Youth Department Donates Funds to UNICEF
Collected in 2011 UNICEF Fundraising Campaign
The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) received on November 21 a donation of 27,269,446 Japanese yen collected in a fundraising campaign held by Rissho Kosei-kai. The presentation was made at a ceremony in the administration building at Rissho Kosei-kai's headquarters in Tokyo. Rev. Waichiro Izumida, director of the Youth Department, handed a letter detailing the total contributions to Mr. Ken Hayami, executive director of the Japan Committee for UNICEF.
Also present were Mr. Yutaka Kikugawa, programme coordinator of the Japan Committee for UNICEF, and Rev. Masao Kurosawa, deputy director of Rissho Kosei-kai's Youth Department.
Youth members of all Dharma centers took part in fundraising activities throughout Japan from November 1, 2010, to October 31. They appealed to citizens on busy streets and at charity bazaars.
The donation will be forwarded to UNICEF's headquarters in New York and used for the project "The Role of Religious Communities to Protect Children Affected by Conflict." It is a joint relief project conducted by the World Conference of Religions for Peace and UNICEF. The project is now being carried out on the Philippine island of Mindanao and in Kenya.
At the presentation ceremony, Mr. Hayami thanked Rissho Kosei-kai for its longstanding support of UNICEF and, while carrying out relief activities for victims of the March 11 earthquake and tsunami in northeastern Japan, for its continued concern for children around the world affected by armed conflict. He also expressed thanks for the cooperation that UNICEF had received from Rissho Kosei-kai's Sendai, Ishinomaki, and Kamaishi Dharma centers when UNICEF was organizing its own emergency relief activities, including the distribution of drinking water, soon after the March disaster.
Rev. Izumida and Rev. Kurosawa explained the relief project for disaster victims that Rissho Kosei-kai has conducted since late March, under the motto "United in One Heart." They and UNICEF officers then discussed disaster victims' need for spiritual care.
Rissho Kosei-kai started its annual UNICEF fundraising campaigns for UNICEF in 1979, the International Year of the Child.
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