On March 4, over 5, 000 individuals gathered at the Davao Chong Hua High School to receive 20-kilo sack of rice from Taiwan. The recipients are comprised of indigent families, flood victims of Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) and fire victims.
The sack of rice from Taiwan benefitted families from nine barangays in Davao City, namely, Brgy. 9-A, 76-A and 21-C, Purok 13-A, Sasa, Dumoy, R. Castillo, Wilfredo and Buhangin.
Tzu Chi Foundation distributed 20-kilo sacks of rice to over 5, 000 families in Davao City on March 4, 2018. The activity was held at the Davao Chong Hua High School and organized by the local volunteers of Tzu Chi – Davao Chapter. It also marks the chapter’s second year of carrying out Tzu Chi’s charity missions in the southern Philippines.
Every rice grain counts for the recipients, who come from low-income families. Prior to the distribution, these recipients were evaluated by volunteers through home visits – most of them were flood victims of Tropical Storm Vinta (Tembin) in December, victims of fire in November, and indigent families from across nine barangays.
Among the beneficiary barangays were 9-A, 76-A and 21-C, Purok 13-A, Sasa, Dumoy, R. Castillo, Wilfredo and Buhangin.
Like any other relief activities, recipients were introduced with the missions of the foundation and to its founder, Dharma Master Cheng Yen.
Tzu Chi volunteer Ang Mei – Yuen was overwhelmed with the kind of cooperation which Davaoeños have shown. She looks forward that after the relief, the beneficiaries will be able to imbibe the Tzyu Chi values and grasp the importance of serving in achieving a harmonious community.
Representatives of Davao Filipino – Chinese Cultural Foundation Lucio Ong and Lo Tung – Hai were happy to witness Tzu Chi show a great love and compassion to the needy locals. Also, they see this as an opportunity to strengthen the bonds between the Filipinos and Chinese.
“Some of the families don’t have anything to eat which makes this rice distribution a good opportunity to address hunger in a small scale,” says Representative Ong.
Sajara Jahili’s family was one of the recipients. Sajara fishes and sells her catch to wet markets where she earns Php200 to Php300 daily. When her income from fishing is not enough, she helps sell apparel in bargain stores. From this, she gets an additional Php100 a day.
Although her left eye is afflicted with cataract, she works hard to support her nieces and nephews, whose parents left in her care.
“It’s really hard to not have any rice in a meal, that’s why this means so much to me. Now, I won’t be busy thinking how will be able to buy even just half a kilo,” says Jahili.
John Rey Romanos also received a sack of rice. Last November 2017, John Rey’s house was burned in a fire caused by faulty electrical wiring. He rebuilt his house using light materials.
Life was already hard enough for John Rey without the fire happening. He was born prematurely, causing him to be physically challenged, with involuntary movements and speech difficulties. At times, he also suffers from epileptic seizures.
“No matter how hard I try to showcase my strengths, what employers only see is my incapability,” he shares.
Loaning food and asking his parents, who live in the next town, to settle his debts has been his daily routine. Receiving the 20-kilo sack of rice from Tzu Chi assures his food for a few days.
“Having this kind of blessing seems like having a new hope for me – making me feel that I deserve to be helped and be loved,” he adds.
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