month, areas of the countries’ quake-affected zones were struck by flash floods. Eighteen lives were lost as roads turned into rivers, sweeping away people and cars as well as inundating homes and the temporary campsites of earthquake survivors.

Sending Her deep sympathy and prayers for all affected, Supreme Master Ching Hai lovingly contributed US$50,000 in February for assistance in the region. A total of US$25,000 was donated to the Syrian Arab Red Crescent in support of their ongoing humanitarian response in the quake-stricken areas of Syria, while US$25,000 was allocated for our Association’s relief efforts in Türkiye.

In addition to Master’s support, our Turkish Association members received contributions from Association members around the world and were also joined by four members from Korea to assist in conducting relief activities.

Through the help of Hasan Kizil, a Shining World Compassion Award Recipient, our relief team was able to ascertain the most needed items and prepare large-scale relief supplies in Türkiye’s southeastern province of Mardin.

During the preparation process, our Association members met a local market representative who provided items at surprisingly low prices, as well as a wedding hall president who offered a large sorting space for free. Our team was thus able to purchase a wide range of vegan food essentials, hygiene products, and children’s gifts, which were assembled with the dedicated help of 50 local volunteers, who expressed their gratitude for the support from afar.

Each family care package included vegan pasta, grains, legumes, sunflower oil, tomato paste, salt, sugar, shampoo, tissues, soap, towels, toothbrush, toothpaste, hand cream, hair brush, manicure kit, band aids, baby powder, diapers, writing materials and toys for the children, and more.

On March 28, our relief team began distribution in Adiyaman province, which had been hit by both the quake and the recent floods. There, care packages were delivered to the people living in temporary tents. Despite their difficult conditions, the displaced families welcomed visitors with smiles, while the children laughed and clapped amid sweets and joyous company. Our relief team continued to bring supplies to nearby cities and villages. In the central Adiyaman District, the residents were so happy to receive the goods as this was the first aid they had been given.

Below is an excerpt of our relief team’s March 29th report from Türkiye: “Aftershocks continued even while we were doing relief work at the impacted sites. It has been some time since the earthquake, but the victims are still in a desperate situation requiring a lot of humanitarian help. Even their temporary tents were all wiped out by the recent flood disasters. We have tried our best to deliver Master’s Love and Blessings to as many victims as possible, including those in remote villages. There are many animal-people affected by the earthquake as well, and we will try to help them, too. We all appreciate Master’s infinite blessing and love for the victims and our team.”

Furthermore, our Association members in Jakarta, Indonesia worked with the local Turkish Embassy to send cold weather supplies to the quake-affected via Turkish Airlines. Our Indonesian Association members packed some 300 boxes of priority necessities, each containing two sets of sleeping bags, folding mattresses, aluminum mats, blankets, tumblers, sweater caps, scarves, socks, gloves, and heating packs.

The relief aid was quickly transported to the embassy, after which our Association members in Jakarta reported: “On February 20, the relief team officially handed over the aid to Mr. Omer Orhun Celikkol, Deputy Chief of Mission at the Turkish Embassy in Jakarta. He thanked Supreme Master Ching Hai and said that the items delivered were really needed and that the neat packing and labeling really helped the delivery process. Thank You, Master. Thank you to all members who have supported. We hope that our loving assistance will be beneficial to our brothers and sisters in Türkiye, and we sincerely pray that they will rise again.”

We are deeply grateful to Supreme Master Ching Hai (vegan) for Her loving support and prayers for the affected in Türkiye and Syria. Our gratitude, also, to all involved in the relief activities, including officials, volunteers and our international Association members, for their unified efforts in bringing warmth and care to the citizens in need. We send our heartfelt condolences to all who have lost loved ones as we pray for their soon recovery of peaceful and prosperous lives.

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2024-04-22
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