Thursday, Sep 21st

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 28 May 2017 00:00

From Inspiration to Action

Written by  Lai Sou Chang, Tan Hooi Chien & Tan Siew Chern, KL & Selangor / Translated by Tai Ren Yin

The non-Mandarin-speaking participants of the new volunteers’ training session from English Group and TIMA posed for a group photo towards the end of the training. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

The first English Group’s new volunteers’ training session in 2017 has recorded the highest number of participants as compared to the previous years. They are mostly participants of the 2017 TIMA Conference held in March this year.


On the morning of May 28, 2017, the KL Tzu-Chi Jing Si Hall was busy with volunteers walking around to make preparations for the two parallel volunteers’ training sessions, to be held that day. The registered participants for both training sessions accounted for nearly a thousand people.

Volunteers from the English Group arrived at the Jing Si Hall early that morning to welcome participants with broad and friendly smiles on their faces. Happiness was felt in the heart.

Yip Sook Ying, a group facilitator, informed that most of the English-speaking participants, who registered for the new volunteers’ training session, were those medical personnel who had participated in the 2017 TIMA Conference held in March this year. They came voluntarily feeling touched from the conference. According to the online registration record, close to 100 medical personnel had signed up for the training, but only 86 turned up that day. Among them were 39 non-Mandarin-speaking participants, who joined the training session in English.

Learnt about the Four Major Missions

At 7 am, the multi-racial participants started to arrive at the Jing Si Hall. The programme commenced on time, with the Master of Ceremonies, Ho Wan Chin, informing the participants about the purpose of attending the training session, the missions of a Tzu Chi volunteer, and the essence of Tzu Chi spirit. Next was the screening of a documentary from the Discovery Channel, which explained the history of Tzu Chi. The participants listened and watched attentively the journey of Tzu Chi, from its founding by Master Cheng Yen in 1966, and the relief work carried out in the past, to the establishments of the Four Major Missions of Charity, Medicine, Education and Humanistic Culture in 40 years. Later, Tzu Chi expanded further to include the Missions of International Disaster Relief, Bone Marrow Donation, Environmental Protection, and Community Volunteerism.

Volunteer Lee Ley Hua then shared her more than ten years’ experience in carrying out charitable work, particularly in reaching out to the poor and needy families.

Dr Eddie Chan from TIMA KL & Selangor shared on how the medical personnel have been working together with volunteers from the Charity Team in helping the sick with the spirit of humanistic medicine. He encouraged the medical personnel to contribute not only in their area of profession, but also to step out of the clinics to places where people are suffering, to do something meaningful while nurturing humility and the spirit of Great Love.

Volunteer Ng Cheng Wee presented Tzu Chi’s Mission of Education and informed the participants about the construction of a Tzu Chi International School in KL, which is now in full swing.

Volunteer Michele Ng shared on community recycling programme so that everyone understands that environmental protection is the responsibility of every individual.

A much awaited activity

More than half of the participants were medical personnel, some of whom are TIMA members and some are not. They have been looking forward to this activity since the TIMA Conference in March, with the intention of becoming a Tzu Chi volunteer, to give of their love and kindness.

Muslim participant, NurulIzza, works with Kasih Hospic Care Society. She did not know about Tzu Chi until March when she participated in the Conference. She lacked confidence in herself, and had always thought that she was just a little folk, who could only make very little contributions as compared to a doctor. However, she was surprised to learn through the programmes at the two-day Conference that Tzu Chi, a sound organization in her eyes, is under the leadership of a small-sized and thin nun. It gave her a new perspective on what she had previously thought.

Professor Dr Saw Aik, an Orthopaedic Surgeon with Universiti Malaysia Specialist Centre, concurred with Tzu Chi’s work since ten years ago. However, he did not participate in any volunteers’ training sessions due to time constraint, and only joined Tzu Chi’s free clinic. This time, he attended the training session at his own will to learn more about Tzu Chi’s missions of Great Love.

Dr Saw became a TIMA member officially three years ago, and had gone to Taiwan to participate in events organized for overseas TIMA members. Recently, Dr Saw started to spare more time to participate in Tzu Chi’s missions. He said that he has never left Tzu Chi all these years, and will continue to contribute; and if possible, go through the volunteers’ training process.

Dr Liew Wai Fong, a Consultant Radiologist with Columbia Asia Hospital in Puchong, learnt about Tzu Chi 20 years ago. However, she had no motivation to join the ranks of volunteer. At the Conference in March, someone as tough as her could not stop her tears. She said, “The motivation I felt in March has come back today. After listening to the introduction to Tzu Chi’s Four Major Missions, I now know how in-depth and diversified Tzu Chi’s work is. I don’t see a reason why I should not contribute.”

She promised, “From now on, I will definitely be there whenever Tzu Chi needs me. I will also contribute in the recycling programme and give selflessly for humanity. I hope that through doing these, I will learn along the way and be able to eradicate my worries.”

Home visits cultivate compassion

In the second half of the English Group’s training session, the participants went out on home visits to some refugee families. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) specially arranged for two staff to be there at the venue to explain to the participants the procedures of home visits, which involved Livelihood Assessment and Cash-based Intervention.

Currently, there are about 150,000 refugees in Malaysia, of which, 50% are from Myanmar. The home visits that day focussed on initial assessments of refugee families who needed emergency relief.

Aung Hung came to Malaysia from Myanmar about ten years ago. He originally had a stable income to support his family of four. However, two years ago, he faced some health issues and needed treatments at the hospital. He was later diagnosed with kidney failure and required dialysis treatment. As he could not go to work, his wife took up some random jobs to support the family with her meagre income.

He started to undergo dialysis treatment this April. Although Tzu Chi provides emergency fund for his dialysis costs for half a year, the transportation cost is still a burden.

Dr Zeng Xiang Jun, a Paediatrician, and Law Qiao Yi, a medical student with Lincoln University College, visited Aung Hung and his family under the guidance of TIMA volunteer, Chee Heng Lee. Dr Zeng shared, “Health is very important. When one is sick, the whole family will be affected. What TIMA members could do is to help the patient seek active treatment, so that he/she may continue to work to improve the family’s life upon recovery.” Dr Zeng also said that it requires everyone’s contribution instead of individual effort in the case of refugees.

Qiao Yi’s family members are all Tzu Chi volunteers. Hence, she came to know about Tzu Chi a long time ago. She signed up for the volunteers’ training after participating in the Conference in March, in order to understand Tzu Chi better. She has promised to become a Tzu Chi volunteer to help needy people.

The suffering of the refugees due to illness reminded Qiao Yi of the demise of her two-year-old sister, who died from “unknown causes”. That made her to decide on pursuing a medical profession to help patients find out the root causes of their illnesses and treat them.

Twenty-three-year-old Dus Muhamad came to Malaysia in 2014. In 2016, he experienced a toothache, and was diagnosed with first stage Buccal Mucosa Squamous Cell Carcinoma, which required RM70,000 to RM80,000 for treatments. Currently unemployed, he depends on relatives and friends for his living expenses.

Group facilitator, Chew Chin Chin led Paediatrician Khor Yoong Kean, Chinese physician Ong Chee Ching and Pharmacist Lau Siew Ching to visit Dus Muhamad for an initial assessment; and they unanimously agreed that help should be rendered to this young patient.

Thirty-year-old Chee Ching shared, “After listening to today’s talks and seeing for myself the suffering of the refugees, I feel that I am very blessed!” He is willing to reach out to the needy together with others.

After attending the TIMA Conference, he has changed his mindset. He has learnt to let go of attachments and calm his mind. He finds life more meaningful after participating in Tzu Chi’s activities.

Dr Khor shared what he has learnt from his first home visit. As a doctor, he feels that he should go into the masses more frequently to help others, and he hopes to continue participating in home visits or similar activities in future.

Siew Ching, who heard about Tzu Chi during her university days, joined as a TIMA member last year. She usually volunteers at Tzu-Chi Free Clinic, and has seen many refugees. However, today’s experience has enabled her to understand refugees even more. She hopes to have the opportunity to partake in international disaster relief, and to put on the volunteer uniform one day.

The home visits ended around 3 pm. The participants have gained a lot and were filled with Dharma joy and kindness within.

 

 

Dr Eddie Chan encouraged the medical professional to learn to humble themselves, and step out from the clinics to reach out to those in need. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]   Volunteer Ng Cheng Wee informed the participants of the construction of Tzu Chi International School KL. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

Dr Eddie Chan encouraged the medical professional to learn to humble themselves, and step out from the clinics to reach out to those in need. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
Volunteer Ng Cheng Wee informed the participants of the construction of Tzu Chi International School KL. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
Professor Dr Saw Aik (middle) with Universiti Malaya Specialist Centre concurred with Tzu Chi’s work and registered for the volunteers’ training session at his own will. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]   Having learnt how in-depth and diversified Tzu Chi’s relief work are, Liew Wai Fong (middle) promised to partake in recycling and give selflessly for the benefit of mankind. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]

Professor Dr Saw Aik (middle) with Universiti Malaya Specialist Centre concurred with Tzu Chi’s work and registered for the volunteers’ training session at his own will. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
 
Having learnt how in-depth and diversified Tzu Chi’s relief work are, Liew Wai Fong (middle) promised to partake in recycling and give selflessly for the benefit of mankind. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]
 
Chee Heng Lee (2nd right), Dr Zeng Jun Xiang (3rd right), Law Qiao Yi (3rd right) and other volunteers visited refugee Aung Hung to offer their care. [Photograph by How Siew Heok]   Dr Zeng Jun Xiang (right) opined that assistance to refugees require the collective efforts of everyone, while Law Qiao Yi (left) vowed to find out the root causes of patients’ illnesses and treat them accordingly. [Photograph by How Siew Heok]

Chee Heng Lee (2nd right), Dr Zeng Jun Xiang (3rd right), Law Qiao Yi (3rd right) and other volunteers visited refugee Aung Hung to offer their care. [Photograph by How Siew Heok]
 
 
Dr Zeng Jun Xiang (right) opined that assistance to refugees require the collective efforts of everyone, while Law Qiao Yi (left) vowed to find out the root causes of patients’ illnesses and treat them accordingly. [Photograph by How Siew Heok]
 
Chinese Physician, Ong Chee Ching (1st right) realized his blessings upon witnessing refugees’ predicaments. He is willing to extend a helping hand together with other volunteers. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]  

Chinese Physician, Ong Chee Ching (1st right) realized his blessings upon witnessing refugees’ predicaments. He is willing to extend a helping hand together with other volunteers. [Photograph by Leong Chian Yee]