The Singapore Soka Association (SSA) raised a total sum of more than $710,000 for the victims of the devastating earthquake and tsunami which hit Japan in March.

The SSA today presented Mercy Relief (MR) an additional $310,948 to support the Singapore-born humanitarian organisation’s ongoing relief efforts at two of the worst-hit Tohoku prefectures of Miyagi and Iwate.

In the first weeks after the 11 March tsunami, SSA had presented an initial donation of $400,000 to MR and the Japanese Embassy in Singapore ($200,000 each) to support the acute emergency relief operations including the provision of food, water, blankets, hygiene essentials and household items.

The $710,948 were donations from the members of the SSA received by the Buddhist organisation over a period of one month.

The cheque was presented by SSA General Director Ong Bon Chai and received by Director of Mercy Relief, Senior Counsel Chelva Rajah, at the auspicious occasion of Soka’s observation of the appointments of its second and third presidents who were appointed in 1951 and 1960 respectively.  Under the able and charismatic leadership of its third President, the Soka Gakkai has grown internationally (over 192 countries and territories) – promoting peace, culture and education amongst humankind.

SSA General Director Ong Bon Chai mentioned that, “We are glad that we could do our part to help the victims and we want to commend MR’s efforts in having their staff personally deliver aid to the affected communities.”

Senior Counsel Rajah said,”The SSA has been a true friend and partner of Mercy Relief since our inception in 2003.  They have accompanied and supported us through the 2004 Asian tsunami relief; the Wenchuan earthquake and Cyclone Nargis relief in 2008 and now, the earthquake and tsunami relief in Japan. We have been extremely impressed with the sincerity of the Soka Gakkai International (SGI) members whom we have had the opportunity to work with in the region.  It clearly reflects the overwhelming compassion within the Soka members, and they certainly have our gratitude, respect and admiration.”    ‪



The additional $310,948 will go towards supporting Mercy Relief’s ongoing nutrition programme in Iwate and Miyagi – to provide the survivors with much-needed fresh vegetables and fruits and, ready-to-eat porridge and red bean soup.  The food nutrition programme has been approved and endorsed by both the central and prefectural governments there.

‪More impressively, about 300 children from the Soka Kindergarten also chipped in their time and energy to help their friends in Japan – raising $1,535 through a fun-fair they held last week.  MR Chairman T K Udairam, who received a separate cheque from the children said, “This gracious act of the kids augurs well not only for the SSA, but also Singapore as a nation.  For that, we have every reason to be optimistic of our future generation.”

Last Friday evening, MR Chairman T K Udairam received a total of more than $330,000 from the Rahmatan Lil ‘Alamin Foundation; Chen Su Lan Trust; Sri Krishnan Temple; Mr Bean; Singapore Polytechnic and CHIJ St Theresa Convent for the Japan tsunami relief. The cheque presentation was witnessed by Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong.

To date, MR has received $2.4 million for its ongoing relief efforts in Japan.

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