The International Network for Mutual Help, based in Tenrikyo Overseas Department, held its 16th annual charity bazaar on May 13. Blessed with a clear day, many people including students and families gathered for this event, some lining up at the entrance of the site two hours before the opening.
Among other activities, the network aims to gather and share information by working together with Tenrikyo’s overseas mission centers and other Tenrikyo groups involved in international relief efforts. This bazaar is a way to support and fund such activities.
In preparation for the bazaar, the network had appealed for donations of goods by using the Internet and other media starting early February. As a result, over 10,000 items were collected, including furniture, home appliances, household goods, and nearly 3,000 pieces of kitchenware.
The main venues, which were the Overseas Department’s dining hall and assembly hall, as well as two tents set up on the departments premise were crammed with goods for sale.
The miscellaneous items and kitchenware were being sold at prices starting at ten yen to a few hundred yen, and the furniture and appliances ranging up to several thousand yen. With the prices being so low, many of the items were gone instantly.
Outside the venue, various international food stands were available to the visitors, including churrasco (Brazilian style barbeque) and Thai green curry. Other areas included a game corner for little children. In addition, Tenri Elementary School’s dance team “Smile Grapes” provided entertainment as they preformed a very cheerful dance in front of the visitors.
In total, 148 volunteers from the Overseas Department, Tenrikyo Boys and Girls Association, and SATOM (Students Association for Tenrikyo Overseas Mission) helped make the event run smoothly.
The proceeds from the bazaar, which amounted to a total of 476,380 yen, were added to the network’s funds and will be used for future international support activities.