Monday, Aug 19th

Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Saturday, 12 September 2015 11:32

Youngsters Sprint into Action in Spreading Love

Written by  Ng Kim Hua, Kuantan / Translated by Jacqueline Khoo

“We vow to get 30 students to join us as Tzu Ching members!” A vow by Huang Mei Juan and Wu Xiu Yan had finally add strength to Kuantan Tzu Ching team and to move forward. [Photograph provided by Ng Kim Hua]

Huang Mei Juan and Wu Xiu Yan from Universiti Malaysia Pahang (UMP) vowed to get 30 other students to join them as members of Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth (Tzu Ching). Liao Min Tong made a promise: “If I get posted to Kuantan, I promise to guide Tzu Ching members and spur them on!” Because of their sincere vows, Kuantan Tzu Ching members are finally in action!


 
In early 2015, Huang Mei Juan and Wu Xiu Yan from UMP sacrificed their three-day holiday to participate in a Tzu Ching camp organized by Tzu Chi KL & Selangor. Throughout the three days, they felt cared for by assigned Tzu Chi Mums* and Tzu Ching alumni, and the encouragements from fellow Tzu Ching members. Thus, they vowed to invite 30 of their university mates to join Tzu Ching.
 
When they returned to UMP, they kept in contacts with the local Tzu Chi Mums and Tzu Ching alumni, and invited their university mates to join them in recycling activities. Since then, a group of youngsters could be seen sorting out recyclables on a regular basis on monthly Recycling Day. In May this year, the annual Buddha Bathing Ceremony event coincided with their scheduled examination. They were undeterred and were able to invite their friends to become volunteers for the day, and even got a bus-load of students to join in the ceremony held at the Tzu Chi Kuantan Liaison Office.
 
On the other hand, Liao Min Tong, a former Tzu Ching member who graduated from a teachers’ training institute in December 2014, had vowed to guide Tzu Ching members in Kuantan, while waiting for her placement. Her hope was for more students to join in and to raise the spirits of the existing Tzu Ching members. With blessings from everyone, she managed to get a placement in Kuantan itself and started to do what she promised. As the Jing Si Aphorism go “with will power comes strength”. After a few months of relentless efforts, on September 12, 2015, the first Saturday of the new semester, they managed to organize a one-day Tzu Ching camp, themed “Spreading out Love” at the Kuantan Liaison Office.
 
The agenda included lessons held indoor as well as outdoor. The participants were new to Tzu Chi Foundation and an introduction on the founder was included for them to better understand the origin of Tzu Chi. After half day of indoor lessons, the volunteers from the Charity Group led the participants to visit Tzu Chi care recipients, so that through witnessing suffering, they could know their blessings and be more compassionate.
 
Witnessing the suffering in life
 
Growing up in a blessed environment, the students had never thought that there are so many less fortunate people around them. Students who visited the poor for the first time felt sad and shed tears during the sharing session.
 
Student Foo Khai Lynn visited a single mother with seven children. The mother shared that she had to send two of her daughters to the orphanage. Her youngest daughter, who was born with heart problem, is two and half years old. When she was two months old, she fell into a coma for a long five months. Her chest is full of scars; she even had surgery twice on the same spot. At one time, the doctor operated on her chest but could not stitch it back due to a swelling on the heart. Thus, the heart was exposed and one could see the heart pumping.
 
These real-life stories left a strong impact to Khai Lynn. She admired this single mother, who stood strong despite life’s challenges. She shared tearfully that she also comes from a single-parent family. She herself, her mother and brother had a hard life living under the roof of others. Her family’s circumstances caused her to have low self-esteem and often felt that her life is bitter. However, through the home visit, she realized that there are people who suffered more than her. At least her mother is knowledgeable and has a stable job to support their studies. She promised herself to study hard and become one who is capable of helping others.
 
Student Zhang Jun Yi visited another single mother, who could not go out to work but had to stay at home to take care of her four young children. The family was in a dire situation where they had no money to pay for school transport and rental. As a result, the children could not attend school anymore and the house owner demanded that they move out of the house. Deeply sadden by the family’s predicament, Jun Yi said, “I am really worried about this family. How are they going to go about their lives? I always thought these will only happen in movies, not in reality.” Jun Yi hoped to revisit and render her little help to this family.
 
Student Chen Zhi Tong visited an 18-year-old young man, who met an accident and sustained severe head injuries. After surgery, he had only half of his skull left. Zhi Tong was shocked to see him with a partially exposed brain. She shared, “His mother’s efforts in taking care of him had demonstrated to me the greatness of a mother’s love. She would not give up on him so long as there’s the slightest hope.” Having understood that human life is fragile and impermanent, she also encouraged her peers to seize and cherish opportunities to do what they wish to do.
 
It all began with a single thought
 
Recalling the vow she made during the camp in KL, Xiu Yan shared that she did not think much when she made the vow. She only thought that a bus could take up 30 to 40 passengers, thus to invite 30 person should be a good start. To her surprise, she received a call from her Tzu Chi Mum, Ng Kim Hua, after the holiday. The latter informed her that they had a list of 30 students who had fulfilled the requirements as Tzu Ching members. She felt incredible that her vow had come true and was more determined to organize upcoming one-day camp.
 
Min Tong, who vowed to guide her junior Tzu Ching members at end of 2014, seemed excited on that day too. Under her effort, a total of 16 participants attended the camp. They all learnt that doing good deeds and practising filial piety cannot wait, and also realized that doing good deeds with the healthy body they have, is the best way to repay their parents. 
 
At the end of the camp, everyone filled up the forms to become Tzu Ching members and promised to follow Master Cheng Yen’s footsteps.
 
* Volunteers guiding the youths in social etiquette and ethical values, as well as providing advice, to care for their psychological and emotional needs and a shoulder to lean on in times of distress.
 
 
Kuantan Tzu Ching members hit a low membership and energy for a few years, now hope has rekindled. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]   Through the home visits, the participants realized their blessings. [Photograph Sam Yi Wei]

Kuantan Tzu Ching members hit a low membership and energy for a few years, now hope has rekindled. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]
 
Through the home visits, the participants realized their blessings. [Photograph Sam Yi Wei]
 
Foo Khai Lynn (right) shared that she realized she was not the least fortunate after seeing the predicament faced by the care recipients. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]   Wu Xiu Yan found that one’s will power is indeed incredible! [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]

Foo Khai Lynn (right) shared that she realized she was not the least fortunate after seeing the predicament faced by the care recipients. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]
 
 
Wu Xiu Yan found that one’s will power is indeed incredible! [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]
 
Liao Min Tong (left) managed to get 16 participants for the one-day camp. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]   Chen Zhi Tong came to understand that life is fragile and impermanent. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]

Liao Min Tong (left) managed to get 16 participants for the one-day camp. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]
 
 
Chen Zhi Tong came to understand that life is fragile and impermanent. [Photograph by Sam Yi Wei]