Mercy Relief’s (MR) Vice-Chairman Ong Bon Chai joined MR Team 7 in Otsuchi district of Iwate Prefecture earlier this week to launch the Kids’ Nutrition Programme there.  1,200  students from 7 elementary and junior high schools have started to benefit from the 2-month programme initiated by MR and the Otsuchi Education Department, supported by the former’s local partner, JMAS.  The children will each receive packs of milk, vegetable juices and health drink (Yakult) twice weekly until July.

At the Launch ceremony held at the Kiri-Kiri Elementary School, V-C Ong also presented albums comprising well-wishes and colourful notes of encouragement prepared by the children and youth from the Singapore Soka Association (SSA).  SSA members had earlier contributed more than $700,000 towards the relief efforts, which were disbursed through MR and the Japanese Embassy in Singapore.

Encouraging the children on, V-C Ong said in his speech, “Spring comes after every winter, no matter how harsh the winter may be.  What we are providing you with (nutrition programme), we hope will keep you healthy.  But you must also stay strong.  And things will get better for you.”

Since Day 3 of the tsunami, MR has deployed 7 relief teams to Iwate and Miyagi to personally procure and distribute relief supplies to match the ever-changing needs on the ground, committing and expending more than $2.2million from the $2.5million of donations it received.  Team 7 included volunteers from the Singapore Polytechnic’s CD Lionhearters Club who worked tirelessly at the Otsuchi Supply Depot – receiving, sorting and packing incoming relief supplies for distribution to the Evacuation Centres and affected households.  Members of the Lionhearters are trained by the Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) on Lifesaving and Emergency Preparedness & Response.

MR Team 7 returned to Singapore safely yesterday.

(Photos 1 and 2) MR Vice-Chairman Ong distributing milk and spreading cheer to the kids at the Kiri-kiri elementary school in Otsuchi, Iwate. (Photo 3) Student representatives receiving the albums of well-wishes and encouragements.

(Photos 1 and 2) CD Lionhearters were deployed at Otsuchi Supply Depot to help pack and sort MR’s relief supplies including fresh vegetables & fruits. (Photo 3) Distributing supplies to one of the evacuation centres in Otsuchi. 

(Photo 1) Briefing by MR CE Hassan at the Prefecture Supply Depot in Takizawa.

(Photo 2) Meeting with Iwate’s Vice-Governor at the Prefectural Government Office, Morioka where MR’s ready-to-eat porridge and red bean soup were received.   

About Mercy Relief

Mercy Relief is a Singaporean humanitarian organisation which engages in both disaster relief and sustainable development programmes. It was established in 2003 as an independent non-governmental humanitarian charity responding to the human tragedies in Asia. Mercy Relief’s aid programme focuses on providing timely and effective assistance to disaster-stricken communities and has maintained the delivery of emergency aid within 72 hours from the point of appeal for assistance.  

In the past 12 years, Mercy Relief has disbursed over S$32 million in aid across 40 disaster relief and 53 sustainable development initiatives. Mercy Relief has impacted an aggregate of 2 million lives in 24 countries and areas, namely Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Cambodia, China, DPR Korea, India, Indonesia, Iran, Iraq, Japan, Laos, Lebanon, Malaysia, the Maldives, Myanmar, Nepal,  Pakistan, Palestine, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and Yemen.

For more information, you may call us at 6514 6322 or email corporateaffairs@mercyrelief.org