Tzu Chi Volunteers Arrive in Sierra Leone with Hope for Flood Survivors
In solidarity with the people of Sierra Leone, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation volunteers and staff from Taiwan, United States, France, and Spain arrived in Sierra Leone on September 16, 2017. The visiting team is in Sierra Leone to boost its ongoing hot meal program for flood survivors, assess long-term needs and submit report to Dharma Master Cheng Yen and Tzu Chi Taiwan to develop sustainable relief support for survivors. The Tzu Chi volunteers are very excited to be in Sierra Leone and happy to provide support to those in need. The Tzu chi team include USA Charity Department staff, media team, and Tzu Chi Hospital/Tzu Chi University physicians/professors. While volunteers will be busy providing compassionate support to flood survivors in four affected communities; the media team hopes to capture stories of affected persons; while the charity staff will assess long-term needs; and the medical team focus on establishing partnership with 34 Military Hospital for research development and capacity building. As usual, Healey International Relief Foundation staff, headed by its executive director will join Tzu Chi volunteers in Sierra Leone.
Tzu Chi USA Executive Vice President, Debra Boudreaux, who will oversee all activities, heads the Tzu Chi team in Sierra Leone. Even though all staff and volunteers will be working together to provide relief support to flood and landslide survivors, each team will focus on specific projects to evaluate, monitor, or develop new initiatives with new partners. The Charity Department will coordinate the feeding of flood survivors and distribution to the same beneficiaries and other vulnerable persons and assess long-term needs. The media team will capture stories of those affected by the devastating August 14 disaster and other Tzu Chi related activities. The medical team, comprising of physicians from Tzu Chi Hospital and professors from Tzu Chi University, will focus on establishing partnership with 34 Military Hospital and the Ministry of Health and Sanitation for research development projects and capacity building to help strengthen Sierra Leone’s healthcare.
The main goal of the visit is to provide relief support, transform the lives of the people of Sierra Leone, by supporting ongoing projects and develop new sustainable initiatives. Tzu Chi volunteers and staff will visit and interact with affected persons in Cline Town, Lumley, Regent, and the Hill Station relocation shelters. The visit is from September 16-23. Tzu Chi Foundation seeks to collaborate with like-minded organizations, groups, and individuals to address the needs of less privileged Sierra Leoneans. This is the second time Tzu Chi volunteers and staff visit Sierra Leone as a group.
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