Thursday, Apr 15

Volunteers clear debris from newly renovated building

February 17, 2019 | Jonas Trinidad

Despite suffering from asthma, Tzu Chi volunteer Olga Vendivel sweeps dust from this stretch of corridor. She and her fellow volunteers set aside time for February 17, a Sunday, to clean the entire building in preparation for the volunteers training camp. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

Story Highlights

  • Filipino and Chinese Tzu Chi volunteers on February 17 work hand in hand to clean the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus’s Harmony building in time for the volunteers training camp.


In the run-up to the New Volunteers Training Camp, Tzu Chi volunteers on February 17 trooped to Tzu Chi Great Love Campus’s renovated building for an extensive cleanup.

The Harmony building, as it is known, will be the home of the attendees of the upcoming camp for three days and two nights. An estimated 80 people will attend the camp to learn how to be a Tzu Chi volunteer. Nuns and volunteers from Taiwan will be on hand to conduct the seminars.

In light of the upcoming event, the volunteers get to work in clearing every window and floor of dust and debris from the renovation work. All the volunteers were taught the proper way of sweeping and disposing the debris, they were even advised to wear proper protective gears during the cleanup.

Despite suffering from asthma, Tzu Chi volunteer Olga Vendivel makes an effort to take the lead in this activity.

“If I don’t teach them [the proper way to clean], the dust will simply come back over and over. If [the volunteers] don’t know the proper procedure, the mess will only return,” said Vendivel.

Students from Tzu Chi’s Livelihood Training Program joined in the cleaning wholeheartedly. Evangeline Sumalinog is a 24-year-old student taking up the Machine Operation Course as part of the third batch. She used to work as a welder, but the demands of such work took their toll on her body, forcing her to resign.

“I can’t stand dirt. I want to see a clean room the moment I open the door,” said Sumalinog.

The cleanup spared no nook and cranny. Everything from the window frame to the door knob has to be spic and span. Some male volunteers used their height advantage to wipe the hard-to-reach areas of the doors and windows.

Using a brush, Tzu Chi volunteer James Cheng sweeps the window joints and railings of cement debris. “I have to dust off the residue. Otherwise, the window mechanism will not function properly.”

Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez is thankful to the volunteers who came to help. “I’m really grateful to the volunteers working in harmony, especially with the camp just a few days away.”

The Harmony building is the first building to be completed for this major renovation project of the Great Love Campus. We foresee the campus to become a center of activities for the different missions of the Tzu Chi Foundation upon its completion.

  • On a clear day, the volunteers assemble outside Building E (now called Harmony building) of the Tzu Chi Great Love Campus. They're joined by students of the Livelihood Training Program. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • The cleanup crew enters the building while construction is on-going. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • Every volunteer does his/her part in the activity. Some get the broom, while others used the washcloth. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • Tzu Chi volunteers demonstrate the proper way to sweep dust and debris. Without this, there'll be more cleaning to do afterwards. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • Cabinets installed and clean up followed for this room. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • Tzu Chi volunteer James Cheng brushes off dust and debris from the window frame. He says the windows won't be able to open or close properly with the debris jamming the mechanism. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • One of the Harmony building's bedrooms after a thorough cleanup. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • Once most of the dust and debris are gone, the volunteers bring in the mop to finish the job. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • Another bedroom, now equipped with cabinets, after a thorough cleanup. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • From the workshop on the other side of the campus, the wooden beds are finally moved into the rooms. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】

  • The corridor floor glistens with cleanliness after much effort by the volunteers. 【Photo by Heng Choun Lee】


  • 20190228 Cleanup of Harmony Building in preparation for Volunteers Camp

  • LAST UPDATED: April 11, 2019 13:04 PM