By Thailand Relief Team (Originally in Thai)
On Sunday, November 11, 2012, with enormous sadness, the world heard news of a 6.8-magnitude quake in the Mandalay area in Myanmar (Burma). In addition to lives lost and people injured, reports described the toppling of a golden-spired Buddhist pagoda and the collapse of a major bridge still under construction. Hearing of the tragedy, Supreme Master Ching Hai lovingly instructed that a relief effort be organized, and provided US$10,000 in relief funds.
Our Association members in neighboring Thailand mobilized in response, and six days after the quake a team from Bangkok arrived in the former capital Yangon in southern Myanmar. At least 26 people had perished and hundreds more were injured in the devastating quake.
Aided by one of our local Association members, we learned of widespread damage in the township of Thabeikkyin, north of Mandalay. The relief team quickly prepared for action. Having purchased large amounts of the local currency called “kyat” in Yangon, we traveled north to Thabeikkyin.
Assisted by local residents, the relief team first located and tended to those in immediate need, distributing 20,000 kyats (about US$24)* each to 250 families. At the local hospital, the team gave 100,000 kyats (about US$118)* each to three patients still recovering from injuries, and left 1,100,000 kyats (about US$1294)* with staff members for hospital needs. The beautiful temples and monks’ houses of the region were not spared by the quake. A gift of 1,350,000 kyats (US$1,588)* to help in the reconstruction of the three worst-affected buildings was arranged, which was gratefully received. A further 100,000 kyats (about US$118)* was provided to restore the damaged Immigration Office, which served as a hub of assistance to the relief team in their distribution efforts.
Our Association relief team spent a total of US$9,430 for the relief work. The remainder of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s contribution was used for relief work later in Thailand in December 2012.
The local people were happy and grateful for this unexpected generosity, and expressed their heartfelt thanks to Supreme Master Ching Hai for Her unconditional love, compassion and support in their hour of need.
The relief team was also touched by the kindness of the Thabeikkyin people and local officials and their strong sense of community, with all sectors of the township reaching out to work together and support each other at this vital time. May brighter days be ahead, with Heaven’s grace.
Expenditures by Supreme Master Ching Hai for Earthquake Relief Work in Myanmar (Burma)
| Cash for victims
(20,000 kyats x 250 families)
|Cash for hospital||1,100,000||A2|
|Cash for 3 temples||1,350,000||A2|
|Cash for 3 victims at hospital||300,000||A2|
|Cash for Immigration Office repairs||100,000||A2|
|Transportation (car rental)||166,000||B1,B2|
|Total|| Kyat 8,016,000
Throughout the relief operation, the team members spent US$650 of their own money for transportation, food and accommodations.