On June 24 and 25, the third Social Welfare Festival–sponsored by the Social Welfare Section and the Culture and Sports Management Section of Tenrikyo Mission Department–was held at Tenri University’s Gym #1, drawing some 5,500 people. Under the theme “Universal Brotherhood–Mutual Help in Local Communities,” this festival aimed to cast light on followers engaging in social welfare activities in local communities and provide useful information for salvation work.
The history of social welfare activities in Tenrikyo began in 1910 when Tenri Yotokuin Children’s Home was established. Since then, the course of the activities has coincided with the history of salvation work to give a helping hand to brothers and sisters in need based on the teaching of “helping and respecting one another.”
The event was composed of four parts: (1) “Sports Event with Disabled Participants,” in which disabled and non-disabled participants enjoyed sports together and showed their gratitude for the body being on loan from God; (2) “Commemorative Speeches,” which were delivered by Director-in-Chief of Administrative Affairs Masahiko Iburi and Ms. Agnes Chan, a singer and the ambassador of the Japan Committee for UNICEF; (3) “Tenrikyo Social Welfare Activities Exhibition,” which showed photographs of followers engaging in social welfare activities; and (4) “Disability Equipment Exhibition,” which introduced the newest models of disablity and nursing care equipment. Participants were also able to try out some of them.
This year’s event concludes the current round of Social Welfare Festivals. A new project is in the works to be held next year.