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Earthquake Relief Aid in Morocco

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In Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association Relief News from Morocco…

On September 8, 2023, a powerful magnitude 6.8 earthquake struck in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains, just 70 km southwest of the city of Marrakesh. Over 2,900 people lost their lives and more than 5,500 were injured, with some in critical condition. Damage was widespread, and some affected areas were difficult to reach due to their remote mountain locations. The tragedy left thousands in need of urgent food, water, and shelter.

Upon learning of this tragedy, our Most Loving Supreme Master Ching Hai (vegan) requested: “The Morocco earthquake killed more than 2,000 people, please arrange to send someone or/and to help with US$30,000 for the most desperate victims. With Master’s terrified, sorrowful prayers. May God be more merciful to all on Earth!!”

Our European Association members from Austria, Czech Republic, Germany, and Spain immediately formed a team and arrived in Marrakesh on Saturday, September 16. They joined a local Moroccan Association member who had been working to obtain urgently needed items such as tents and blankets. With the help of some Moroccan friends, our Association members were able to find and order 140 tents from a tent factory in Marrakesh. The tents were requested to be large and strong, with two layers for warmth in the winter season that would be coming soon. The factory agreed and offered to dedicate its efforts to completing the order as soon as possible.

After learning about the plans of the relief team, Master wrote: “Dear Love, Thank you! Glad you are so apt in finding ways to help the affected. Please update when can. May God show Mercy to all unfortunate victims, and may Hes deliver them now and hereafter. With love and love to you all involved.”

In addition to the 140 tents, the following supplies were purchased and ordered: 500 blankets; 2,000 pieces of warm clothing such as jackets, pants, sweaters, and hats; 1,000 school backpacks; 140 solar lamps; plastic covers for tents; 140 kitchen heaters, as well as toys and vegan candy for the children. Our Association members had also printed Arabic-language Supreme Master Television and Alternative Living flyers for distribution, as well as bringing some direct financial assistance for families in need. Our team made contact and asked for the help of a local organization, High Atlas Foundation, which specializes in reaching difficult-to-access areas most in need.

Here is a report from our Association’s relief team: “With the help of the High Atlas Foundation, a relief delivery was scheduled for Wednesday, September 20. On Tuesday, September 19, we packed items at the High Atlas Foundation, where some local volunteers even came to help. Everyone was very kind and respectful. Besides helping with packing, these volunteers also mapped out a route for our trip. After fully loading three trucks, we chose a route for the trip on Wednesday with four stops for aid distribution.

Our first stop was very emotional as we felt the closeness of the reality of what had happened in the affected people’s lives. After unloading the supplies, we began to depart, but then we saw a group of village children on our right. They were singing, ‘(شكرا!) Shukran! Shukran! Shukran!’ which means ‘Thank you!’ in Arabic. ‘Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!’ Those innocent voices touched us so deeply that we turned back to go to them and express our love with gestures.

Our second and third villages for distributing relief materials were at higher mountain altitudes. Along the way, we stopped several times to offer people on the road some financial support and to share Master’s Love. To get to our third stop we had to go much slower, as there were many rocks that had fallen from the mountain. In this village, we were able to give the tents directly to the families and give toys to the children. Before we left, they gave us a box full of delicious apples.

At our fourth and final stop, we encountered the largest tent camp we had seen so far. The destruction was devastating, with many fallen houses. The Moroccan villagers were very grateful for the supplies and Master’s Care. ‘Thank you so much in my heart from all the people in my village because there is no one speaking English. Thank you so much Supreme Master Ching Hai [International Association] that are helping us, that come in here from so far to bring help. Thank you so much. We are really thanking you so much from my heart.’ ‘Thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you.’ ‘Peace be upon you. We are here in the area affected by the earthquake. And people here are expressing their thanks to your Association and to Supreme Master [Ching Hai] because you didn't forget about them and helped them.’ ‘I want to say, thank you for being so amazing. You make me so happy. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you so much.’

With the trucks now empty, we returned to Marrakesh and had the chance to invite two local volunteers to a vegan meal. They had been working with us and had helped with translation in the disaster-stricken mountain communities. One of the volunteers was very impressed with our mission and showed interest in learning more about our group. ‘We are collaborating with the Supreme Master [Ching Hai International Association] and they are so kind. They’re so human. I feel the good vibes, and I am so grateful and happy to meet them.’

On Thursday morning, we went to the High Atlas Foundation office, where we spoke to the director and coordinator. As certain items like solar lamps, kitchen gas, and other supplies hadn’t arrived in time for our trip, they agreed to deliver them at a later date. We also promised to send their organization some ideas for teaching communities techniques to build inexpensive, earthquake-resistant houses themselves. This may be useful for the High Atlas Foundation’s aid and development programs in the mountain areas. Finally, we once again thanked the director and all the collaborators there.”

The president of the High Atlas Foundation, Yossef Ben-Meir, also expressed his thanks on behalf of the foundation. “I want to express our very sincere gratitude and appreciation to the Supreme Master Ching Hai International Association for their love, and dedication, and hard work, and commitment, and all the giving and energy that they bring to our unimaginably difficult situation in the High Atlas.”

Upon receiving the relief report from our Association members, Master kindly wrote: “Godlove. Dear Morocco relief team, Thank you, all of you. I have received the update, and am very touched by all your efforts. We pray for the fast recovery of all victims and the soul-deliverance of the deceased, with tears in our hearts and urgency in our voices! Love you.”

In addition to the US$30,000 offered by Master, our Association members from Taiwan (Formosa), the United States, Spain, Austria, the Czech Republic, and Hungary also contributed approximately US$40,000 for these relief efforts.

Our hearts are filled with gratitude for our Most Compassionate Master, who never forgets the victims of disasters and offers both spiritual and material support to those in need. We are also thankful to our international Association members for their heartfelt efforts to help the earthquake-affected Moroccan people. Our sincere condolences go to those who have lost loved ones as we pray that the Moroccan people may quickly rebuild and resume their fulfilling normal lives, in Allah’s Love and Blessings.

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