Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 01st
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Home Global Activities America Tzu Chi Helps Student Dropouts Back to School in Mexico

Tzu Chi Helps Student Dropouts Back to School in Mexico

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Tzu Chi volunteers deeply understand that education is the greatest hope for children from impoverished families to transform their lives.  Therefore they reach out a helping hand in a timely manner and strive to provide opportunities for children who have dropped out of school to return to their studies.


While conducting street outreach in Tijuana, Mexico, Tzu Chi volunteers encountered an 85-year-old lady named Vitalina; she was crying loudly. They learned that her son had passed away after suffering a stroke, and that her daughter-in-law had left home several years ago, leaving behind four boys. Vitalina and her grandsons were struggling to make ends meet, and the children had been forced to drop out of school.

In late 2022, Tzu Chi volunteers in Tijuana began to provide care and assistance to Vitalina and her family. Volunteer Cindy took on their case and decided to fight for the children's opportunity to return to school. She went to the schools and advocated for the children's education.


Offer Help Actively

Francisca, a dedicated parent, happened to overhear Cindy advocating for the education of children who had dropped out of school. During their conversation, Cindy mentioned that she was working on behalf of the Tzu Chi Foundation. Without hesitation, Francisca told Cindy: "I know about this foundation. I have received help from them before. Is there anything I can do to help you?"

So the two kind-hearted women met and worked together to overcome bureaucratic procedures and traveled between schools and Vitalina’s home many times. According to the school's regulations, every child needs two guardians to attend school. Since Vitalina's four grandsons are orphans and do not have parents, they need another adult’s signature besides that of Vitalina. Francisca asked her husband if he could act as their guardian, and he immediately agreed to take on the responsibility of their education. This way the children would not lose the opportunity to attend school.

The Tzu Chi volunteers understand that education is the greatest hope for underprivileged children to transform their lives. Their ultimate goal is to provide these children with a complete education, to prevent them from going astray, help them escape poverty and have the opportunity to move up from the bottom of society.

Volunteer Cindy joyfully said: "The Tzu Chi team from Tijuana and I have been working hard to help this family so that the children who dropped out can return to their studies. It's great to see these children back in school."

It Is on Me

On February 17th, the volunteers took the grandmother and her youngest grandson, 10-year-old Silas Icam Vásquez, to the school to complete the paperwork for his return. His elder brother, 15-year-old Gamaliel Vásquez, who had been out of school for three years, needed to retake three tests to determine his grade level before he could start attending classes.

Although education is free in Mexico, uniforms are required and must be purchased by the students themselves; they can be expensive. The school requires the purchase of uniforms within 15 days, and students must wear them to school.

Cindy and Li Ching-yi personally took the children to choose their uniforms. Gamaliel, who had been out of school for three years, was overwhelmed when he entered the uniform store; he did not know what style or color the school uniform should be. The volunteers first helped Silas purchase seven sets of uniforms for summer, winter, and sports -- they cost a total of US$70. Li Ching-yi took out her credit card to pay for the purchase, saying: "Let me help you with this."

The little boy tried on the clothes in the fitting room while Cindy waited outside; she asked him in a gentle voice, "Does it fit well? Is the size right?" This scene was very touching. The little boy had not felt such motherly care for a long time. After purchasing the clothes, he thanked the volunteers, and his eyes sparkled with hope for returning to school and studying.

Ripple of Love

From December last year to February of this year, Tzu Chi volunteers overcame many difficulties and created ripples of love that have spread in all directions. During this period, the volunteers conducted visits, investigations, and home visits with a heartfelt commitment to helping the family return to a normal life. Tzu Chi will provide a monthly subsidy of $200 for each child and help them return to school one by one. They will not only alleviate difficult economic pressures but also will enable the children to study with peace of mind. Vitalina, the grandmother, will no longer feel helpless and lost. This family now has hope.

A Jing Si Aphorism says: "Bringing happiness to others is compassion, bringing happiness to oneself is wisdom. Compassion has no enemies, wisdom has no worries."

Join Tzu Chi. Let us bring warmth to all over the world.


Story by Li Jing-yi and  Xie Kun-rong from Mexico

【News】Tzu Chi in The World

" Birds have nests; people have homes. If family members live far apart, how can they have a happy family life? "
Jing-Si Aphorism