Tzu Chi Foundation

Introduction to Tzu Chi Foundation

Tzu Chi Foundation is a non-profit organization founded in 1966 by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in the impoverished east coast of Taiwan. The Foundation has been contributing to better social and community services, medical care, education and humanism in Taiwan for nearly 40 years. Master Cheng Yen firmly believes that suffering in this world is caused by material deprivation and spiritual poverty. She felt that "lack of love for others" has been the root of many problems in this world. "To save the world, we must begin by transforming human hearts."

A volunteer-based, spiritual as well as welfare organization, Tzu Chi’s missions focus on giving material aid and inspiring love and humanity in both the givers and receivers. Since its founding, the Foundation has dedicated itself in the field of charity, medicine, education, environmental protection, as well as the promotion of humanistic values and community volunteerism. The humanitarian work is both a means to help those in need, and also a way to open the eyes of the volunteer to the harsher side of life, so that through giving, they may find spiritual happiness and life's true meaning.

A home-grown Taiwanese organization, Tzu Chi volunteers living abroad began setting up overseas chapters in 1985. They use money that they have earned in their country of residence to help the poor and needy in their local communities. Today, Tzu Chi is an international organization with over 5 million supporters and over 30,000 certified commissioners around the globe.

Emergency aid to typhoon-stricken Bangladesh in 1991 marked the beginning of the foundation's international relief efforts. Firmly believing that, "Nothing is more valuable than life, All beings are equal." Tzu Chi demonstrates first hand that They overcome obstacles of time, distance, and politics, to provide relief and hope to victims of war, flood, and drought. As of August 2005, over fifty-seven countries in five continents have received Tzu Chi’s aid.

From the icy Arctic Circle to the sweltering tropics, Tzu Chi volunteers have left their footprints in many faraway lands, risking their lives in epidemics and wars. Their belief in "making the impossible possible" has sustained them in accomplishing many arduous tasks. In addition to material aid, Tzu Chi has also encouraged mutual help among disaster victims and helped them become independent by involving them in rebuilding their own communities. The ultimate goal is to inspire disaster victims to contribute to others in turn when they have the ability to do so, thus creating a global village of Great Love.

Cycle of Goodness
The Tzu Chi Philosophy On Giving Aid Compiled from various teachings of Master Cheng Yen

We live in a time of turmoil, fear and violence. Everyday we are inundated with news of war, natural disasters, unrelenting change that threatens to destroy the orderly world we know and live in. It is easy to lose hope and direction in life. We live under the same sky and breathe in the same air, so it should only be natural that we help and care for one another.

Tzu Chi was built in 1966 on a foundation of love and that remains our core mission today. Love is all-powerful; it can soothe and calm a fretful and disquieted heart, as well as heal the wounds inflicted by calamities.

The hope of humanity lies in mutual help. In times of crisis or suffering, Tzu Chi volunteers are like a beacon of light. They bring hope and inspire others with their generous spirit and unconditional care. Love is the sole driving force in their mission; they are givers of love, food, care, shelter, and clothing, anything that will alleviate suffering. But in helping others, they also plant seeds of love. They expect nothing in return, other than for the same unconditional love to be extended to others. When those being helped can begin helping others, the cycle of goodness would have come full circle.

We firmly believe that the use of force will not end the turmoil on earth. Only through an open loving heart can we truly change the world to a better place for all to live in, alleviate the suffering of mankind, and reverse the trend of violence and destruction. When the goodness in every human being is awakened, world peace shall be possible.