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Cablegate: Ait Nomination for the Secretary's Award For

VZCZCXYZ0009
RR RUEHWEB

DE RUEHIN #1525 3020847
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280847Z OCT 08
FM AIT TAIPEI
TO SECSTATE WASHDC 0205

UNCLAS AIT TAIPEI 001525

SIPDIS

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: KWMN PHUM PREL KPAO TW
SUBJECT: AIT NOMINATION FOR THE SECRETARY'S AWARD FOR
INTERNATIONAL WOMEN OF COURAGE: CHENG YEN

REF: STATE 99729

1. (U) AIT wishes to nominate Buddhist leader CHENG Yen for
the Secretary's Award for International Women of Courage.
Dharma Master Cheng Yen was born in Chingshui, a town in
central Taiwan, in 1937. In 1966, she established the Tzu
Chi Foundation, which concentrates its activities in four
areas: charity, medicine, education, and culture. Cheng
Yen's Tzu Chi Foundation has grown into an international
organization with over 5 million supporters and over 30,000
members who carry out its mission globally. Cheng Yen,
herself, has been awarded the Eisenhower Medallion for her
contributions to world peace and was nominated in 1996 for
the Nobel Peace Prize for her tireless dedication to bringing
a vision of compassion in action to areas suffering from
disaster and conflict.

2. (U) On the basis of Cheng Yen's axiom, "Nothing is more
valuable than life. All beings are equal," the Tzu Chi
Foundation provides relief worldwide to victims of war,
flood, and drought, sending supplies to victims and
volunteers to help them rebuild their lives. The Tzu Chi
Foundation, which firmly believes in putting aid directly
into the hands of those who need it, has provided more than
USD 2 million in medical care, supplies, and financial
support to victims of 9/11, more than USD 4 million in
shopping cards, bedding, and medical care and supplies to
victims of Hurricane Katrina, and, in cooperation with
Knightsbridge International, a Christian NGO, distributed
more than eight 40-foot containers filled with cooking oil,
blankets, shoes, rice, and medicines to refugees in north and
west Afghanistan. In 2008, the Tzu Chi Foundation
established long-term disaster relief efforts after the
devastating earthquakes in the Szechuan province of China.
The Foundation has built hospitals, colleges, and research
centers as well as developed educational, social, and
cultural programs for local communities.

3. (U) Full legal name: Ms. SHIH Cheng Yen
Job title/association: Founder, Tzu Chi Foundation
Date of birth: 04-May-1937
Country of birth: Taiwan
Citizenship: ROC
Contact information: Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu
Chi Foundation, No.1, Lane 88, Jingshe Street,
Kanglo Village, Sing-Cheng Hsiang, Hualien County,
97150, Taiwan. Tel: 886-3-8266779, fax: 886-3-8267776
Passport number: None

4. (U) AIT Women's Issues POC is Political Officer Deanna
Kim, tel: 886-2-21622086.
SYOUNG

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