Welcome to Da Ai Headlines. I’m Siri Su. Thank you for joining us. We begin today’s program with a series of reports on the deadly tour bus accident that occurred in Taiwan on the evening of February 13. There is speculation that the low cost of tour operated by Tieh Lien Hua Travel Agency may have led the bus driver to be overworked. Currently the travel agency has been ordered to cease their operations. Meanwhile the President of Taiwan and the mayor of New Taipei City both paid visits to the funeral parlor to offer their condolences to the bereaved family members.
After Tzu Chi volunteers learned about the accident, volunteers set out immediately to assist in anyway they could. From the night of the accident to the very next day, Tzu Chi Foundation dispatched over a thousand people to help chant sutras as well as comfort family members of the deceased.
As for the survivors of the tour bus accident, they were sent to seven different hospitals. Let’s get an update on some of the their conditions.
Since the bus crash happened as the tour group was headed back to Taipei after a day of sightseeing at Wuling Farm in Taichung, it shows that accomodation could be a problem there. Here is more about the popular sightseeing desitination.
In the Philippines, a large fire broke out in Quezon City on February 12 which affected more than 300 families. After hearing about the news, Tzu Chi immediately reached out to provide assistance on the next day.
While smart phones may be a source of addiction for many who seem to be glued to their screen, this technology can actually be quite useful to the visually impaired. The read-aloud function of many phones is particularly useful as it allows people to go on-line. One foundation has even begun to collect second-hand iPhones and has hosted a number of games including karaoke for the visually impaired.
After Tzu Chi volunteers held a concert to raise funds for Syrian refugees, staff of Hualien Tzu Chi Hospital also started a fundraising campaign to help refugees on Valentine’s Day. For the occasion, many people expressed their concern for refugees and hoped they could do their part to help.
In Taiwan, Tzu Chi volunteers held welcoming ceremonies in Xindian, New Taipei City and in Zhongli, Taoyuan for newly certified volunteers. Many people also brought their filled coin banks to the sites, ready to help those in need.
In the United States, Auckland Tzu Chi volunteers hosted two prayer ceremonies to gather love for refugees all around the world. Besides putting on a variety of performances, volunteers also invited everyone to do good deeds. Let’s join them there.
Tzu Chi volunteers in Chicago, Illinois, recently held two Lunar New Year events; one for the worshippers of a Vietnamese temple and the other for the residents of Chinatown. These two events attracted a total of nearly 700 people. They gathered to pray for world peace and also donated their coin banks to help underprivileged people.
As Tzu Chi volunteers in Taiwan continue to raise funds to help Syrian refugees, Tzu Chi Academy in Cupertino, California of the United States also organized a charity fair to raise funds on behalf of refugee children. At the fair, delicious Taiwanese delicacies were sold to raise money. We will leave you with these images. Thank you for joining us. Good bye.