Update: Tzu Chi’s Efforts to Eradicate Poverty in Davao, Philippines

Report
from Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation
Published on 27 Apr 2017

In order to achieve the The Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Taiwan Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in Philippines has done lots of efforts to eradicate poverty, end hunger, achieve food security and improve nutrition. On April 9, total of 2,711 vulnerable families in Davao received 20-kilo sacks of Taiwan rice for the first time during a distribution organized by the Tzu Chi volunteers. The distribution was held in two sessions at the Davao Chong Hua High School.

Despite the manpower shortage, local Tzu Chi volunteers efficiently used their time to carry out the program, starting from the home visits to the actual rice distribution. Twelve Tzu Chi volunteers from Manila also pitched in help on the day of the distribution, while 83 local volunteers from the Davao area contributed their time and manpower to ensure the event’s success.

During the relief program, city councilor of the 3rd district of Davao Dr. Bernard Al-ag addressed the crowd, inspiring them to share their blessings with their neighbors, and to spread the spirit of giving.

“What we want from the people of Davao City is to be generous, and to share what they have. So, when you get home after the rice distribution, if you have any neighbors that weren’t able to receive any rice, share some of your rice with them. Afterwards, take a few moments to observe how you feel, you’ll notice a positive change within you if you share your blessings.” says Councilor Al-ag.

The Davaoeños’ first encounter with Tzu Chi was in the aftermath of Typhoon Pablo in 2012. Back then, Tzu Chi distributed relief goods to a total of 6,500 typhoon-affected families in Compostela Valley. Tzu Chi also launched a project that rebuilt the Mangayon Elementary School, which was flattened by the typhoon. The new school was inaugurated in December 2014.

The local Chinese community in Davao was inspired by the compassion of the Tzu Chi volunteers that the former willingly underwent training seminars to become volunteers as well. In November 2016, Tzu Chi held the first medical mission with Tzu Chi at the Davao Chong Hua High School, bringing free medical treatment to 6,440 indigent patients from around the city.

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