Taiwan Soka Association Members Volunteer for Typhoon Relief
In response to the devastation caused by Typhoon Morakot, which caused heavy flooding and landslides in the central and southern parts of Taiwan on August 7 and 8, 2009, SGI organizations in Taiwan, Macau and Hong Kong responded with humanitarian assistance and monetary donations.
On August 9, the Taiwan Soka Association (TSA) created temporary emergency centers in five of its community centers in the cities of Tainan, Chiayi and Kaohsiung Cities, located in the disaster area. Local TSA members traveled on bamboo rafts to rescue people from their flooded homes. Volunteers distributed food and drinking water to the victims and also donated first-aid materials (including sterilization and decontamination supplies and medicine). Others helped victims clean mud from their homes. Hundreds of people participated in these relief activities over a 5-day period.
On August 13, TSA General Director Lin Chao donated 1,000,000 New Taiwan Dollars (US$30,300) on behalf of its members to Taiwan's Ministry of the Interior to support relief efforts. On August 17, SGI-Macau presented HK$100,000 (US$12,900) to the Macau Red Cross in support of relief activities in Taiwan.
On August 18, Mr. Lin Chao led a memorial service at the Zhi Shan Culture Center, in Taipei to offer prayers for casualties of the typhoon. Memorial services were also held at five TSA culture centers around Taiwan on August 19.
Members of SGI-Hong Kong raised HK$402,000 (US$51,900) in support of Taiwanese government relief activities in a fundraising drive which continued until August 31.
[Adapted from reports from Taiwan Soka Association (TSA), SGI-Hong Kong and SGI-Macau; photos courtesy of TSA]