MINAMISANRIKU, JAPAN (March 20, 2011) (U.S. Navy Photo by Mass Communication Specialist Seaman Armando Gonzales/Released)
In the past week, the media spotlight has been taken off the Japanese tsunami story and as a sensational news item it has largely faded from our TV screens. But in the real world of the people still living in the devastated zone, the emergency situation continues to be as serious as before.
The total of confirmed dead and missing is now twenty eight thousand people. Among the thousands of survivors are a great number of elderly folk and young children, who no longer have families to care for them, nor homes to return to. For these vulnerable people the crisis is ongoing. They are existing mostly in crowded conditions in schools and in other public buildings that survived the disaster and they are depending for their basic needs on visits from emergency aid teams.
A Mickey Mouse doll lies in tatters among rubble and debris (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Matthew M. Bradley/Released)
Among these visiting teams carrying out relief work in the devastated zone are volunteers from Rissho Kosei Kai (RKK), a Buddhist organisation in Japan that follows similar ideas to those that we share in Karuna. As many of you know, in the past, RKK has been very generous to Karuna, having contributed hugely to the development of our facilities in the Blue Mountains, and at one time sponsoring our Chernobyl radiation affected children’s project.
OFUNATO, Japan (March 15, 2011) - A mother and daughter pause for reflection as they find a family photo amid the wreckage of their home. (U.S. Navy photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Matthew M. Bradley/Released)
RKK has members living in the tsunami zone. Like the other survivors they too have lost much yet, although greatly in need themselves, they have organised themselves to help the other destitute people in their areas. They work together to distribute hot meals and blankets brought in by other RKK people from outside the zone of destruction. We have started a fund to support the RKK relief activities. If you would like to help out with a modest contribution to the fund it would be hugely appreciated by us and by our friends working in the devastated area. A contribution can be sent to us by mail at this address:
P.O. Box 89 North Sydney 2059.
Please make your cheque payable to “The Buddhist Society“.
Alternatively you might like to make a direct transfer to the account (Details: The Buddhist Society of NSW. BSB number 082-401 Account number 50-947-4276) Please add the explanation “For the tsunami appeal”.
As another alternative you might drop a contribution in the collection box which is now sitting in front of the statue of Buddha at Walker St. We will keep the appeal open for three weeks and then send the accumulated amount to the special RKK tsunami account operating in the Mizuho Bank in Tokyo.
ATSUGI, Japan (March 15, 2011) Donated supplies fill a hangar prior to being airlifted to areas in Japan affected by the recent 9.0 magnitude earthquake and subsequent tsunami. (U.S. Navy photo by Chief Mass Communication Specialist Jonathan Kulp/Released)