Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Oct 27th
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Home Global Activities Africa Vows and Commitments in South Africa - Sharing makes us rich

Vows and Commitments in South Africa - Sharing makes us rich

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Vows and Commitments in South Africa
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 Sharing makes us rich
Tzu Chi started its charity work in South Africa in 1992. In 1995, volunteers established a training center in Durban to teach sewing. The city now boasts 524 such training centers. In 2004, the “Blue Bank Project” was launched near Ladysmith. Like the sewing training centers, the Blue Bank Project assists local residents to become self-sufficient by providing them with cloth, sewing machines and needles so that they can make clothing for sale.

Sheila-Gladys Ngema joined Tzu Chi in 1998 and became the first Zulu commissioner in 2006, blazing a trail for others to follow. There are now volunteers in Johannesburg, Ladysmith, Durban, Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, and the neighboring country of Lesotho. Currently, over 3,000 native volunteers are spreading Great Love in Africa.

Most local Zulu communities are poor, and residents barely manage to get by. However, many have become richer through sharing and giving what little they have.

Doris Zwane, in her sixties, became a Tzu Chi commissioner in 2007. She said, “We have a mission that transcends national borders, and that is to spread Great Love and compassion. This doesn’t require a high level of education, nor does one need to have a lot of money—all one needs is love. As long as one has love, one can do a lot of things.”

Doris lost a leg in a car accident when she was 13, and she has to rely on an artificial limb and a crutch to walk. But this has not prevented her from doing good deeds. When she is helping other people, she forgets about her disability. She knows that there are many others in much worse situations than she, and she wastes no time and energy on complaining or feeling sorry for herself.

“Helping needy, sick people is our responsibility. I never feel tired when I cross mountains and rivers to care for people. Instead, such experiences have taught me to appreciate what I have even more. Being a Tzu Chi volunteer and being able to give makes me feel spiritually fulfilled. I always keep the Master’s wise teachings in my mind to keep me going.”

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" When we treat others with loving-kindness, we will not stir up ill feelings, and we will be able to form good relationships with others. "
Jing-Si Aphorism