Today (5/26) marks the fifth day since the setting up of the Tzu Chi Humanities Class in Bhaktapur tent community. Apart from the daily sign language sessions to cheer the children up, there was an art session today to let the children pour their hearts out through the strokes of their crayons. Tzu Chi volunteer Lin Shu-chen, who heads the daily Jing Si Aphorism classes, stated that drawing is a form of self-therapy. She hoped that children traumatized by the earthquake could reveal and relieve their emotional burdens.
Young volunteer revealed the scars behind her smile
With a pair of gleaming black eyes and a waist-long braid, Ria always carries a big smile wherever she goes. She has been helping out as a volunteer ever since Tzu Chi stepped foot in the tent community here, despite being only fourteen. She would always smile and put her palms together whenever Tzu Chi volunteers arrive.
About forty to fifty children formed three groups and started to draw lying down on the floor. When the session was about to end, Ria held her drawing and made a confession to Lin Shu-chen, “I used to cry every day because I was not happy. Until I came to Tzu Chi to help others, I became happier.”
There was a period of time when Lin Shu-chen felt puzzled that it was Ria’s uncle who came to fetch her all the time. Once when asked about her parents, only then did Ria revealed that her parents left her when she was young. Ria cried, and so did Lin Shu-chen. Hugging young Ria in one arm, holding her drawing in another, Lin Shu-chen said, “She is a very nice girl, coming to help me every day. When I found out her parents are not around anymore, I felt heartbroken.”
Life centering around volunteering for 18-year old
The devastating earthquake robbed Rojan of his home and his school. However, by joining the blue-and-white clad volunteers, Rojan found life’s meaning again.
In Bhaktapur tent community today, as usual, volunteers were divided into two groups, one in charge of Jing Si Aphorism classes while another in home visits. According to volunteer Chen Mei-chun, when she was visiting the tent community on 22nd May the previous week, she discovered that Rojan’s father had terminal stage cancer. His father is bedridden, but Rojan chose not to tell any volunteers or friends. He said, “Everyone lost a part of their lives after the earthquake, I don’t want to add on to their emotional burdens.”
Chen Mei-chun felt very sorry for such a matured and caring boy, therefore she suggested sending his father to the hospital. Financial circumstances proved this impossible, so volunteers could only resort to visiting and accompanying them every day. Today, Chen Mei-chun and other volunteers brought them food. They felt heartbroken yet relieved when they saw Rojan feeding his father his meal.
Rojan, who lost his mother, is grateful for Tzu Chi volunteers’ care. He spends most of his time taking care of his father and helping out Tzu Chi volunteers since he does not go to school now. His father is very supportive of him volunteering.