The 226th Medical Mission of Tzu Chi Foundation is held at Sisters of Mary Girlstown Complex on July 23. A total of 2,149 students benefitted from free services in ophthalmology, dermatology, dentistry, ENT, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and paediatrics.
The Sisters of Mary congregation, its faculty, and the students are all grateful for Tzu Chi’s medical mission. They feel delighted not only because of the free consultations and medicine but also the love and care despite differences in faith.
Prompt medical care reaches hundreds of students of the Sisters of Mary schools in Silang, Cavite as Tzu Chi Foundation on July 23 held its 226th Medical Mission.
A total of 2,149 students from the school benefitted from the free services offered by Tzu Chi volunteers and Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) doctors in ophthalmology, dermatology, dentistry, pediatrics, ENT (ears, nose, and throat), and Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).
Grade-8 student Rosalia Quitoria suffers from poor eyesight to the point that she needs to go near to the blackboard to read what is written there. She underwent an eye check-up and received a pair of eyeglasses.
“I am so delighted and I am really grateful to Tzu Chi Foundation because I now have my own pair of eyeglasses. It would be a great comfort for me, and a big help to my study,” says Quitoria.
For Grade-11 student Catherine Soriano who has a problem in hearing, she is beyond grateful for the foundation not just because of the free consultation but also the effort, time, and love it dedicates for them.
While for Jay Ann Ledesma, a grade-12 student, the arrival of Tzu Chi Foundation to their school brings hope and joy to her. The scars left by her skin disease, which she carried for four years, cover her from shoulder to toe. This affects her self-esteem.
“When my scars disappear through the medicine and ointment that Tzu Chi Foundation give to me, I will now have the confidence to face people without any fear of being a laughingstock. It will also boost my self-esteem,” says Ledesma.
Not only does the medical mission benefit the patients but the local volunteers, as well. Former Armed Forces of the Philippines Dental Chief Gen. Reynaldo Torres says that, despite his busy schedule, he always makes time for Tzu Chi’s medical mission. He led the small contingent of military dentists, supplementing TIMA dentists.
“In Tzu Chi, I started in 2009. I also encourage my all dental officers and civilian dentist to join the community outreach program of the organization,” says Gen. Torres.
Torres adds that he feels happy whenever he participates in community outreach programs since this is his way of giving back for all the blessings he receives. He also advises other volunteer doctors to always give their all every medical mission because the patients need their care the most.
Tzu Chi University student Chen Yu-Hsiu can’t believe it is possible for her to become friends with the people she meets every medical mission. She believes this will make her a better medical practitioner in the future.
Chen realizes that in order to become a good doctor, aside from the skills and knowledge, you must also have a heart to serve people and a mind that thinks for their sake.
“I’m very grateful to this session and thankful to all my teachers who let me join this program. I really hope this program will continue,” says Chen.
Sr. Amelia Luces, SM, the local supervisor of Sisters of Mary only has good words for the Buddhist organization.
“To all the members of Tzu Chi Foundation, I thank you all and I hope that God will empower you in your mission to serve the poor through your medical missions and other charity mission to the poor,” says Luces.
She also gives emphasis on the unity of two different beliefs, yet one in advocacy and goal. Sisters of Mary school cater students whose families are unable to afford to send them to school. They educate poor children, thus, making their aim to help the same with Tzu Chi Foundation.
“Even though we are Catholic and they are Buddhist, but we are working in the service of the poor so there is no indifference from serving the poor. Religion is not a hindrance, so we consider that unity in the service of the poor,” Luces adds.
Tzu Chi volunteer Lucy Yu seconds this.
“In Tzu Chi, we don’t choose religion or race. Whether they are Muslim or Catholic, everybody is welcome to share our love,” Yu says.