April 20, 2022
Volunteer training continues with Tzu Chi’s “Mission of Charity”
By Joy Rojas
Tzu Chi volunteers—including one from Bicol, three from Cebu, nine from Davao, and two from Zamboanga—met on April 17 for the second of ongoing face-to-face training classes in English, Filipino, and Chinese at the Buddhist Tzu Chi Campus (BTCC) in Sta. Mesa, Manila. The classes were live-streamed on Zoom to allow other volunteers from Cebu, Davao, and Tacloban to attend virtually and in real time.
Wang Shang Ling, who flew in from Zamboanga, looked forward to a whole day of classes. A donor for the past 10 years, she has been to Hualien, Taiwan, where she met Dharma Master Cheng Yen and received a bracelet from the Tzu Chi founder.
“When I’m in Tzu Chi, I feel so light,” says Wang, who already secured her plane tickets to Manila for the monthly trainings until November.
Jinny Ong, a certified commissioner since 2018, joined Tzu Chi to accompany her volunteer father. “And to help,” she adds. “Helping others brings me joy.” It also exposes her to the different ways other people live. Since becoming a Tzu Chi volunteer, she participated in rice relief distributions for tricycle and jeepney drivers, and visited Happyland, a slum area in Tondo.
“Help while you can. Do everything you can while you have time because you’ll never know what will happen next” is her message to volunteers in training. “Enjoy yourself and do good deeds.”
Inspired by her mother who was part of Tzu Chi’s dental mission, Meyee Lim has also been doing her share of volunteerism in the past four years. During the pandemic, she helped distribute PPEs (personal protective equipment) to frontliners as well as sacks of rice to beneficiaries in Marikina.
“You not only help others, you contribute to your development,” she says. “I also think of it as a social responsibility. Through the years, I know that I’ve been blessed, so it’s time to give back.”
After a vegetarian breakfast, volunteers were toured in batches around the spacious BTCC compound, which houses replicas of structures key to Tzu Chi’s history. They familiarized themselves with the modest wooden cabin where Master Cheng Yen spent her early years; explored the Jing Si Abode, considered the spiritual home for all Tzu Chi members; and entered the Jing Si Hall, whose brown folding chairs were designed by Master Cheng Yen and made of recycled plastic.
They then proceeded to their respective English, Filipino, and Chinese classes to listen to speakers discuss Tzu Chi’s Mission of Charity. Talks covered the brief history of Tzu Chi’s founding, the details of its first medical case, the principles of disaster relief, and others.
While this marks the first time for Tzu Chi to organize face-to-face classes since the pandemic was declared in March 2020, training actually didn’t stop. “We had online training classes for the whole of 2021 and surprisingly we had many participants,” says Tzu Chi Philippines Deputy CEO Woon Ng. “We were even able to recommend eight trainees to be certified commissioners.” Joining rice distributions, home visits, and other acts of volunteerism complemented the lessons taught in virtual classes, she adds.
For all the assistance extended to people in need through the years by Tzu Chi volunteers in the Philippines and all over the world, there will always be someone who could use a helping hand. “Charity works cannot stop. And harmonizing society is a very big task to do,” she says. “This is the reason why everyone who is interested to walk the Tzu Chi path is more than welcome to join. These training sessions enable one to become a Tzu Chi volunteer or commissioner. No matter how hard, when our minds are united, I think we can do it.”
Tzu Chi volunteers gathered at the Buddhist Tzu Chi Campus (BTCC) in Sta. Mesa, Manila last April 17 for the second of ongoing monthly training classes in English, Filipino, and Chinese. A volunteer from Bicol, three from Cebu, nine from Davao, and two from Zamboanga were among those present for face-to-face classes.
Classes were also live-streamed via Zoom to allow volunteers in Cebu, Davao, and Tacloban to attend the training virtually and in real time. Tzu Chi Philippines CEO Henry Yuňez led the roster of speakers who discussed Tzu Chis “Mission of Charity.”
Before training, volunteers toured BTCC to familiarize themselves with replicas of structures relevant to Tzu Chi’s history. There was the wooden cabin where Dharma Master Cheng Yen spent her early years, the Jing Si Abode, and the Jing Si Auditorium.
A donor for the past 10 years, Wang Shang Ling flew in from Zamboanga for the whole-day training. She already secured plane tickets to Manila for monthly trainings until November.
Jinny Ong, a certified commissioner since 2018, says helping people gives her joy. “Help while you can. Do everything you can while you have time because you’ll never know what will happen next” she says.
For Meyee Lim, a Tzu Chi volunteer for the past four years, helping people is a social responsibility. “I know that I’ve been blessed, so it’s time to give back,” she says.
“Charity works cannot stop. And harmonizing society is a very big task to do,” says Tu Chi Philippines Deputy CEO Woon Ng. “This is the reason why everyone who is interested to walk the Tzu Chi path is more than welcome to join. These training sessions enable one to become a Tzu Chi volunteer or commissioner. No matter how hard, when our minds are united, I think we can do it.”