The Tzu Chi Foundation was established in 1966 by Venerable Dharma Master Cheng Yen on the poor east coast of Taiwan. For over 46 years, the foundation has been contributing to building better social and community services, medical care, education and humanism in Taiwan and around the world. From the first 30 members, housewives who saved two cents from their grocery money each day to help the poor, the foundation now has volunteers in 47 countries, with 372 offices worldwide.
Master Cheng Yen firmly believes suffering in this world is caused not only by material deprivation but, more importantly, by spiritual poverty. She feels the lack of altruistic love for others has been the root of many of the world’s problems. Thus, the foundation’s guiding principle on charity is “help the poor and educate the rich.”
Tzu Chi’s missions focus on giving material aid to the needy and inspiring love and humanity to both givers and receivers. In addition to charity, the foundation dedicates itself in the fields of medicine, education, environmental protection, international relief work and the establishment of a marrow donor registry. It also promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism. Through helping those in need, Tzu Chi volunteers take on the path of bodhisattva practices, the way to Buddhahood.
While the Tzu Chi Foundation has Buddhist origins and beliefs, the organization is also popularly known for its selfless contributions to society in numerous ways in the areas of Charity, Medicine, Education, and Culture. The official motto or concept behind the Tzu Chi Foundation is “Four endeavors, eight footprints”. The eight footprints are charity causes, medical contributions, education development, humanities, international disaster assistance, bone-marrow donation, community volunteerism, and recycling.
An excerpt from the Official Tzu Chi Global Website, says the following: “We work in missions of Charity, Medicine, Education and Culture with the spirit of sincerity, integrity, trust, and honesty. We believe in equality of all beings and the Buddha-nature potential in every person. Through charitable hearts, the privileged obtain blessings and joy, and the impoverished receive security and peace”.
Time Magazine states that Tzu Chi Foundation is known for its “astonishing speed and efficiency with which it brings aid to victims of natural disasters. Wherever calamities occur, Tzu Chi volunteers and experts arrive promptly, dispensing food, medicine, blankets and warm clothing…and, in the long term, rebuilding homes, clinics and schools. Countless numbers have drawn succor from Tzu Chi’s beneficence.”
Tzu Chi Volunteers in Phuket
After the tsunami in 2004, which caused a great deal of damage along the Andaman coast, many people were caused suffering and pain. Miss Onanong Chinwaraporn joined as a volunteer to help some of those who were suffering. At the time there were many charity organizations offering help to people. However, Miss Onanong decided to join Tzu Chi Foundation, and she soon came to realize this group does very good deeds, without wishing for anything in return.
Miss Onanong said “My husband – Mr Chamnian, my friend from Taiwan Miss Jinny Lionu and I have been volunteers of the Tzu Chi Foundation since 2005. We would like to open out the Tzu Chi Foundation in Phuket to help the society, doing good deeds is a privilege. It is not something available to everyone, and we believe if you’re given an opportunity, you have to take it. Tzu Chi volunteers not only offer their services voluntarily, they also pay their own expenses for all operations they undertake. The foundations funds come from several donors, who pledge monthly contributions, and from many fund raising activities.”
Volunteers of the Tzu Chi Foundation are also known as “blue angels” and carry out their missions anywhere in the world. The Tzu Chi Foundation is an international humanitarian organization and the largest nongovernmental organization in the Chinese-speaking world. Their blue and white uniforms signify the blue sky and white clouds and are easily recognizable and the Foundation conducts its missions by an international network of volunteers.
The Tzu Chi logo consists of a lotus a flower and ship and it delivers some meaning to its volunteers. The Tzu Chi logo symbolizes they can make the world a better place by planting good seeds. Only with these seeds can the flowers bloom and the trees bear fruit. A better society can be created with good actions and pure thoughts. We should not idle away our time, and drift in frivolous thoughts. It is best to nurture our innate goodness and develop our ability to help others.
Tzu Chi missions have gone across religions, nations and people, spreading universal love and compassion and the Tzu Chi volunteers’ work has touched many people’s hearts. Through providing material and spiritual support for people in need, Tzu Chi volunteers hope to create a harmonious and peaceful society and make the world a better place to live.
“I deeply appreciate the help the volunteers gave me after I moved from Taiwan to Phuket. It was really a difficult time for me when I moved to a very different country with a very different culture. I decided to join Tzu Chi so I can help other people when they need it, the same as they helped me when I needed it. I think I’ve had some really good luck being able to work with this team.” Jinny Lionu
The Tzu Chi Foundation’s mission focuses on giving material aid to the needy. The mission also inspires love and humanity to both givers and receivers. In addition to charity, the foundation dedicates itself in the fields of medicine, education, environmental protection, international relief work and the establishment of the world’s third largest marrow donor registry. It also promotes humanistic values and community volunteerism.
The mission of charity is the fundamental mission of Tzu Chi. Tzu Chi volunteers have reached out to numerous disadvantaged families and individuals with compassionate kindness. Through participating in various relief and assistance efforts, Tzu Chi volunteers gained a deeper insight into life sufferings.
How to Help
Make a Donation
Wanting to help others but don’t know how? Or, perhaps because of your busy lifestyle, you haven’t got round to it? Don’t let it slip away, seize the moment of kind thoughts and follow this easy way of helping others.
Be a Tzu Chi Thailand member and make a monthly donation to support Tzu Chi’s Missions. The amount you can donate is flexible and your donations to Tzu Chi are tax-deductible, for which you will receive expect a tax-deductible receipt. Also, your employers may partake in a corporate gift matching program where they will match a percentage of your donation.
Thai Bank Account
Bank name: Bangkok Bank Public Company – Praram 9 Branch Bangkok, Thailand
Savings A/C Name: Tzu Chi Thailand Foundation
Savings A/C #: 215-0-37344-3
For further information please contact:
Tel: +66 (0)2 642 1888-404
Be a Volunteer
Join us in creating a better world!
We hope this information has introduced you to Tzu Chi and its functions. We also hope that you will spread the joy of knowing Tzu Chi to all your friends, and invite them to join us in bringing warmth to society and creating a better world.
For volunteering opportunities, please contact:
Tzu Chi Thailand Foundation – Phuket Volunteers
Miss Onanong Chinwaraporn +66 (0) 81 893 7601