November 19, 2022
Tzu Chi strengthens ties with university partners
By Ben Baquilod
University partners of Tzu Chi Philippines signed pledge of support to the foundation’s educational assistance program in a tea party held on November 17 at the Harmony Hall of the Buddhist Tzu Chi Campus (BTCC) in Sta. Mesa, Manila.
The event marked the first official gathering of Tzu Chi’s partner schools in the National Capital Region. The six partners schools invited were Pamantasan ng Lungsod ng Maynila (PLM), Polytechnic University of the Philippines (PUP), Philippine Normal University (PNU), Technological University of the Philippines (TUP), Universidad De Manila (UDM), and University of the Philippines Diliman (UPD).
“We hope that this event will be able to strengthen our relationship as we help poor but deserving students finish their education to further improve their quality of life,” said host and Tzu Chi’s Charity Department head Tina Pasion.
Officials from the university partners learned more about Tzu Chi through audio-visual presentations highlighting Tzu Chi’s history and accomplishments as well as its milestones for its 28th anniversary. They also gained more insights on Tzu Chi’s efforts on environmental sustainability through a presentation by Program Officer Lineth Brondial.
In a testimonial, scholar from PLM Mark Vincent Dayang shared how Tzu Chi provided aid to his family through the years—starting in 2007 when his father received medical assistance from Tzu Chi due to a vehicular accident, to becoming a scholar of the educational assistance program in 2010. “My family’s life has changed because of Tzu Chi’s help,” Dayang said.
“After today’s activity, there was some kind of enlightenment,” said Dr. Margaret S Aquino, TUP Dean of the Office of Students Affairs upon learning of the scholarship program’s holistic development approach through humanities classes. “It’s more than what we thought of. That’s why I pledged commitment and support to the future direction of the Tzu Chi Foundation.”
PUP Office for Scholarship and Financial Assistance Director Ana Liza Reyes Publico felt grateful to know Tzu Chi on a deeper level. “I feel proud that our students are part of this beautiful advocacy, and we are very much willing to support the other endeavors of the foundation,” she said.
“Personally, I was touched to see the accomplishments of Tzu Chi and I want to be a part of this and commit myself,” adds Publico, hopeful for the eventual signing of the memorandum of agreement. “I want the school to contribute and hopefully very soon, we would be able to give back to Tzu Chi Foundation.”
At the end of the program, guests went on a tour of the campus and had a sumptuous vegetarian lunch at the BTCC café.