09 May 2008 SSA Partners Mercy Relief in Relief Efforts for China and Myanmar
In response to the May 3 Myanmar’s cyclone disaster that left tens of thousands people dead and many more suffering, SSA responded swiftly by assisting in the relief efforts organized by Mercy Relief.
On May 9, some 30 SSA volunteers gathered at the Soka Youth Centre to pack 40 cartons of goods that included tents, water purification tablets and medical supplies and prepare them for shipment. Abdullah Tarmugi, Speaker of Parliament and Mercy Relief adviser, shared: “We are sending things like tents, water-treatment tablets, cooking utensils and even sanitary napkins because we feel these are the things that are needed for hygiene (purposes).”
SSA General Director Ong Bon Chai also commented that, “SSA has a close working relationship with Mercy Relief. We have embarked on a joint relief program during the 2004 Tsunami disaster and have cooperated on assistance to orphanages in Cambodia. SSA’s efforts to help disaster victims is a natural expression of our Buddhist compassion to help those in need.”
All in all, two batches amounting to five tonnes worth of relief supplies packed by SSA and Mercy Relief, were sent to the Myanmar’s Ministry of Social Welfare, Relief and Resettlement on May 13 and 15 respectively. SSA set up collection booths from May 9 to May 19 to receive both donations in cash and cheque at SSA Headquarters and the Senja Soka Centre. Following China’s earthquake disaster in Sichuan on May 12, funds collected from May 15 to 19 were channeled towards humanitarian aid for the country. SSA’s relief efforts was reported in the papers The Straits Times and Lianhe ZaoBao on May 10 and 19 respectively.