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Inspiring people with Tzu Chi’s humanistic culture

Sunday, 03 December 2017 09:9 AM | ARTICLE BY | Jamaica digo
Dr. Chien Sou-hsin, the superintendent of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital in Taiwan, shares about his extensive experience as a plastic surgeon and volunteer doctor of Tzu Chi Foundation. He talks about the medical missions and relief works he has joined through Tzu Chi. 【Photo by Jamaica Digo】

Story Highlights

  • Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital Superintendent Dr. Chien Sou-hsin shared his experiences as a volunteer surgeon for Tzu Chi to local dentists and Tzu Chi volunteers in separate sessions on December 3.
  • In the afternoon, 40 members of the Philippine Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (PAED) attended Dr. Chien Sou-hsin’s lecture held at the Tzu Chi Eye Center in Sta. Mesa, Manila, while 42 Tzu Chi volunteers and guests gathered at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City in the evening of December 3 to listen to Dr. Chien’s talk.
  • To encourage the local dentists to eat less meat and more vegetables, Tzu Chi volunteer Lu Lee Ching demonstrated how to make an all-vegetarian sushi. After her quick tutorial, the dentists were grouped into six for a sushi-making contest.

In keeping up with the mission to spread the humanistic culture of Tzu Chi in carrying out its missions of charity and medicine, Tzu Chi Philippines gathered local dentists and Tzu Chi volunteers to attend separate talks of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital Superintendent Dr. Chien Sou-hsin on December 3.

Forty members of the Philippine Academy of Esthetic Dentistry (PAED) attended the session held at the Tzu Chi Eye Center in Sta. Mesa, Manila in the afternoon. Forty-two Tzu Chi volunteers and guests attended the session held at the Jing Si Hall in the evening.

At the Eye Center, the gathering was organized by Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) Dr, Cheung Lai Chun, who is also former president of PAED.

“We want to invite more people to join our team to give Great Love to our countrymen, especially to the less fortunate people,” explained Dr. Cheung.

PAED is a non-profit organization that aims to provide training through advanced education to professional dentists.

According to PAED’s current president, Dr. Avelyn Jahns, gathering her colleagues in Tzu Chi’s premises is a good start to introduce them to the patient-centered and humanistic medicine ideals of TIMA.

For the past four years, Dr. Jahns has been religiously attending the annual TIMA Convention.

“I saw for myself how Tzu Chi is and even here [in the Philippines], I see the good intention and good works of Tzu Chi. Someday, I hope that a lot of our members, and even not only the members of PAED but a lot of dental professionals, to come and join Tzu Chi because we see the need for medical doctors and dentists, even nurses and pharmacists, we see the need for all these professions to join Tzu Chi,” she said.

The gathering also served as PAED’s yearend seminar. In previous years, PAED held said events in hotels and restaurants where they serve meat and seafood dishes. This year, however, was special as Tzu Chi volunteers served them delicious vegetarian meals.

To further encourage the dentists to eat less meat and more vegetables, Tzu Chi volunteer Lu Lee Ching demonstrated how to make an all-vegetarian sushi. After her quick tutorial, the dentists were grouped into six for a sushi-making contest.

Dr. Ricky Gatbonton admitted that he is fond of eating Japanese food, sushi among them. “This is really quite amazing for all of us because instead of eating all those meat around, we can eat an amazing sushi made from vegetables,” said Dr. Gatbonton.

Dr. Evelyn Fernandez expressed that she would want to serve the vegetarian sushi she learned to make from the activity for their Christmas dinner. “It’s not very different from meat [in terms of taste]. It’s the same, actually and even more delicious. Most of all, it’s very healthy,” she said.

In the afternoon, Tzu Chi volunteer Judy Lao discussed the history of Tzu Chi Foundation and its various disaster relief efforts, focusing on Tzu Chi’s work in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013.

Apart from distributing emergency cash aid, relief goods, holding medical missions, launching a cash-for-work cum cleanup program, and donating prefabricated classrooms, Tzu Chi also built two Great Love Villages in Leyte for the displaced families. In the municipality of Palo, Tzu Chi is also providing a steady source of income for the typhoon survivors through a Livelihood Center.

Afterwards, Dr. Chien Sou-hsin of Taichung Tzu Chi Hospital, who flew all the way from Taiwan, shared his experiences and the wisdom he gained from serving as volunteer surgeon of Tzu Chi Foundation for years.

Dr. Chien’s presentation took the attendees to Haiyan-stricken Leyte, quake-hit Nepal, and war-scarred Syrian refugees in Jordan. These are just some of the places where Dr. Chien, alongside Tzu Chi volunteers, have been in the last two years to provide medical care.

As Tzu Chi volunteer doctors, they are among the first to arrive in disaster scenes in order to provide urgent medical attention to the injured.

In the case of the 7.8-magnitude earthquake in Nepal, many injured survivors suffered from fractures and broken limbs.  Tzu Chi doctors conducted bone surgeries and provided internal medicine treatment to the patients. An anesthesiologist from Tzu Chi Taiwan also helped deliver a pair of twins during an emergency caesarean section a week after the earthquake.

In each disaster-stricken place he has been, he witnessed the impermanence of life as well as how ordinary people create miracles and change the lives of those in suffering – the gift of the medical professional.

But disasters grow in frequency and intensity, and suffering continues to afflict the poor. Dr. Chien underscored the need for medical professionals who are willing to serve selflessly and unconditionally. With this, he encouraged the dentists present to take part in Tzu Chi’s future dental and medical missions.

“In Tzu Chi, dentists are not only confined to their clinics but they also get to experience and learn other things from the outside world,” said Dr. Chien. “This is a good opportunity to introduce Tzu Chi, not only its medical missions, but also the other aspects about the organization especially Tzu Chi’s contributions in the Philippines.”

Dr. Lillian Ebuen was moved by the example and wisdom of Dr. Chien. “It’s inspiring because despite his professionalism and high level of knowledge, he is still able to impart his services to the needy. If we also do the same, we professionals do the same work then we can make a very happy community,” she said.

“Not everybody is given the chance to take specialty work, or specialty studies like us professionals, so it is also important that we impart our services to the people,” she added.

One of the guest speakers during the seminar, Maria Jona Godoy, who is a board member of the Professional Regulatory Commission (PRC), was also touched by what she heard and saw.

“I really appreciate what Tzu Chi has done for our fellowmen. I already informed Dr. Cheung Lai Chun that I would want to be a member. It’s pay-back time. We also have to help other people who are less fortunate than us,” she said.

The inspiration continued to flow and spread in the evening at the Jing Si Hall in Quezon City.

As Dr. Chien shared about the medical cases he and the Tzu Chi Hospitals in Taiwan handled over the years, Michelle Sy sat, listening intently. From the doctor’s presentation, she saw how an illness can afflict a person any time.

“I want to become a Tzu Chi volunteer, too. I realized that we should not wait until we cannot do anything anymore before we understand how important it is to start helping people,” Sy ended.

Last Updated: Sunday, 03 December 2017 09:9 AM

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