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Buddhism in the News


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Help Haiti After Devastating Earthquake.

UPDATE: It's been brought to my attention that The Red Cross might not be trusted by some in communities of color. A website run by Haitian born rapper, Wyclef Jean is a great place to donate as he has strong and long-time links to the Haitian people. I tried donating to his website instead of Red Cross but it was down at the time. Here is his website: Click here. There are some Buddhist organizations too that are mentioned in the comment section. Feel free to add information as you know it. Or any other organizations that you know are reputable. Thanks. Let's do what we can for these brothers and sisters of ours.

As many of you know, Haiti (which is the 4th poorest country in the world) suffered a major, deadly earthquake yesterday (Tuesday). It was a 7.0 eartquake on a scale of 10 being the worst. It is the worst earthquake in Haiti in more than 200 years. Thousands upon thousands have already died. They need our help fellow Buddhists. We are known for our compassion and so now is the time to practice that first-hand. I would like to be there to work on the ground but they said it is chaos on the ground and that the on-ground help should be left up to the established organizations who have experience doing this kind of thing.

So, the best thing we can do who live outside Haiti is to donate to a reputable organization such as The Red Cross. If you donate to Red Cross, select the button on this page that is for, "International Relief Fund" which will go directly to Haiti. Another good place to donate is UNICEF, which is a United Nationals organization. Haiti has been especially hit hard because they don't have the money to build buildings that can withstand earthquakes. So, buildings like police stations and hospitals have been hard-hit if not flattened. Even the National Palace collapsed, which is the where the president lives!! That's like the White House, here in America being flattened!!According to the latest, a prison was leveled and prisoners have escaped. Schools have collapsed and people are out in the streets.

Also, given the poor living conditions there is a real risk of disease killing even more Haitians in the aftermath of this horrible disaster. Please, if you do metta practice send it toward these wonderful people who are facing unimaginable tragedy. May relief (both material and spiritual) come quickly to the good people of Haiti. I'm going to light a candle to burn all day in solidarity with the Haitians and hope that international aid arrives as quickly as possible. These are the moments where our development of compassion is put to the test. Please, give what you can. I could only afford $10 but every little bit helps. If we are sincere Buddhists, we can't let this people suffer alone. We, those how have been give much must help -- it is our karma to do so for to those who have been given much, much is required.

P.S. - Does anyone know of a Buddhist organization that helps people during international disasters such as many Christian churches do?

~Peace to the Haitians~

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bfp said...

Hi there! I'm a long time lurker--and I just wanted to take a moment to first, thank you for posting about this devastating event--it's really heartened me to see everybody from the feminist blogosphere to the buddhist blogosphere to the nature blogs I read posting about it.

secondly--I would like to suggest that people donate locally to local haitian community centers if they can--there is a lot of mistrust between communities of color and the red cross (think: hurricane katrina and the response to various post-9-11 prisoners).

here is a good post about historical tensions:

here is a post that offers alternatives in addition to the red cross--

I have donated to wy clef's organization because he and the org have direct ties to the community:

via twitter: @wyclef: Haiti is in need of immediate AID please text Yele to 510 510 and donate $5 toward earthquake relief.

Again, thank you for posting--I look forward to hearing if there are buddhist orgs that are working or will be working on relief efforts!

mike in africa said...

Tzu Chi Foundation (of Chinese Buddhism tradition) founded in Taiwan is one very experienced and pretty well established (10 million members worldwide) relief organization that I have come to know. Their experienced volunteers had been directly involved in the first line relief and (later on rebuilding) at the aftermaths of the Tsunami and China Earthquake just to name a few.

This could be one of the channels, check'em out...


Mumon said...

Yeah, the Tzu Chi Foundation

sally said...

Not the Red Cross. I agree with bfp. Their track record is not good. The have very high admin.costs compared with the amount they distribute. Further, they do not necessarily give the $$ to the cause that you request. This became painfully clear with Katrina, but had been going on for some time. Save the Children is a similarly poorly run organization.

My recommendations are to give to Oxfam America ( or Oxfam in Britain (; give to Doctors without Borders ( give to Catholic Relief Services. All 4 have transparent finances, low admin costs, and send money to the area you specify.

Michael said...

Agreeing about the Red Cross. I personally donated to Catholic Relief Services and the other ones suggested are all good as well. Here's a link to the American Institute of Philanthropy's Top Rated Charities. There's a section just for "International Relief." There are a lot of choices on there to choose from and yes, you'll notice the Red Cross is missing.

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V. Y. Fan said...

A leading international NGO founded by Master Cheng Yen, a Buddhist nun on universal compassion and love:

- An article on Tzu Chi's bottle-recycled-to-aid-blankets program

- Two articles on Malaysia Tzu Chi / Burmese refugees:

- General article on Tzu Chi
- Some articles on Tzu Chi Malaysia's Charity and EP programs

- Tzu Chi Myanmar
China Post:'l%20%20community/2008/05/26/158068/Tzu-Chi.htm
Christian Monitor:

- Recognition by Chinese Government of Tzu Chi

- Article on Quake Response in China:
And an old publication (2000) by Tzu Chi on Mainland China Work:
- A few articles on the visit by the ARATS chief:

- Two articles on cadaver donation/dissection program:
Global Post:

Bruce said...

The online magazine for my Shambhala Buddhist Organization posted this article with a list of 4 charity organizations. Shambhala Times: Tonglen Meditation for Haiti

Lorem Ipsum said...

Was Once said...

You should update this page after Yele's charity money went to other things.

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Dr. Health said...

Given the poor living conditions there is a real risk of disease killing even more Haitians in the aftermath of this horrible disaster. Please, if you do metta practice send it toward these wonderful people who are facing unimaginable tragedy.

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