November 2018 JTS America Newsletter
Join Together Society (JTS) and Korea International Cooperation Agency (KOICA) shipped 35,000 of the 100,000 gas stoves they pledged to the Rohingya refugees. JTS America plans to fund 25,000 of the 100,000 gas stoves, so it plans to hold a fundraising campaign in December, 2018.
In October of 2017 and January of 2018, JTS conducted a field survey of the Rohingya refugee camps in Bangladesh and provided relief aid consisting of rice and blankets. After discussions with the World Food Program (WFP), it was agreed that what the refugees needed most was cooking fuel. JTS Korea agreed to provide Liquid Propane Gas (LPG) gas stoves and WFP will be in charge of distribution, safety education, and the LPG gas supply. The gas stoves will save children and women from having to make risky trips to gather fire wood and will enable the children to attend school. The gas stoves will also help refugees with food preparation, prevent malnutrition, and protect the forest from further damage. On November 24, 2018, the day after Thanksgiving in the U.S., 35,000 of the 100,000 gas stoves were shipped. The gas stoves were shipped from China and will arrive in Bangladesh in about two weeks.
As part of a relief program to improve meal preparation of the Rohingya refugees, KOICA will deliver 32,200 gas stoves. The rest will be funded and delivered by JTS, and JTS America plans to fund 25,000 of the pledged gas stoves. To this end, JTS America will conduct a fundraising campaign in December, 2018.
Video of First and Second JTS Relief Aid to the Rohingya Refugees
JTS Chairman Ven. Pomnyun Sunim and JTS volunteers visited Gyeongju to hike and enjoy the autumn scenery with the residents of Aekwangwon, a facility for the mentally and physically handicapped.
Twice a year, JTS goes on an outing with the Aekwangwon residents. On October 22, 2018, JTS visited Gyeongju to enjoy the autumn foliage with the Aekwangwon residents, an event everyone had been eagerly awaiting. Ven. Pomnyun Sunim, JTS volunteers, 30 Aekwangwon residents, and 9 teachers joined the group. Each volunteer was paired with an Aekwangwon resident and followed Ven. Pomnyun Sunim’s guide through the Bulguksa Temple. The group had snacks next to a flowerbed between Cheomseongdae, an astronomical observatory, and Hyanggyo, a Confucian school. The president of Aekwangwon thanked Ven. Pomnyun Sunim and the volunteers by presenting them with house farmed sweet potatoes when it was time to say goodbye. They reluctantly said their goodbyes to one other and promised to meet again when spring comes.
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