By Formosa Relief Team (Originally in Chinese)
Around noon on April 25, 2015, a powerful earthquake measuring 7.8 on the Richter scale struck Nepal, the worst event of its kind in the area since 1934. The quake’s epicenter was 77 kilometers northwest of Kathmandu, the capital, and was felt in neighboring countries such as China, Bangladesh and India. An estimated eight million people were affected by the quake, with more than 9,000 losing their lives, more than 23,000 injured, and over 750,000 houses were damaged or destroyed.
Upon hearing news of the tragic event, our Association members around the world, following Supreme Master Ching Hai’s loving instruction, immediately set out to render aid to Nepal and Bangladesh. Master generously provided US$36,415 of relief aid and, with contributions from our different Centers, the total relief fund was US$382,573.
Bangladesh Relief Work:
On April 28, our relief team from Formosa left for Daka, the capital of Bangladesh. Upon our arrival, we contacted the Rahela Kibria Foundation, a humanitarian group in charge of the relief work. The Foundation’s staff was deeply grateful that members of The Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association had come to help. Although victims of the earthquake were already receiving aid, the staff still hoped that we could provide food relief to those affected and disadvantaged people in the area. To ensure that those in need received the food, assistance was rendered as soon as possible. We quickly purchased 800 five-kilogram packages of premium rice with help from Foundation staff member Mr. Shohel Rana Manik.
Then, on the morning of April 30, after loading the rice onto a van, our 10-member team, which included two Bangladeshi Convenient Method practitioners and Mr. Manik, drove to the villages of Shipaiparahat and Banglabandha in the northwestern sub-district of Tetulia. The villagers greeted us warmly and the district and village chiefs also came to thank Master for providing help at this critical time. We then distributed the rice to quake victims and villagers in need, who told us it was the best rice they had ever had.
Nepal Relief Work:
After the earthquake, the Kathmandu airport was closed for two days so the Formosa relief team members did not arrive in Nepal until the night of April 30. When our Association members from Nepal picked them up, more members from Australia, Formosa, Indonesia, Korea, the United States and other countries joined the group. Our team then consisted of more than 50 people, including medical professionals.
Part of our team first traveled to remote areas to find out the immediate needs of the affected people and accordingly procured the items such as tents, rice, pulses, salt and mattresses. Then, our team tried to reach the most remote areas including the districts of Sindupalchowk, Gorkha, Dolakha, Dhading and Nuwakot, the city of Bhaktapur and the village of Kavre.
On May 1, our team rented vehicles and purchased relief items. The next morning we drove five hours to Thulo Pakhar Village in the Sindhupalchok District. With the help of the village head, Mr. Purna Bahadur, we delivered approximately 1,800 kilograms of rice to 314 families. On May 3, after about one hour of driving, our team arrived at Surya Binayak Village in the city of Bhaktapur. The village head, Mr. Yakdhajey Kaji, assisted us in distributing 780 kilograms of rice to the affected people. In addition, we shared copies of The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklet in the Nepalese language and gave cookies and balloons to the children.
On May 4, we drove for three hours to the affected village of Thumpakhar in the Sindhupalchok District, where the chief, Mr. Pramod Moktan, helped us to distribute rice. Our medical staff from Australia, Formosa, Indonesia and the United States provided medical and dental care for more than 30 people. We also again shared Nepalese-language versions of The Key of Immediate Enlightenment Sample Booklet and gave cookies and balloons to the children.
By May 4, our team had delivered relief items to approximately 7,000 affected families in remote areas around Kathmandu. The supplies included 82.5 tons of rice, 6,000 kilograms of beans, 4,653 kilograms of salt, 4,000 pieces of canvas and about 5,000 blankets. Our team also personally distributed mattresses and blankets for babies.
We continued providing relief aid in remote areas until January 2016, including giving cash assistance to NGOs and affected villagers, and distributing rice, oil, blankets and clothing items for children. We also gave two solar panels to a health facility.
In addition, we contributed US$1,000 to Animal Welfare Network Nepal and US$5,367 to the American Red Cross, USA.
The members of our international relief team constantly exchanged vital information through the Internet. And thanks to God’s omnipresent love and blessing, we were able to efficiently carry out the relief work, from the inspection of disaster areas and identification of aid recipients, to the arrangement of vehicles and the distribution of relief supplies.Even though a lot of other obstacles like landslides and degraded roads seemed to block the relief team’s way, with Master’s blessings, we were successful in helping hundreds of people in need. The recipients expressed their gratitude and sincere thanks. A Formosan online news source, money.udn.com, reported on the relief efforts.
Our deepest gratitude to Supreme Master Ching Hai for the opportunity to convey Her love to the victims of the Nepal and Bangladesh earthquake. We also express our heartfelt thanks to the village leaders who assisted us during the relief effort, including Mr. Purna Bahadur, Mr. Yakdhajey Kaji, and Mr. Pramod Moktan, as well as the staff of the Rahela Kibria Foundation, especially Mr. Shohel Rana Manik, who helped to ensure that the aid was distributed to those in need. Finally, we sincerely thank the Centers around the world that provided assistance.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai and Her International Association for Nepal and Bangladesh Earthquake Relief Work
|Description||Amount (Local Currency)||Amount (USD)||Receipt|
|Four tons of rice (including packaging and shipping expenses)||BDT 355,000||4,488||A|
|4,680 blankets||NPR 1,778,000||85,976
|4,000 pieces of canvas||NPR 2,304,000|
|2,790 bags (82.5 tons) of rice||NPR 3,315,500|
|5,850 kilograms of beans||NPR 640,450|
|Cash contributions to five families that lost relatives in the earthquake||NPR 16,500|
|Baby food, sarongs, blankets and medical supplies||IDR 248,629,560||19,145||C|
|Cash contribution to Animal Welfare Network Nepal||1,000||D|
|Cash contribution to the American Red Cross, USA||5,367||E|
|Food (rice, pulses and salt), tents, mattresses, blankets, medicine, clothes, cash donations etc. distributed in remote regions from May to September||NPR 21,218,248||201,786||F|
|Cash contributions to NGOs and villagers, food (rice and oil) and supplies (socks, blankets, baseballs, hoodies etc.) and solar panels distributed in remote regions from September 2015 to January 2016||NPR 6,545,902||64,811||G|
The relief team members paid for their own transportation, accommodations and food.
Relief Work in Bangladesh
Relief Work in Nepal – May 2015
Relief Work in Nepal – May to September 2015