The first batch of Tzu Chi Foundation’s Machine Operation Course students numbering to 14 have officially finished their training and are now certified machinists. A simple graduation ceremony was held on July 30 at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City to celebrate this milestone.
After their graduation, the newly-certified machinists will immediately start working in the companies where they had their on-the-job trainings. Said companies lauded the students’ work performance and attitude and decided to employ them.
The first batch of Tzu Chi Foundation’s Machine Operation Course students are facing a new chapter in their lives.
On July 30, their training officially ended with a simple graduation ceremony held at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City. Their family members, Tzu Chi volunteers, professors and trainers, Technical Education and Skills Development Authority (TESDA) officers, and owners of the companies where they had conducted their on-the-job trainings were there to congratulate them.
Tzu Chi launched the training program in November 2017 with the goal of empowering underprivileged Filipinos by teachings them skills that will land them a job and eventually lift their families from poverty. Eight months of rigorous trainings later, TESDA certified them as machinists. A whole new world has opened up for them.
Of the 14 graduates, five were women.
“Everyone has the same boundless potentials. What men can do, women can too. This is what we have proven by finishing this course. We can also do what men can. I’m really proud of myself,” said Renalyn Turallo, 27. She used to be a worker at a convenience store.
Apart from the skills, TESDA officer Danilo Vargas is in awe of Tzu Chi Machining students’ character. According to him, having machinists who are value-laden is what the industry needs right now. Other training centers only offer skills development. “With the values and the competencies, I can say that they are a total [package] person in the field of work,” he commented.
A humanity class is an integral part of the course’s curriculum. Every day before they begin their lectures, the students watch a recorded video talk of Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen. Afterwards, Tzu Chi volunteers guide them in discussing the teachings they learned such as filial piety, respect for all beings, and doing charity works, among others.
From these, 31-year-old Carlos Panesa, Jr. has learned to become more filial. “Before I was only respectful towards my mother but now I am respectful and loving towards her. I have made it a habit to give her an embrace and I even gave her a rose [on Mother’s Day]. We have become closer than we have ever been. Truly, I have learned to cherish the people I love,” he said.
Concepcion Panesa is thankful for the changes in her son’s behavior. “Not only did he gained new skills and knowledge but his negative attitude was also transformed,” she said.
The right attitude towards work also made it easier for the graduates to land a job. In fact, having seen them work, the companies where they had their on-the-job trainings have decided to employ them.
While some of the students are eyeing to work overseas someday, for now, they are focused in making the most of the opportunity they have and paying love forward.
“I feel very blessed because of all the people who need help I was one of those who were given an opportunity [to turn our lives around]. In return, I want to give my free time to volunteering so that I can repay Tzu Chi’s kindness,” said Carlos.
“I will also cherish the work I currently have for myself, for my family, and so that I can also share the technical aspect of the work to others as well as share Master Cheng Yen’s teachings. This way, I will be able to contribute in keeping the cycle of Great Love around the world turning,” he added.