Mission Headquarters in Taiwan Donates Sporting Goods to Schools

It has been seven months since the Taiwan earthquake killed or injured over 12,000 people. While Taiwan is gradually recovering from the disaster, a new problem is arising: how to ease the anxiety of victims, especially children. Making use of the fund that had been collected by the Overseas Department’s International Net for Mutual Help, Tenrikyo Mission Headquarters in Taiwan donated softball gear—379 balls, 440 bats, 182 bases, and 2,460 gloves—and 6, 114 skipping ropes to a total of 182 elementary and junior high schools in Nantou County, where the quake was centered.

Last year, the International Net for Mutual Help entrusted the Mission Headquarters in Taiwan with five million yen. In order to utilize the fund, the mission headquarters organized a committee that consisted of Bishop Hatsuyuki Nishi, Chairman Zhang Xiu-ming of Chinese Tenrikyo Corporation, and others. In January, when the committee sounded out the government of Nantou County on how the fund should be used, it was suggested that sporting goods be donated to elementary and junior high schools in the county. Starting on April 10, the mission headquarters spent three days delivering the sporting goods to schools.

On April 13, the presentation ceremony was held at the Kang-shou Elementary School. At the ceremony, Chairman Zhang presented a catalogue, a set of the softball equipment, and skipping ropes to Mr. Peng Bai-xian, governor of Nantou County. Governor Peng then took the podium to deliver an address. He said: “We are truly thankful that Tenrikyo has been concerned about the damage caused by the earthquake. In Nantou County, over 140 educational facilities have been confronted with hardships of reconstruction now.” He went on saying, “The donation of these sporting goods really helps those schools revitalize themselves.”

Following Governor Peng’s address of thanks, Chairman Zhang said, “We are honored to donate these sporting goods to Nantou County’s government and educational bureau. We will continue keeping a very close watch on what is happening here.” After that, Rev. Yoshiaki Mihama, vice head of the Overseas Department, gave a speech. He said, “We believe that the fund contributed by Tenrikyo followers for the people of Taiwan has been spent for the best purpose, and we hope that it helps the young overcome the disaster.”

Upon concluding the ceremony, Mr. Gao Chong-xi, representative of the government of Taiwan, said: “Tenrikyo has been giving donations and sending relief corps to help us. On behalf of the government of Taiwan and personally speaking as well, I would like to express my gratitude to Tenrikyo.”

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