Thursday, Apr 15

A Step Closer to Home

March 31, 2019 | Katrina Mina

Camp participants gave a round of applause to their group leaders during the closing ceremony of the three-day camp held at TCGLC. 【Photo by Nancy Que】

Story Highlights

  • Volunteers’ Camp ended in high spirits during the closing ceremony last March 31, 2019. To send them off, Taiwan volunteer Joe Huang gave the participants a heart-warming talk about everyone’s journey home.


Aspiring volunteers take a step closer to the home of Tzu Chi as the three-day camp in Tzu Chi Great Love Campus (TCGLC) comes to an end last March 31, 2019.

To cap off the camp, Tzu Chi Taiwan volunteer Joe Huang gave the 75 participants an inspiring speech that zeroed in the complex concept of home and hope to many people. Having lived in the United States before, Joe Huang shared the story of his homecoming to Taiwan in order to join the foundation.

“We need people to constantly remind us that we have a home, that we have a lot of people that care for us. And that’s where we derive our strength because I know somebody cares for me. I know somebody is rooting for me. And I know that I’m never alone.” he said.

During the talk, Joe Huang told stories about the countless inspirational missions he witnessed all over the world that evoked different emotions from both guests and participants. Huang also spoke about Tzu Chi foundation being a big family that cares for one another and helps everyone to find hope.

“I want to show them this is the true strength and value of Tzu Chi, that you will never be alone. That’s the value of home.” volunteer Joe Huang added.

Camp participants also picked up a lot of lessons from Joe Huang’s talk about the value of giving more than material things to victims of natural and man-made disasters.

“When we help other people, it’s not the food and not the material things that they appreciate but the sincerity of the volunteers… the help, the giving of hope, that they’re not alone, that there are people who help them even if a big part of their life was ruined. There’s still hope that they can recover.” said Reinna Madel Sy.

As a blood donor herself, Reinna quickly understood the importance of helping people and changing their lives.

“That’s what’s more important, the help you’re giving and the people that appreciate it, you’re helping change their lives.” Reinna added.

Joe Huang also urged the camp participants to join the Water Repentance text stage adaptation that would be performed by the country next year. Huang said that participating in the stage adaptation is a good way to change one’s self and the world as a whole.

“I think Water Repentance is one of the most direct way(s) for us to help the earth as a whole. Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot do something because you are too small.”

Before the camp ended, some of the participants shared their experiences during their stay in the camp. Doctor Giselle Uywho was encouraged by her mother to join, said that she saw good qualities in the foundation that made her decided to join.

“The individual members are selfless. They’re not perfect but selfless and they’re enlightened to help.” she said.

Reinna said that even though she was sad the camp ended, the things she learned from the foundation are valuable.

“I am quite sad because it seems so fast, but I’ve learned a lot because even if it’s only for two days, the things I learned can be applied to my whole life.” said Reinna.

  • Taiwan volunteer Joe Huang gave a talk about the concept of home and hope especially to victims of disaster. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Reinna Madel Sy listens intently to speaker Joe Huang during the session. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Volunteer Joe Huang briefly shows the journey of the war victims from Syria in their search for hope and better future. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Dr. Giselle Uy shares her learnings and experiences from the camp. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • CEO Henry Yuñez delivered words of encouragement before the camp ends. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】

  • Participants perform the song “One Family” that were taught by the volunteers. 【Photo by Nancy Que】

  • Even though the camp only lasted for three-days, the bonds that were formed showed through the tight hugs when the camp ended. 【Photo by Nancy Que】

  • Just like how the volunteers welcomed them on their first day of the camp, the participants were sent off by the volunteers with a smile. 【Photo by Katrina Mina】