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.
Tzu Chi Foundation held its 226th medical mission at Sisters of Mary Girlstown Complex in Cavite on July 23, 2017. The nuns who run the school organizes a pre-registration for the students for them to know the department where they will have their consultation.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
The students form a line next to the student leader holding the name of the department where they will have a consultation; they are excited to go the venue where the medical mission will be held.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz 】
Registration of every student occurs before they have their check up. A Tzu Chi volunteer gently gets the information of the patients.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
The students are all smiles while holding their registration form. According to them, they don’t have the chance to see a doctor at least once a month, that is why they are very happy when they found out that Tzu Chi Foundation will have a medical mission at their school.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
The pediatricians from TIMA Doctors also check the condition of the students who have coughs and colds; they also give anti biotic and vitamins for free.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Rosalia Quitoria suffers from poor eyesight that is why she undergoes a visual act test to know the possible solution for her problem.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Rosalia is a picture of happiness when she receives her new pair of eyeglasses from Tzu Chi Foundation.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Tzu Chi’s 226th medical mission also provides free dental check-up and tooth extraction, it benefitted 320 students.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Former Armed Forces of the Philippines Dental Chief Gen. Reynaldo Torres has been a volunteer of Tzu Chi Foundation’s medical mission for almost 8 years. According to him, he feels good whenever he helps other people.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Jay Ann Ledesma shows the scars that she has been hiding for four years.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
A TIMA doctor checks the condition of Jay Ann’s skin; she also gives ointment and medicine that will remove the scars of Jay Ann. 【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Tzu Chi Foundation’s 226th medical mission also offers free ears, nose, and throat checkup. Catherine Soriano, who has a hearing problem, is one of the 262 students who benefitted from it.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Even the nun from Sisters of Mary Girlstown Complex try acupuncture treatment. And according to her, she feels lighter and more comfortable after trying Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM).【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
After the medical mission, the students gather at their gymnasium and invite all Tzu Chi Foundation’s volunteers, TIMA Doctors, and Tzu Chi University students. Tzu Chi Youth members host the program.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
Angela Comprales, in behalf of Sisters of Mary Girlstown Complex, thank Tzu Chi Foundation for all the help it gives to their school.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】
The students from Sisters of Mary Girlstown Complex perform a song and dance number for the Tzu Chi volunteers, TIMA Doctors, Tzu Chi Youth and Tzu Chi University students; according to them, this is their way of showing their gratitude to Tzu Chi for the all the help they receive from the foundation.【Photo by Chloe Dela Cruz】