Volunteers from Oman LNG to organise a tsunami relief fundraiser for Japan

Snow falls on a boat that was beached by the recent tsunami, in Miyako, Iwate perfecture on March 27 (AFP)

Muscat - 

A group of volunteers from Oman LNG has taken it upon themselves to organise a golf event and dinner to help raise funds to assist the ongoing aid effort in Japan following the March 11 Tohoku earthquake and tsunami that has left more than 10,000 dead and hundreds of thousands homeless.

The lengthy reconstruction costs are expected to take many years to complete and surpass US$100bn, and it is to this end that invitations have already been dispatched to Oman’s business community asking them to donate some time and money to a good cause, according to Cheryl Buckley, who was speaking to Muscat Daily on behalf of the organising team.

It is hoped that the sponsorship received and funds raised would be able to contribute in some way to the spiralling costs of repairing the damage to the nation’s infrastructure. “The people who have been affected in Japan are out of energy, medication for diabetes, asthma and others, and even if we are only able to help a few people with the funds raised it would make a difference. We hope that companies will contribute generously towards helping the Japanese people get back to living a normal life,” said Cheryl.

“We are delighted that H E Dr Mohammed bin Hamad al Rumhi, Minister of Oil and Gas, has agreed to be patron at both events. Seeing the Japanese people as they are now, it is very sad and every contribution is a gesture of solidarity with the nation. We will hand over the funds raised to H E Seiji Morimoto, the Japanese ambassador to Oman, who is very appreciative of what we are doing.”

The golf event will take place at the Ghala Wentworth Golf Club on April 16, said Cheryl, with prizes for the tournament and lucky dips donated by well-wishers. The dinner will be held at the Buckley residence, added Cheryl and no administrative costs would eat into the funds raised. “A 100 per cent of what is donated would go straight to the Friends of Japan bank account opened last week by H E Morimoto.

“There will be no glamorous prizes for the golf tournament and it’s not a lavish affair, because we want to be able to donate as much as possible. We have already received a pledge and we are planning to have a lucky dip at the dinner to help raise more funds. We can probably cater to around 36 people for the golf event during the day and around 200 for the dinner,” said Cheryl.

Besides showing solidarity with Japan and respecting the manner in which the people have carried themselves in this time of national crisis, it can also serve as a lesson to the youth. “We don’t know when we might need help from our neighbours or friends in times of need, and this can demonstrate to our children that it is important to aid not only the people you know, but also those you do not,” said Cheryl.

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