Cultivating good deeds in other people’s hearts results in more souls willing to lend their own time and effort for the sake of others. This is what the Tzu Chi volunteers on July 16 from Tacloban City, Leyte proved and shared in their general assembly at Leyte Progressive High School together with volunteers from Manila.
Survivors of Typhoon Yolanda (Haiyan) in 2013 who experienced the love and compassion of Tzu Chi in its aftermath attended the event. They are now the Tzu Chi volunteers of Tacloban City. Siao reminded the volunteers about the true mission and vision of a Tzu Chi volunteer.
“If we are guided by our conscience, we’ll know what is right from wrong. Tzu Chi practices make us more alert in every situation so we will be more discerning. We reached 66 members in Ormoc including their youth volunteers. We saw the importance of having local volunteers,” says Siao in the opening remarks.
Through a DaAi news story, the volunteers also learned about the recent earthquake at Ormoc and Tzu Chi’s response. Some of the volunteers were emotional while watching the report because they felt sad for the victims’ losses.
“I cried while watching the videos because I felt pitiful for the families that were affected by the quake and I realized that we really have to help them,” says Mita Perol, one of the attendees.
It was discussed that the quake victims need urgent reliefs and that mainstream media only shows the damages in Kananga and not the other places which were even more severely affected.
Tzu Chi social worker Chad Dizon talked about the productive use of one’s time on Earth and to making it meaningful through selflessness and serving others. Tacloban volunteers listened attentively because they fully understood what the earthquake victims were going through.
“It’s very good when you have local volunteers to respond to the people. The report about their needs comes in faster especially when local volunteers are present in the area of the disaster,” says Dizon.
Three more volunteers from Manila shared their insights brought by past disasters. The Leyte earthquake led the volunteers from all over the country, even volunteers from Taiwan, to stand as one for the sake of the victims.
“I did not expect that I will be here in Tacloban. We were actually planning to have a vacation in Bohol but as it turned out, we needed to be in Ormoc to help those who were affected by the earthquake,” shares Tzu Chi volunteer Carolina Uy-Siao.
“We are long time volunteers here in Tacloban. That is why this seminar served as a review for us. For example, the meaning of bodhisattva, we were reminded of the proper things volunteers should do and we were reminded of the teachings of Master that will serve as a guide for the things we’ll do here in Tacloban. Volunteering helps us develop our personality and become bridge that will share the teachings of Master Cheng Yen,” shares Judith Casco, one of the Tacloban volunteers.
The program brought a plethora of lessons of volunteerism. Tzu Chi Foundation will continue its goal of producing more volunteers from different parts of the country because everyone needs someone that will help them in times of need.
A volunteer intently listens to the sharing of a speaker.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi social worker Chad Dizon from Manila shares the importance of proper use of one’s time and the value of volunteers in every part of the country. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Volunteers become emotional while watching a DaAi news report about the extent of damage done by the recent earthquake that struck Ormoc City.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Attendees take pictures of the lessons flashed in the projector to have something to review on for the next few days.【Photo by Luisa Cabato】
Tzu Chi volunteers dance the Tzu Chi Welcome Song. Volunteers from Manila teach the steps of the song so that volunteers from Tacloban can perform it in whenever a visitor arrives. 【Photo by Luisa Cabato】