Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps in Taiwan Conducts Training

Tenrikyo Disaster Relief Hinokishin Corps (TDRHC) in Taiwan, which is Tenrikyo’s only formally organized overseas corps, conducted its second training camp at a recreational facility in Taipei Prefecture on October 10-11. There, 29 local members, mostly corps leaders, were joined by four Disaster Relief Hinokishin Headquarters supervisors, who had been sent from Japan to provide instruction in basic skills such as using submersible drainage pumps and chain saws.

Following a major earthquake that hit Taiwan in 1999, TDRHC in Taiwan was organized in the spring of 2001. In the fall of the same year, when a powerful typhoon struck Taiwan, the corps was mobilized to carry out relief activities in disaster areas.

Since then, the corps has been holding monthly meetings, attended mainly by its leaders. Last spring, the corps announced its slogan for the next two years: “Strengthening the infrastructure and upgrading the activities of TDRHC through daily acts of hinokishin.” In June 2002, the corps conducted its first training camp in order to heighten the members’ awareness and morale as well as to provide them with fundamental skills required for relief activities.

The second training camp was held at a recreational facility called Yin Xiang Zhi Lu, located in the mountains about 60 kilometers southeast of Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in Taiwan. The training exercises conducted at the facility’s campsite transformed it into a mock disaster area.

On the afternoon of Day 1, participants gathered at the Mission Headquarters in Taiwan, where an opening ceremony was held prior to their departure for the camp. Arriving at the campground, they pitched six tents and prepared for the exercises scheduled to begin at 8:00 on the morning of Day 2.

The exercises on Day 2 began with practical training in handling submersible drainage pumps, which was conducted in the creek that runs through the campsite, and each member was given an opportunity to operate the equipment.

Next, the participants were given hands-on training in operating chain saws, whereby they learned various techniques for cutting down trees and practiced these techniques by actually felling dead trees in the woods.

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