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Last updateWed, 11 Nov 2015 11am

Sunday, 30 October 2011 00:00

Students Fulfill Their Dream to Study Thru' Tzu Chi's Study Grant Scheme

Written by  By Lee Siew Ngo, Kuching/ Translated by Ng Chong Seau Horng

Liang Ke Le is a cheerful girl. She wants to be a police woman when she grows up.【Photograph by Ng Chee Khoon】

On October 29 & 30, Tzu Chi Kuching organized eight Study Grant Presentation Ceremonies to hand out educational aid to 1,400 students from low-income families. Parents and children were very happy and grateful to the volunteers for this financial assistance.

 


Tzu Chi's Study Grant Scheme is not only a gift of money, but it also serves as a way out of poverty for low-income families, who are now able to further their children's education.  

From October 29 to 30, Tzu Chi Kuching organized eight sessions of Study Grant Presentation Ceremonies at its own premises, Sungai Tapang Chinese Primary School, Muara Tuan Secondary School, Serian Secondary School, 10th mile Municipal Hall, and Bau Community Centre. A total of 1,400 primary and secondary students benefitted from the Scheme this year.

During each ceremony, participants were first briefed about Tzu Chi and the purpose of the Study Grant Scheme. This was followed by the study grant presentation.

For the past three months, Tzu Chi volunteers had been visiting schools, compiling the application forms, screening applications, and doing home visits. They did all these with one common mission in mind - to make sure that not a single needy student had been missed out. They wanted to ensure that everything was carried out perfectly as they had wished for.

Pass the good luck to others

The ceremony was simple but solemn. Family members, who accompanied the recipients, were well-received by volunteers. These underprivileged families were apparently surprised to see how friendly, warm and easy going the volunteers were. The Principal of Chung Hua Tondong School, was particularly touched by their sincerity and hospitality.

"Tzu Chi gives hope to society!" said Principal Li You Lie. "To a certain degree, the grant does help the students to pay for their miscellaneous expenses incurred at school."

All Principals, who attended the ceremony, agreed that the educational aid is very helpful to students from poor families.

Principal Guan Chen Yang from Chung Hua Middle School No. 4 reminded the grant recipients to study hard and to remember to repay society for the kindness they received when they are successful in the future.

Principal Shen Ying Ming from Sungai Tapang School said majority of his students come from poor families; and some of them had dropped out of school due to financial difficulties. With Tzu Chi's study grant, they are now able to continue with their studies.

Be grateful for what we already have

The movie "Herman's Dinner", screened at this event, tells the story of an Indonesian family who lives beside a rubbish dump site. When the parents and children saw the movie, they were deeply touched by the hardships that this family had to endure. Julia, a grant recipient's mother, could not hold back her tears as she recalled her childhood days when her mother was making a living by collecting recyclables.

Grant recipient, Chen Pei Qing, said she felt sad for Herman, who had to eat food collected from the dumpsite everyday. She realized how fortunate she has been as her family has all the basic needs even though they are not rich. She said, "I am blessed! I will treasure my food and study hard."

Madivanan's family had received long-term aid from Tzu Chi for more than 10 years. Volunteers knew him since he was born. The long-term aid ceased after his brother graduated from high school and found work.

Madivanan's mother said, "Tzu Chi helped us to pull through our most difficult time and gave us the courage to live on." She was shocked by the movie and started to count her blessings. She hoped that Madivanan will study hard and be a positive contributor to society.

"I will use this money to buy uniforms and books; and I will study hard," Madivanan promised.

Love is everywhere

Nurul, who speaks Mandarin said, "I like and respect Tzu Chi. It is a Buddhist organization that helps people regardless of religion and race." She added that studying in a Chinese school is a big burden to her family; and her brother had to stop schooling and work to subsidize the family's income. The grant is definitely a big help to her. She also promised to study hard as a repayment for the kindness she received.

"I want to be a police officer when I grow up. Then I can protect my mother," said Liang Ke Le, whose nickname is "coca-cola". Her mother works as a school librarian to raise her four daughters and she is often short of money before payday. Therefore the money her daughter received from the grant will certainly reduce her financial burden.

Despite her family's financial situation, Ke Le has performed well in school, and is actively involved in dancing, singing and speech competitions. She said that after the ceremony, she had to rush back to her school to rehearse for a dance that she will perform at her Principal's farewell. We are confident that with her courage, self-assuredness and cheerfulness, Ke Le will have a bright future ahead.

Fiona is a single mother with two children. As she related how her husband left home without a word about 9 years ago, her tears kept streaming down her face. Her son, now 20, is mentally-retarded and has to rely on medications; and her daughter has a hole in her heart. Before Tzu Chi came into her life, she felt helpless and sad whenever she thought of her miserable life. With assistance from the Foundation, Fiona has regained her confidence towards life, as well as, realized that love is everywhere.

Secondary student, Li You Fook, is a recycling volunteer of Tzu Chi. He said, "I am always happy to help; with a little effort from everyone, we can make a big difference!"

You Fook added: "I learn the meaning of Great Love and Gratitude in Tzu Chi." Through the volunteers, he saw the power of humility and selfless giving. As a result, his perspective towards life has changed and he feels blessed and happy now.



The envelopes containing money, as well as, love and care from many people, were handed out to the students with utmost respect and gratitude. May they all do well in their studies and in their lives.

 

The envelopes containing cash and love from members of the public were handed over to the students with utmost respect.【Photograph by Tan Pui Lee】   The children responding to the call to donate towards other needy people.【Photograph by Teo Pick Lee】

The envelopes containing cash and love from members of the public were handed over to the students with utmost respect.【Photograph by Tan Pui Lee】
 
The children responding to the call to donate towards other needy people.【Photograph by Teo Pick Lee】
 
Julia (right) cried thinking of her younger days when watching the movie   Teacher Elsia (right), who came with her students, singing the Tzu Chi song

Julia (right) cried thinking of her younger days when watching the movie "Herman's Dinner".【Photograph by Teo Pick Lee】
 
 
Teacher Elsia (right), who came with her students, singing the Tzu Chi song "We are One Family" at the ceremony.【Photograph by Chen Chun Hong】
 
The live presentation on stage brings big smiles to everyone's face.【Photograph by Tan Pui Lee】   The children showing great interest in the Jing-Si Aphorism found in each envelop.【Photograph by Teo Pick Lee】

The live presentation on stage brings big smiles to everyone's face.【Photograph by Tan Pui Lee】
 
 
The children showing great interest in the Jing-Si Aphorism found in each envelop.【Photograph by Teo Pick Lee】

 

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