Zamboanga siege caring organization – Tzu Chi Foundation PDF Print E-mail
Thursday, 24 October 2013 00:00

One of the helpful and caring groups or organizations during the siege and the unexpected flash floods of Zamboanga City is the Tzu Chi Foundation-Zamboanga. It is an international non-government organization founded in Taiwan by Master Cheng Yen who encouraged the volunteering staff when they feel hopeless and tire with this thought, “In doing good deeds, money should be the least of your problem, God will provide.”

Tzu Chi opened a headquarters at Zamboanga Medical Center in Zamboanga City more than a decade ago  naming it Tzu Chi Great Love Eye Center. It is a conduit for humanitarian programs within and outside of Mindanao. It offers free medical check-ups and operation not only here but also in places where they are needed.

But what is admirable with Tzu Chi too, they go beyond and extend assistance during disasters and tragedies. Volunteer staff not only hand relief goods, they are there themselves doing it. From asking donations to packing them according what is important. Tzu Chi is currently is one of the strong builders of Layag-Layag, an offshore community in Talon-Talon. In coordination with the Yellow Boat Hope Foundation, they help provide shelter, free  and free dental services, has built a mosque, and been conducting livelihood programs to help the community stand on its own someday.

During the siege, Tzu Chi-Zamboanga didn’t only go to evacuation centers; they went to places where help and assistance are also badly needed. One of their beneficiaries is Western Mindanao State University where some university staff and students were also displaced as residents of affected siege areas.  Tzu Chi gave blankets and food packs to them.

Aside from conducting free medical check-ups and giving free medicines including wheelchairs to disables, Tzu Chi also gave stuffed toys to children and plastic plates and water pails to families. The better news? Tzu Chi will build temporary school shelters once the portable and sturdy construction materials will arrive from Taiwan.

Tzu Chi-Zamboanga Center has opened its door again to serve patients after it was damaged and ransacked during the siege. Thank God the houses at the back of the center didn’t encroached to the building.

By Dante Corteza

Proverbs 22:9 “Whoever has a bountiful eye will be blessed, for he shares his bread with the poor.”