On Dharma Master Cheng Yen’s birthday, she presented the children of the Tzu Chi Ormoc Great Love City with the gift of a school close to their homes. A groundbreaking ceremony was held on April 28 to signify the start of its construction which will enable children in the village to attain an education.
On Master Cheng Yen’s 82nd birthday, she bestows upon the gift of education to children of the Ormoc Great Love City.
On April 28, which is also the 82th birthday of Dharma Master Cheng Yen, over a thousand guests—including affluent donor families, local officials, and villagers witnessed the groundbreaking ceremony of Tzu Chi elementary and high school. The event marks another milestone in the history of the Philippines chapter as the foundation’s third school project in the country. When finished, the school will benefit thousands of youths who cannot go to school because of the distance between schools and their home.
Designed by Tzu Chi Headquarters in Taiwan, the school will be built in the Great Love City. Taking future expansions into consideration, the school will cover an area of almost nine hectares, and will house 29 elementary classrooms and 21 high school classrooms. Children can simply walk to and from the school to pursuit their dreams of having an education.
This major project is made possible through the generosity of donors who funded for the construction of the schools.
Bienvenido Li, older brother of Tzu Chi Philippines deputy-CEO Alfredo Li, was moved to tears when he recalled the struggles of his parents the first time they settled in Leyte.
“During those years, they never stopped imparting to us the importance of filial piety, perseverance, good values, education, and most importantly the importance of giving back. They worked hard to make us what we are today,” said Bienvenido, whose parents were Chinese teachers.
“Our family agreed that, in our modest way and in honor of our parents, we shall help them realize this wonderful project. Our parents had always reminded us to share our blessings and there’s no better way of giving back to this community and country that accepted our parents decades ago,” he added.
Among the guests were Ryan Bughao, representing the Department of Education (DepEd) office in Ormoc. “We have over 1,000 residents in this village, and we know that they have children walking some distance [to and from school]. Now, we can bring the school here in the village, which is very important,” said Bughao.
Meanwhile, the Lim O Chu Foundation turned over 70,000 textbooks to Tzu Chi. These will be distributed to the various schools around Ormoc. It also pledged 500 solar lamp units to be installed in unlit parts of the village.
In a letter addressed to the village, Master Cheng Yen iterated that “the hope of the parents lies with their children, and the hope of the children lies with education.” She gives her blessings on the smooth and speedy construction of the school for the youth of today to be able to learn new skills they can put to good use.
“The children who merely survive five years ago will no longer need to worry about wandering the streets. Instead, they can focus on learning skills for life and cultivate love in a safe environment,” she said in the letter read by Tzu Chi volunteer Michael Siao.