The International Network for Mutual Help, based in the Overseas Department, held its 13th annual charity bazaar on April 12 on the department’s premises as part of its effort to raise funds for international aid. This network, besides such fundraising activities, collects and provides information on international aid in cooperation with the department’s overseas mission facilities and various Tenrikyo groups involved with aid efforts.
The bazaar offered several thousand items, which as in previous years had been donated by many followers. They ranged from smaller items such as kitchen utensils, dishes, cups, toys, clothes, books, and stationery to larger items such as furniture and household appliances.
The day was so warm it could have been an early summer day. A long line of people, including families and students, had formed well before the venue’s doors were opened at 11:00 A.M.
In the outdoor space were several food booths offering international specialties, and games were organized for children. Also, a variety of music and dance performances were given on a specially constructed stage. The performers included the Wadaiko Club (playing traditional Japanese drums) from Tenri Kyoko Gakuen High School and the Amigos, a group made up of young followers who like to play traditional Latin American music.
Supporting the event were some 130 people including staff members of the Boys and Girls Association Headquarters and the Overseas Department as well as students of Tenrikyo Language Institute and Tenri University.
Also during the bazaar, for the first time the network distributed three versions of leaflets providing information on some of the major issues facing people in the world today in order to call for greater understanding of and further cooperation with the network.
The proceeds from the bazaar, amounting to some 653,000 yen, will be used for future international aid efforts.