Thursday, Apr 15

Next Step with a New Tzu Chi Uniform

March 17, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

Twenty-three Tzu Chi volunteers take the next step in their volunteerism as they accept their brand new Training Commissioner uniforms during the monthly volunteer seminar on March 17. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

Story Highlights

  • Twenty-three Tzu Chi volunteers on March 17 received their new Training Commissioner uniforms at the monthly volunteers’ seminar at Tzu Chi Great Love Campus. This makes them one step closer to becoming fully-fledged Commissioners.


Close to two dozen Tzu Chi volunteers on March 17 took the next step as they received their new Training Commissioner (TC) uniforms during the monthly volunteers’ seminar.

Over 300 Chinese and Filipino volunteers attended the monthly seminar at the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Manila. Of which, 23 were now a step closer in becoming full-fledged Tzu Chi Commissioners. As the mainstay of the organization’s volunteer force, Commissioners take on various tasks like introducing Tzu Chi Foundation and inviting others to become volunteers as well.

Among the new TCs, seven were from Davao City and were led by Tzu Chi volunteer Michelle Hsu. She recalled how the city first met the organization in 2016 through its medical mission. With her fellow volunteers elevated to Tzu Chi volunteer trainees, she commented how far they’ve come since then.

“Back then in Davao, we didn’t know how ordinary people like me can join Tzu Chi, let alone do the charity work it does. So, when the foundation went to Davao, we were glad to have found a way to do good deeds through Master Cheng Yen’s teachings,” said Hsu, now a full fledge Commissioner.

“As a first-batch commissioner from Davao, I implore that we strengthen our resolve. As long as we believe in Master Cheng Yen and her teachings, we can take heart in the good deeds that we do,” she added.

Zhu Cai lives in the remote town of San Francisco, Agusan Del Sur. She has to endure a five- hour road trip to get to Davao and another one-and-a-half-hour flight to reach Manila. Regardless, she made the trip to be able to receive her uniform and the responsibilities that come with it.

At Hsu’s invitation, Zhu’s first contact with Tzu Chi came during a rice relief activity in Davao. While moved by the love and care the volunteers showed in Davao, it was at the New Volunteers’ Training Camp last February in Manila that she finally decided to become a volunteer. However, another factor influenced her decision.

“I dreamt of Master Cheng Yen twice. The first time, she invited me to come to Taiwan, but I was unable to go. The second time, she asked me why I haven’t joined Tzu Chi’s activities?  Those two dreams strengthened my resolve further,” narrated Zhu.

“My goal is to spread Tzu Chi’s spirit in my hometown and encourage people there to join in the foundation’s activities,” Zhu added.

Despite her reservations in the past, Li Shan Ya was happy that the monthly seminar cleared all her doubts about joining the foundation as a volunteer. A Buddhist even before joining Tzu Chi, she admired the foundation for its “Buddhism in action” approach.

“I realized that Buddhist principles shouldn’t just be principles only. They need to be applied to our daily lives,” she narrated.

Li also added that she regrets not joining sooner because of her reservations, despite seeing Tzu Chi in action following Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan). Now a bona fide volunteer, she remarked that she’s ready to make up for lost time.

“In the years that I couldn’t decide whether or not to join Tzu Chi, I met a lot of people who I admired. They gave me love and compassion when I was in doubt. For that, I don’t want to let them down,” Li said.

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Chen Chiao Yang speaks before fellow Chinese volunteers, including the new Training Commissioners. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Volunteers young and old are taught the sign language for a Tzu Chi song. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • A group of participants enjoy a light snack during their morning recess. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • A Tzu Chi volunteer demonstrates the proper way of sitting, one of several lessons on Tzu Chi etiquette for newcomers. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Lo Yu-Ching (left) talks about the proper way to carry a bag. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • New volunteers learn the proper hand gesture of respect from their group leader. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer Edward Go talks about the organization's Ten Precepts in detail. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Zhu Cai He, one of the new Training Commissioners, reads through the volunteers manual. Her goal is to introduce Tzu Chi to her home in Agusan del Sur. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】

  • Junior volunteers share what they've learned in the seminar. 【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】