Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

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Dec 15th
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Home Our Missions Mission of Culture Haiti Volunteers Attend Global Tzu Chi Meeting for First Time

Haiti Volunteers Attend Global Tzu Chi Meeting for First Time

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For the first time, volunteers from the Caribbean island of Haiti are attending the foundation’s annual global training session in Taiwan. A total of 1,035 volunteers from 30 countries in five continents are taking part in the meeting, which runs from June 20-24.

The three from Haiti are Danel Georges, Marie Yveleine Bois-de-Fer and Pierre Joseph Romulus. They have come to Taiwan as a result of the terrible earthquake which struck their homeland on January 12, killing 230,000 people and leaving 1.5 million homeless. They were inspired by the work done there by Tzu Chi volunteers and became volunteers themselves.

On June 21, they shared at the Sanchong branch their experiences with the foundation in Haiti and why they joined. The hosts gave them an enlarged photograph of them doing volunteer work and drawings by the children survived from the Sichuan earthquake in May 2008, as tokens of encouragement.

Xing Min, from the U.S. headquarters, gave a presentation of the relief work in Haiti over the last five month – 13 visits with a total of 255 volunteers. Among those they helped were the three, two of whom lost their homes and the third had his office badly damaged. Moved at the help given to them, they resolved to help their fellow countrymen. They said that, after they return to Haiti, they would implement the foundation’s methods in looking after the survivors. Romulus said that he hoped the foundation would build hospitals, schools and permanent homes in Haiti. Georges has long-term experience of leading community work: “the religious and volunteer spirit of Tzu Chi has influenced Haiti,” he said. “In our country, we have no culture of giving, of contributing time and money to others. This spirit should give us the opportunity to take our destiny in our own hands.” Finally, Bois-de-Fer sang in Chinese the Tzu Chi song “The Path of Compassion”, which had lifted her spirits during the hard months since the earthquake. The three then performed “One Family” in sign language.

Many people in Haiti assisted the volunteers in their work, in a relief work program, as interpreters, drivers, security men, cleaners and cooks, enabling them to carry out distributions and hold free clinics smoothly. Their example was evidence to their countrymen of how you can change from someone receiving help into someone providing it to others.




 

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Jing-Si Aphorism

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