Tzu Chi Foundation’s Mission of Education will help more students achieve their dreams as it prepares to expand its Livelihood Training Program. Its first program in the expansion, the Machine Operation Course, has already sent its batch of students for on-the-job training in factories operated by Tzu Chi volunteers.
Because of this, Tzu Chi will require a bigger place to cater to future students.
Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuñez has decided to use the third to sixth floors of the main building of Tzu Chi Great Love Campus in Sta. Mesa. However, because of years of disuse, a blanket of dust covers the rooms, as well as the tables and chairs stored there.
On December 2017, Tzu Chi volunteers held a general cleanup activity in the four floors of the main building for three days. And they have decided to do it monthly starting January 26.
Romela Castillo, a Tzu Chi volunteer from Barangay Pasong Tamo, Quezon City, has participated in the cleanup since the first day. She shares the struggles she and her fellow volunteers have encountered while cleaning.
“One of the hardest struggles that we encounter while doing the cleaning is the dust. Whenever we swipe the floors, we inhale the dust and we really get dirty and messy,” says Castillo.
Still, Castillo chooses to attend the activity for the fourth time.
“As a mother, I have a lot of work to do at home. Yet, I chose to participate in the activity because I am happy here. I can really feel here the spirit of unity and harmony among the volunteers. We also use opportunities like this to bond with the other volunteers,” adds Castillo.
Although not financially compensated for the work, Castillo says she’s contented seeing the clean rooms.
More volunteers have joined the cleanup now than the previous days. Marites Pilapil, a Tzu Chi volunteer from Barangay Old Balara, Quezon City, says she was inspired to join the cleanup after knowing the use of the rooms to be cleaned.
“The reason why I participate in the cleaning is because I want to help the students that will use these rooms in the next school year. I want them to feel comfortable here. It’s good to know that somehow we became a part of the students’ journey in building their future,” narrates Pilapil.
Forty-four volunteers from Old Balara and ten from Pasong Tamo have joined the cleanup activity from 8:00 a.m. up to 5:00 p.m. Senior citizens like 66-year-old Concepcion Paneza from Old Balara believe that age is just a number. No matter the age, anyone can clean his/her heart the same way they clean their environment.
“I am here in the cleaning because of Master Cheng Yen’s teaching. She said that we must clean our hearts (remove the pain and anger inside us) and clean our environment like what we are doing right now in the Main Building of Tzu Chi Great Love Campus,” shares Paneza, who adds that she feels stronger whenever she joins Tzu Chi’s activities. Tzu Chi volunteer Molita Chua, overseeing the cleanup activity, shares how fascinated she is after seeing the efforts of the volunteers.
“I really appreciate the efforts of the volunteers in this cleanup activity. Without them, it would be impossible to have this great improvement in each floor. It only shows that helping is not just in form of money. Like our volunteers, they want to give our students convenient classrooms, so they gather here and give their time, self, and effort. And that is such a noble and inspiring act of kindness,” says Chua.
#HelpTzuChiHelpOthers. For more information on how you can help Tzu Chi with its humanitarian work, you can visit the page at http://tzuchi.org.ph/how-to-help/donation/.
Tzu Chi volunteer Molita Chua designates tasks for the volunteers. Nine volunteers will be assigned on the building’s third, fourth, and fifth floors, while the remaining 17 volunteers will clean the sixth floor.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Tzu Chi volunteer Lino Sy prepares the cleaning materials.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
The volunteers reuse an old towel by cutting it into small pieces to be used in cleaning the chairs and tables.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Because the third floor has no working water line, the volunteers make do with water from containers. 【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Water leaks from the pipe hole of the sixth floor down to the fourth and third floors’ comfort rooms. Hence, aside from dust, the volunteers also need to clean the puddle in every floor.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Romela Castillo stands on the platform for her cleaning rag to reach every window vent.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Marites Pilapil makes sure that there will be no more marks of dirt that will be seen in the chairs that future students will use.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Concepcion Paneza proves that age is just a number. At the age of 66, she can still keep up with the younger volunteers. Paneza believes that she feels lighter and younger whenever she joins Tzu Chi’s activities.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Tzu Chi volunteers clean the statues of Buddha and two bodhisattvas with utmost respect. Before cleaning, they show their respects by bowing.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
One of the classrooms on the fourth floor is blanketed by a layer of dust and dirt. Years of disuse have relegated this room to gathering dust and dirt, but Tzu Chi is determined to prep it for its expanding Mission of Education.【Photo by Jonas Trinidad】
After a tiring day of cleaning, the improvement in each room is visible. The volunteers believe that if everyone will be consistent on participating in the cleaning activity, then it is not impossible to make it look new.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】