Relief news update from Indonesia - 3 Dec 2009  
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Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association relief news update from Indonesia.
On September 2, a magnitude-7.3 quake struck the island of West Java, disrupting the religious traditions of Indonesian Muslims who were in the middle of the holy Islamic Ramadan fast.

The temblor also caused landslides and took at least 80 lives, while hundreds of people suffered injuries. Over 10,000 building collapsed, with thousands of others damaged. Some 200,000 people were rendered homeless or displaced as hundreds of homes were damaged or destroyed. Just one week later, a 6.0-magnitude temblor hit Sulawesi island, damaging another hundreds of homes and offices.

Upon knowing of these disasters, Supreme Master Ching Hai donated a total of US$25,000 in aid, also conveying her tears of sorrow and much, much love. This amount could obtain US$304,000 in essential items bought in the United States, based on Indonesia’s cost of living. Following their initial work distributing
emergency materials to the remote areas of five affected districts, our Association’s Jakarta relief team set out to other disaster areas, covering their own travel expenses of US$1,000.

In traveling to one distant village, they found that quake damage to a water plant caused residents to have to walk far up into the hills each day to meet their basic needs. The relief team thus contributed funds for the construction of a new plant. As per Master’s caring instructions, the team also traveled with Red Cross personnel to visit six villages and comfort the residents two weeks after the disaster.

There, they gathered all children and villagers and organized interactive games, including singing. This created a happy atmosphere, helping the afflicted forget about their sadness as spirits were raised, renewing strength and confidence for rebuilding. Eid ul-Fitr presents were also prepared for the children to celebrate the holiday marking the end of the holy month of Ramadan. As the young people enthusiastically received their gifts, their parents looked on in happiness as well.

Our appreciation, Indonesian Red Cross, for your caring assistance. We are also thankful for Supreme Master Ching Hai’s love and detailed concern for the victims, as well as our Association members’ dedicated help to the vulnerable. May Allah bless the affected Indonesian people with a swift return to their fruitful day-to-day lives as we strive to adopt gentler, more considerate ways to alleviate calamities as these.