Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation

Jul 07th
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Home Feature Stories Al-Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School A Confluence of Love from Allah and the Buddha - Messengers of Great Love

A Confluence of Love from Allah and the Buddha - Messengers of Great Love

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Article Index
A Confluence of Love from Allah and the Buddha
Allah-assigned responsibilities
Messengers of Great Love
Training to be independent
School doubles as home
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Messengers of Great Love
With the Buddha’s love, Tzu Chi volunteers will accompany the children as they grow and develop.
The Tzu Chi Foundation began its relationship with the Al-Ashriyyah Nurul Iman Islamic Boarding School in 2003, when the Taiwanese government donated 50,000 tons of rice to Indonesia. The Tzu Chi Indonesia branch was designated to distribute the rice to those that needed it most. Indonesian Social Minister Bachtiar Chamsyah, who was familiar with both Tzu Chi and the financially strapped boarding school, recommended that the foundation donate some of the rice to the School. The relationship between Tzu Chi and the School has broadened and deepened since then.

After the initial rice donation, the Tzu Chi Indonesia branch began donating 50 tons of rice each month to the School. The monthly donations started in October 2003, and have continued steadily for the past two years.

However, Tzu Chi’s involvement with the School is not limited to donations of rice. Since May 2004, medical volunteers with the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) have held more than six free clinics on the school campus. “The Tzu Chi doctors come to check on our kids,” noted Elder Habib. “They treat the kids as their own. This medical assistance has greatly lightened our financial burden.”

For example, overcrowded quarters and shared clothing in the past resulted in rampant contagious respiratory and dermatological disorders. But by treating the conditions and teaching students how to avoid transmitting diseases, the number of these illnesses has dropped. During the sixth free clinic in August 2005, TIMA doctors discovered that skin disorders among children at the School had dropped by as much as 25 percent since the first clinic had been held the year before.

Tzu Chi has also helped alleviate the crowded living conditions that help contribute to such outbreaks. As enrollment at the School ballooned, the existing buildings on campus began bursting at the seams. Tzu Chi decided to do something to alleviate the overcrowded conditions, and in August 2004 ground was broken for new facilities.

At the groundbreaking ceremony, Elder Habib referred to the Koran as he noted how Tzu Chi’s charity transcended religious and cultural differences. He proclaimed to the gathered crowd, “Allah created human beings and commanded them to love, respect, and help one another. Even coming from different nations or races, when we truly communicate and promote understanding among ourselves, we all stand by the side of Allah.”

Eleven months later, the construction of an L-shaped, 2-story building with 26 classrooms was complete. The new building provides 2,380 square meters (25,700 square feet) of badly needed space. The School invited Tzu Chi volunteers to attend the opening ceremony in July 2005.

To welcome the Tzu Chi volunteers, students played traditional Indonesian musical instruments, sang songs, and opened beautifully and specially decorated parasols. In Islamic culture, such unique umbrellas are reserved exclusively for showing the utmost respect.

Rubiah, the “valedictorian” for this special event, addressed the Tzu Chi volunteers. “We cannot repay you for the favors that you have so generously given us. But we can pray to Allah to confer upon you His highest blessings. We wish you peace, luck, health, and longevity.”

Guo Zai-yuan, the local Tzu Chi representative, showered his best wishes and encouragement on the students, and he promised that Tzu Chi volunteers would accompany and support them as they learn and grow.

Elder Habib expressed his most sincere gratitude for the care and love that Tzu Chi had given to the School. He also commended the foundation for sprinkling the world with love, without regard to religion, race, or culture. “We are unable to give the children here any luxuries, but love from all around makes us affluent,” he exclaimed.

Sailing Toward You

Tzu Chi built an L-shaped, 2-story building with 26 classrooms for the School. Here are three scenes from the opening ceremony on July 17, 2005. Elder Habib indicated in the ceremony that Tzu Chi conforms to the Koran’s teachings. He encouraged students to learn to spread the Great Love that is shared by Islam and Buddhism.

One student dedicated a poem to Master Cheng Yen, and recited it during the opening ceremony.
It was entitled, “I Miss You”:

Your heart is as wide as an ocean, but filled with love.
However, I have yet to fully understand the profound meaning of the ocean.
Your heart is as bright and pure as a pearl.
However, I lack the strength to row the boat to reach your embrace.
Nevertheless, you will stay within my heart forever, and we shall miss you forever,

And you shall live within my heart, because I do not wish to leave you.


The Beauty of the Jing Si Abode


Are you prepared to put your kindness into actions and join Tzu Chi in promoting the goodness and beauty of mankind?
You are always welcome to join our Tzu Chi’s Great Love missions by becoming a member or volunteer. Please contact the Tzu Chi location near you.

" There is no need to learn many teachings. If we can put one simple verse into practice, we can awaken our true nature of goodness. "
Jing-Si Aphorism

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