2007 year Press Release
Peru's Earthquake Relief Team Attains Success
On 15 August 2007, a deadly earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale struck southern Peru, claiming over 500 lives and leaving more than tens of thousands of people homeless.
Motivated by Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva’s (Guanyin) universal compassion of “extending a thousand hands to assist and a thousand eye to see,” Dharma Drum Mountain has been actively in social service and charitable activities locally and overseas.
Venerable Master Sheng Yen responded to the disaster by immediately instructing DDM Social Welfare and Charity Foundation to form a relief team.
DDM’s primary goal of the emergency assistance and disaster relief program is to provide counseling and solace, as well as material aid, to victims.
The team, including Mr. Lee Haotso, Ms. Chen Yunsan, Mr. Yen Jongbin and Mr. Paul Kennedy, left for Peru on the evening of 19 August, carrying letters of condolences from Venerable Master Sheng Yen and the Abbot President of DDM, Venerable Guo Dong.
The team arrived in Lima,the capital of Peru, in the early morning of 22 August. On the same day, they visited San Clemente City, where 80% of houses had been heavily impacted by the quake, leaving 15,000 homeless.
Using the budget of US$20,000 granted by DDM and with the help of the Representative of Taiwan's the Economic and Cultural Office in Peru, Mr. Huang Liensheng, the parliamentarian, Mr. Edgar Nunez Roman, who lost his beloved ones in the quake, and Taiwanese entrepreneurs in Peru, such as Mr. Chen Hsinghsiung and Mr. Chen Chihchien, the relief team quickly and successfully procured relief materials, including daily necessities such as rice, cooking oil, milk and sugar, at the local market.
On 25 August, a long meeting was held by participants to determine the most efficient and safest method of distributing relief materials to the victims.
On the morning of 26 August, the team set off for Pisco Province, the most severely affected region, to commence the operation, guided by Mr. Huang, Mr. Roman and the Taiwanese entrepreneurs. The distribution of relief materials was conducted in an orderly fashion in Tambo de Mora City, San Clemente City and at Universidad Alas Peruana (one of Peru's universities), with assistances of local volunteers, polices and students. Each household was given a portion of daily necessities to last two weeks.
Taiwan International Health Action, one of Taiwan's humanitarian groups working in Peru, also joined the team to give a hand in offering medical assistance.
The mission was meaningful and successful, and planted a seed of compassion in the mind of Peru's people in line with DDM's vision of "building a pure land on earth".