Tzu Chi Philippines achieves Master Cheng Yen’s vow to bring harmony to the society by purifying the minds of the people, starting from the youth, in its Mission of Education. Tzu Chi Philippines pushes through its task of cultivating the wisdom of all people by endowing the public with opportunities for constant learning through its various programs that are beyond the reach of average educational standards.
Educational Assistance Program
With the firm resolve that children are the hope of the society and their hope lies in education, Tzu Chi Philippines started providing free scholarship grants annually to poor and deserving grade school and high school students in 1995. In June 2005, Tzu Chi opened its Educational Assistance Program to needy college students sustaining them their tuition fees every semester and also providing them allowances every month.
Nurturing Seeds of Compassion
Aside from the scholarship program, the students were also taught and guided emotionally and spiritually through various Still Thoughts Sessions, seminars, or youth camps. By joining the countless missions and activities of the foundation, the students learn the Tzu Chi ideals and philosophies that bring out their compassion and make them responsible citizens in the future.
Hoping to reach out to more indigent students and provide more support to public schools in the country, Tzu Chi Foundation donated general reference books like encyclopedias, textbooks, among others, to primary and secondary schools. The program was first introduced to 5 schools in 2 Municipalities of Cavite in 2009. Tzu Chi Philippines also provided complete and new sets of school uniforms and school supplies to more than 700 students of public school students on that same year to lessen the student’s difficulties in their studies since there are only scarce resources available for them.
Tzu Chi Youth Camp
With the intent of nurturing the bodhi seedlings in the hearts of the young ones, annual Tzu Chi Youth Still Thoughts Summer Camps are being held for the young people. The first Tzu Chi Youth Camp was held in 1997 in Tagaytay. Through these camps, Tzu Chi prepares its youth to be the next generation of Tzu Chi volunteers that will be leading the path to goodness and righteousness.
Tzu Chi Volunteers’ Training
Training workshops and camps aiming to cultivate the spiritual learning of Tzu Chi volunteers started in 1999 and have been regularly held since then. The objectives of the trainings are to restate the focus of the volunteers and strengthen their resolve to walk the Tzu Chi path, as well as to re-inspire them with Master Cheng Yen’s teachings and the work of Tzu Chi people around the world. Meanwhile, the camps are being organized to “inspire bodhisattvas who have not made altruistic vows to bring forth their bodhi-mind” for Master Cheng Yen believes that each person has a Buddha-nature.
Tzu Chi Recreational Classes
In order to introduce the missions and the unique humanistic culture of Tzu Chi to other people, Tzu Chi Philippines organized strings of recreational classes for those who wish to know more about the foundation. An array classes for sign language, vegetarian cooking, basic computer, Qi Jong, Tai Chi, among others, are being held to involve the public in bringing them a few steps closer to the world of Tzu Chi.
Tzu Chi volunteers take time to gather every week to share their realizations and learning from the books of Master Cheng Yen in book review sessions. Through these sessions, Tzu Chi volunteers have the chance to cultivate their wisdom, gain more inspiration and feed their spirituality through the words of Master Cheng Yen.