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English | Jogye Order offers relief to victims of Morocco's devastating earthquake

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Author Jogye On23-10-25 14:05 Views334 Comments0

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It has been a month since the devastating earthquake hit Morocco, but the country has yet to recover. Some villages, especially those located in mountainous areas, have not received adequate support due to reasons such as the small number of households, the difficulty in delivering supplies, and the delay in restoring roads. Accordingly, the joint relief team of the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism visited these underprivileged areas to practice the Buddha's compassion, delivered relief goods prepared as a gift by Korean Buddhists, and prayed for a speedy return to daily life.


On October 7 (local time), the joint relief team headed to the village at 8 a.m. with relief supplies. The team’s destination was the village of Smghost, which is home to 47 families with 300 residents, whose main sources of income are almond and walnut cultivation and livestock farming including goat and sheep herding. After a three-hour drive from their lodging, the joint relief team arrived in the village, and the news of their arrival had the residents waiting from the early hours to greet them.


The welfare foundation's CEO, Ven. Myojang, and the relief team members visited various parts of the village to assess the extent of the damage with their own eyes. While the buildings appeared intact on the outside, there were visible cracks inside. The Moroccan government had only provided minimal relief supplies because the buildings were in relatively good shape compared to other affected areas.


Upon inspecting the village, the joint relief team started distributing prepared items. They delivered a variety of items, including 30 tents to help the villagers shelter from the cold winter, 48 school supplies for children, 50 hygiene kits for women, and toolkits for reconstruction. The residents who received these items repeatedly said "Shukran," a Moroccan for thank you with smiles on their faces.


After distributing the supplies, the Jogye Order team proceeded to set up the tents. These tents, made in Western Sahara using traditional Moroccan methods, are thick and multi-layered to keep out the cold, unlike the government-issued ones. As winter is approaching, these tents are considered a must-have for mountain villagers facing winter. The relief team members carefully leveled the ground for tent installation, erected the central poles, and firmly secured them with ground pins and ropes to prevent them from collapsing. Despite the scorching sun and blowing dust, they worked diligently to practice the compassion of Buddha. Witnessing this dedication, the village's youth also volunteered and assisted with the tent installations.


The villagers prepared tea for Ven. Myojang and relief workers. They served a traditional Moroccan dish, potatoes, lamb, and vegetables spiced and cooked in Tajine along with bread. Despite the devastation caused by the earthquake, this was their heartfelt gesture of gratitude to the joint relief team, which had worked tirelessly for their benefit.


On October 8th (local time), the relief team visited four villages near the epicenter in Ighil and Talat N'Yaaqoub counties. Unlike the Imgdal area the day before, most of the buildings were severely damaged. Many buildings with structural damage had locks in place for safety, making them inaccessible. The residents had relocated from these damaged buildings to areas near streams and roads, where they were living in makeshift shelters made of plastic and pieces of cloth. The relief team provided relief items, including tents, and the young villagers quickly gathered tools and ropes to start setting up the tents while children and women prepared to move from their original makeshift dwellings to the tents.


For two days on October 7 and 8, after the signing of the memorandum of understanding, the Jogye Order relief team provided 150 temporary residence tents, 500 school bags including school supplies, and 500 hygiene kits to a total of 3,700 beneficiaries.


Mr. Mohamed, a resident of Smghost village in Imgdal, expressed his gratitude, saying, "The government's support has been insufficient, and we lacked basic items like mattresses, blankets, and medicine to sustain our lives. The support from Jogye Order has been a great help." Other villagers also thanked the team, saying that they were facing difficulties continuing their lives, with livestock dying due to the lack of resources, and the support from Jogye Order provided them with the courage to carry on. "In a situation where support was lacking, we are thankful to Jogye Order for extending a helping hand,” said Youssef, a resident of Imawan village in Talat N'Yaaqoub, expressing his gratitude.

“HAF is preparing various plans for the Imgdal region, including agricultural education projects,” said Isaid Meria, a staff member of HAF, the Jogye Order’s local partner. “We are very grateful to the Jogye Order of Korean Buddhism and the people of Korea for sharing their hearts with us."


Ven. Myojang, who worked to level the ground and set up tents with local youth, shared his somber impressions of the disaster-stricken area. "Seeing the affected area with my own eyes was even more distressing. While some buildings looked fine on the outside, they had cracks inside and were unsafe." Said Ven. Myojang. "Life may be challenging but do not lose courage. I hope comforts in life will return through the blessings of Buddha."


On another note, Good World has selected 30 children from the earthquake-stricken area and plans to provide monthly scholarships.

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