Tzu Chi 30 x Testimony

Tzu Chi 30 x Testimony​

Every step in the past 30 years has left a trail of great love and gratitude.

Through the selfless contributions of every person and the unwavering promotion of charity, medicine, education, humanistic culture, and environmental protection missions, these have ignited hope among people and inspired a cycle of goodness!

Every step in the past 30 years has left a trail of great love and gratitude.

Through the selfless contributions of every person and the unwavering promotion of charity, medicine, education, humanistic culture, and environmental protection missions, these have ignited hope among people and inspired a cycle of goodness!

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When someone needs Tzu Chi, we combine the charitable resources from the community.

If it is right, just do it!

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Tzu Chi volunteer Liu Jing Lian, who hailed from Taiwan, relocated to Singapore with her husband. She started Tzu Chi’s charity work locally by recruiting donors and volunteers. This pioneering team began providing aid to needy households and making care visits to nursing and children's homes. They also travelled to Tzu Chi's headquarters in Taiwan, where they sought the directions of Master Cheng Yen and delved into the Tzu Chi spirit.
On September 20, 1993, Tzu Chi was officially registered with the Singapore Registry of Societies. At that time, it still lacked its own venue. The abbess of Pao Kwan Foh Tang (a local Buddhist temple), Venerable Hui Qi, generously allowed Tzu Chi to conduct its activities at the temple’s premises. A disciple of Venerable Master Yin Shun, just like Master Cheng Yen, Venerable Hui Qi was highly supportive of Tzu Chi.
Tzu Chi organised fund-raising seminars and assisted in the establishment of the Singapore Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP). From 1994 to 2007, Tzu Chi and BMDP co-organised several seminars and blood test activities to promote and advocate for the cause. In 2022, Tzu Chi and BMDP resumed their collaboration.
In July 1996, the Tzu Chi Cultural Centre (Singapore) was established. The Centre assisted in various tasks such as translating publications from Tzu Chi Taiwan into simplified Chinese or English and the setting up of a website. For several years, it took part in the annual book fair, promoting Tzu Chi's publications to a wider audience.
In August 1998, Tzu Chi was officially named “Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation (Singapore Branch)”; relocating to Chinatown later in the year. Its new home was a historical landmark that used to house a popular Chinese opera theatre. Besides providing care and aid to needy and elderly residents in Chinatown, it also started offering financial assistance for AIDS medication and kidney dialysis to needy patients.
Tzu Chi set up its first community Eco Point in Jurong East and invited residents to join in the sorting of recyclables at the HDB void decks every month. Today, the Eco Points located in more than 30 communities across the island have become a venue for many organisations to visit and learn from Tzu Chi's environmental philosophy.
During the SARS epidemic, Tzu Chi volunteers in Singapore visited the homes of aid beneficiaries to distribute SARS prevention kits and help the physically challenged take their body temperature. They also provided the latter with vegetarian meals and encouraged people to go on a vegetarian fast. Subsequently, the volunteers started sharing the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet at all major events held by the organisation.
To help resolve the shortage of blood stocks in Singapore during the SARS epidemic, Tzu Chi collaborated with the Singapore Red Cross for the first time to organise a blood donation drive. Since then, blood donation drives have become a perennial activity in Tzu Chi. For several consecutive years, the Foundation has received the Blood Mobile Organiser Gold Award.
Officially inaugurated by the then Minister for Health, Mr. Khaw Boon Wan, Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Singapore) was first established in Chinatown. The Free Clinic, which marked a historic milestone for Tzu Chi's Mission of Medicine, primarily served the needy elderly in the community and the Foundation’s long-term aid beneficiaries.
After three years of construction, the Jing Si Hall in Pasir Ris was finally inaugurated. This beautiful landmark is the main venue where Tzu Chi volunteers carry out activities to reach out to the wider community. In the same year, the island-wide network of volunteers were regrouped according to their residential zones and neighbourhoods, with the hope of promoting “kampung spirit” (good neighbourliness) in the community.
Tzu Chi University Continuing Education Centre (Singapore) was officially opened. This is Tzu Chi University's fourth continuing education centre outside of Taiwan, providing locals with a place for lifelong learning and spiritual enrichment.
As the number of kidney patients increased dramatically, Tzu Chi found that those who applied for long-term dialysis subsidies could not pay for the expenses while waiting for approval during the first two to three months. In April 2005, Tzu Chi coordinated with hospitals and non-profit dialysis centres to launch the interim dialysis assistance scheme to subsidise the cost of dialysis during the transitional period. Subsequently, Tzu Chi also provided transportation allowance for renal patients with mobility problems who could not afford to travel to and from the dialysis centres.
With the support of the Health Ministry and grassroots organisations, the Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Singapore) was relocated from its Chinatown premises to Redhill. A relocation and opening ceremony was held in November 2008 to mark the occasion.
Tzu Chi Singapore launched the “Seeds of Hope Financial Assistance Scheme”, which provided transport and meal allowances for needy students affected by the global financial crisis.
Tzu Chi’s first overseas health screening centre, the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening Centre opened its doors. Renamed the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening and Medical Clinic on November 7, 2011, it expanded its services to include eye screening, dental and family medicine services, with resident doctors to better serve the health needs of the populace.
Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Singapore) expanded its Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) arm in November 2011 to include a full-day clinic from Monday to Friday. The TCM clinic is open to all, regardless of religion or race, and offers free general medicine and acupuncture services. In October 2022, the TCM arm was renamed Buddhist Tzu Chi TCM Free Clinic (Redhill).
Situated in the Chong Pang precinct of Yishun, Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool opened its doors in April 2014 to students, offering holistic childcare services with an emphasis on character development and the teaching of life skills.
In August 2014, in order to further promote environmental education, Tzu Chi set up the Eco-Awareness Centre in Woodlands Industrial Estate. The centre, which operated six days a week, comprised an educational exhibition area and a recyclables sorting area. The centre ended its operations in September 2021.
Tzu Chi found that the demand for home care services was increasing, and launched the "Tzu Chi Home Care Services" programme. The programme provided free home care services, including medical, nursing and rehabilitation services to poor and sick residents in the western region through referrals from the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC).
With the increasing demand for home palliative care services, Tzu Chi established the "Palliative Care Services" programme and formally became a member of the Singapore Hospice Council. Tzu Chi’s palliative care team serves referrals from hospitals for residents in the western region of Singapore.
The Tzu Chi Da Ai Gallery was inaugurated on May 11, 2016, marking a new milestone in Tzu Chi's humanistic culture mission. The gallery showcased Tzu Chi's local and international work, highlighting the spirit of love. In October 2021, the gallery ended its operations.
In November 2016, Tzu Chi collaborated with JurongHealth to manage the Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic. The clinic provided outpatient services five and a half days a week, with a focus on prevention, treatment and care of chronic illnesses, as well as health check-ups, interpretation of reports, nutritional counselling, medical consultations, and dispensing of medication.
The GP outpatient services formerly provided by the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening and Medical Clinic were relocated to Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic. The vacated space was then refurbished into the Tzu Chi Day Rehabilitation Centre to better serve the needs of an ageing population.
Located in a beautiful colonial house surrounded by lush greenery along Queen’s Avenue in Sembawang, the Tzu Chi Great Love Student Care Centre, which lies adjacent to the Da Ai Gallery, started operating in January 2017. In November 2021, the centre ended its operations.
In line with the government's policy to promote active ageing and preventive medicine, Tzu Chi launched the Seniors Engagement & Enabling Nodes (SEEN) in Bukit Batok and Pioneer in September. The centres serve nearly 1,000 seniors in the neighbouring communities through various cultural and medical activities and facilities.
The government also promotes preventive healthcare through TCM. In September 2019, Tzu Chi set up the Buddhist Tzu Chi TCM Free Clinic (Khatib), providing general medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and other services and treatments for free.
In order to encourage the younger generation to do their part for society and spread the cycle of love, Tzu Chi established the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre in Yishun in November 2019. The centre promotes the five values of "gratitude, respect, commitment, courage and resilience" and is run based on its Five-Pillar Approach. This would encompass Arts & Culture, Eco Awareness, Volunteerism, Young Parenting, and Youth Wellness.
In February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore was so severe that Tzu Chi decided to set up an "epidemic relief committee". A three-year physical and mental health care programme for various parties including Tzu Chi volunteers, care recipients, migrant workers, renal patients and frontline workers was also launched. In recognition of Tzu Chi's contribution to Singapore's battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister's Office Singapore (PMO) announced in December 2022 that the Foundation would be awarded the President's Certificate of Commendation (COVID-19).
In July 2020, the second Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool was opened at the Toa Payoh West Community Club for children aged 18 months to six years old. In June 2023, Tzu Chi took over the Whole Child Nurture Centre, where it became the third branch of Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool.
Tzu Chi is an advocate of the "Sustainable Living" pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Aligned with this pillar, Tzu Chi launched the Glow On Gallery at the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre in July 2023. Through the three aspects of environmental, social and economic sustainability, the gallery shares with visitors Tzu Chi's local and international charity work, as well as its values.

Tzu Chi 30 x Dedication

Tzu Chi 30 x Dedication​

Times change, generations progress.

Tzu Chi’s missions have also evolved to meet the needs of the times, but its core spirit remains everlasting.

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Showing hospitality in every step of the way on Charity Distribution Day

In the early days in Taiwan, the Charity Distribution Day was held to offer warm meals and distribute aid materials to care recipients after the Medicine Buddha Dharma Assembly on the 24th day of each lunar month. Early efforts in Singapore, starting in 1991, involved volunteers arranging transportation for care recipients from across the island to attend the charity distribution event at the borrowed venue of Pao Kwan Fong Tang temple. This event was a rare opportunity for the mobility-impaired to socialise.

Today, the Charity Distribution Day has become an annual celebration, catering to the culturally diverse population of Singapore. It celebrates festive occasions for different ethnic groups, evolving from primarily serving the Chinese community to encompassing various races and religions. To ensure inclusivity, organizers now consider the specific needs and sensitivities of recipients from different backgrounds when planning the programmes and meals, hoping to create a welcoming atmosphere for all.

Caring for the elderly of every generation

In 1979, the Singapore Government launched the Senior Citizen’s Week to promote the virtue of respecting the elderly. After its establishment in 1993, Tzu Chi Singapore responded to the call by organising an annual “Respect the Elderly Day” for hundreds of elderly in nursing homes and those living alone, offering sumptuous meals and entertainment to bring them joy on that day.

After relocating to Chinatown in 1999, Tzu Chi noticed the significant number of elderly residents from Southern China who had moved to Singapore to earn a living in the past. Tzu Chi then formed a care group to visit and accompany the elderly living alone at their home, specially arranging for volunteers with relevant language skills to greet the elderly who only spoke their dialects.

With the local population aging rapidly, the government is actively encouraging local seniors to age at home. In 2019, Tzu Chi accepted the Ministry of Health’s appointment to establish two eldercare centres in Bukit Batok and Nanyang. These centres are well-equipped with nursing care facilities and alarm systems. They also provide a range of wellness programmes, including morning walks, interest groups, the Gymtonic programme, as well as regular physiotherapy services. The aim is to empower seniors to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while remaining in the comfort of their homes.

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02a-companionship-2 02b-companionship

Caring for the elderly of every generation

In 1979, the Singapore Government launched the Senior Citizen’s Week to promote the virtue of respecting the elderly. After its establishment in 1993, Tzu Chi Singapore responded to the call by organising an annual “Respect the Elderly Day” for hundreds of elderly in nursing homes and those living alone, offering sumptuous meals and entertainment to bring them joy on that day. 

After relocating to Chinatown in 1999, Tzu Chi noticed the significant number of elderly residents from Southern China who had moved to Singapore to earn a living in the past. Tzu Chi then formed a care group to visit and accompany the elderly living alone at their home, specially arranging for volunteers with relevant language skills to greet the elderly who only spoke their dialects.

With the local population aging rapidly, the government is actively encouraging local seniors to age at home. In 2019, Tzu Chi accepted the Ministry of Health’s appointment to establish two eldercare centres in Bukit Batok and Nanyang. These centres are well-equipped with nursing care facilities and alarm systems. They also provide a range of wellness programmes, including morning walks, interest groups, the Gymtonic programme, as well as regular physiotherapy services. The aim is to empower seniors to embrace an active and healthy lifestyle while remaining in the comfort of their homes.

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Bringing hopes to the dark corners of society

Besides helping disadvantaged families, Tzu Chi volunteers used to regularly visit nursing homes and charitable organizations, providing services like cleaning, massages, feeding, and distributing essentials to the residents. Although government-subsidised, these institutions lacked community attention and volunteer input.

As the national welfare system gradually improved and more people started volunteering, the facilities and social resources of these institutions were also slowly enhanced. Tzu Chi, recognising the shift and its own manpower constraints, gradually suspended institutional care. However, it was evident that there are areas that still lacked medical resources, particularly for bedridden patients.

In 2014, Singapore’s Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) partnered with Ren Ci Hospital to offer free dental consultations for residents. In 2018, the CASA-MODAL programme was initiated, providing nursing home residents with free dental screenings, initial diagnoses, and customised oral care solutions. The dental team also educates caregivers on basic oral health care to ensure residents receive proper care.

Accompanying children in their growing up years

“It’s not just giving money. It is a form of care that goes beyond financial support,” said a retired school principal after the Seeds of Hope Merit Award Ceremony.

When the financial tsunami hit local underprivileged families in 2008, Tzu Chi worked with schools to launch the Seeds of Hope Bursary Programme to cover transportation and meal expenses of school-going children, enabling them to attend school uninterrupted. At that time, Tzu Chi volunteers engaged with the children through home visits, inspiring bursary ceremonies, and monthly meal voucher distributions.

Children’s education was again hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic when classes switched online. Many families were caught off guard by the new paradigm of home-based learning. Tzu Chi raised funds to provide electronic devices such as Chromebooks for students from disadvantaged families and launched an online mentoring programme which offered “two-to-one” online mentoring to help children catch up with their studies.

Members of the Tzu Chi Teachers’ Association and Tzu Chi youths (a.k.a. Tzu Ching) attached particular importance to the quality of accompaniment and worked hard to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and planned offline activities with great dedication. From the children’s enthusiastic feedback and growth trajectory, we are glad to see the sprouting of seeds of goodness in the hearts of the young.

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Accompanying children in their growing up years

“It’s not just giving money. It is a form of care that goes beyond financial support,” said a retired school principal after the Seeds of Hope Merit Award Ceremony. 

When the financial tsunami hit local underprivileged families in 2008, Tzu Chi worked with schools to launch the Seeds of Hope Bursary Programme to cover transportation and meal expenses of school-going children, enabling them to attend school uninterrupted. At that time, Tzu Chi volunteers engaged with the children through home visits, inspiring bursary ceremonies, and monthly meal voucher distributions.

Children’s education was again hindered by the COVID-19 pandemic when classes switched online. Many families were caught off guard by the new paradigm of home-based learning. Tzu Chi raised funds to provide electronic devices such as Chromebooks for students from disadvantaged families and launched an online mentoring programme which offered “two-to-one” online mentoring to help children catch up with their studies.

Members of the Tzu Chi Teachers’ Association and Tzu Chi youths (a.k.a. Tzu Ching) attached particular importance to the quality of accompaniment and worked hard to overcome the challenges of the pandemic and planned offline activities with great dedication. From the children’s enthusiastic feedback and growth trajectory, we are glad to see the sprouting of seeds of goodness in the hearts of the young.

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Forever present when major humanitarian aid is needed

Singapore is a stable and blessed society undisturbed by natural calamities. Whenever a major disaster strikes in other parts of the world, locals often turn to Tzu Chi for ways to donate to the disaster victims, which is a testament to the spirit of Singaporeans that is willing to help.

In 1991, Tzu Chi Singapore heeded the call of Master Cheng Yen to work with Tzu Chi volunteers around the world to raise funds for disaster relief. The first time a street fundraising was allowed in Singapore was in 1999 when Taiwan was hit by an earthquake on 12 September of the same year. Adhering to the stringent public fundraising regulations, Tzu Chi has now established a comprehensive fundraising operation and internal control procedures. Since 2016, it has been carrying out international humanitarian relief work through the newly established “Tzu Chi Merit Organization (Singapore)”.

“Be awakened to the lessons that disasters bring us.”

Tzu Chi Merit Organization (Singapore) has been upholding this spirit during street fundraising. The volunteers would give a ninety-degree bow to gather the love and kindness of people in the hope of reminding everyone to remain vigilant in times of peace and to cherish the blessed place we are in.

Tzu Chi 30 x Aspiration​

Tzu Chi 30 x Aspiration​

Tzu Chi Singapore has turned 30!

We are grateful to the countless people who have walked with Tzu Chi from its humble beginnings.

Under the theme of “Celebrating 30 Years of Serving with Compassion”, we invite everyone to review our past and look forward to the future with us. 

Tzu Chi Singapore has turned 30!

We are grateful to the countless people who have walked with Tzu Chi from its humble beginnings.

Under the theme of “Celebrating 30 Years of Serving with Compassion”, we invite everyone to review our past and look forward to the future with us.

The copper-yellow design shaped like the Chinese character “人” represents a crossing of boundaries and a tree with deep roots.

Interacting and serving people with pure and uncontaminated love is the essence of the humanistic values cherished by Tzu Chi.

In today’s global environment of climate crisis and divisive conflict, Tzu Chi, as a member of civil society organisations, is willing to take up the task to surpass any boundary and courageously shoulder the responsibility of our times.

We will continue to unite everyone to share good thoughts and do good deeds to protect our homeland and perpetuate love and compassion in our Lion City.

The copper-yellow design shaped like the Chinese character “人” represents a crossing of boundaries and a tree with deep roots.

Interacting and serving people with pure and uncontaminated love is the essence of the humanistic values cherished by Tzu Chi.

In today’s global environment of climate crisis and divisive conflict, Tzu Chi, as a member of civil society organisations, is willing to take up the task to surpass any boundary and courageously shoulder the responsibility of our times.

We will continue to unite everyone to share good thoughts and do good deeds to protect our homeland and perpetuate love and compassion in our Lion City.

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