September 20, 2023
Tzu Chi Zamboanga awards scholarships to new TechVoc scholars
By Ben Baquilod
On September 10, 2023, Tzu Chi Zamboanga granted scholarships to twenty new Technical Vocational scholars from Zamboanga Peninsula Polytechnic University and Colegio De La Ciudad de Zamboanga. This event marked a significant milestone for Tzu Chi Zamboanga’s Educational Assistance Program, one year after its successful inauguration in 2022.
The awarding ceremony, held at the Garden Orchid Hotel in Zamboanga City, commenced with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Tzu Chi Zamboanga and Colegio De La Ciudad de Zamboanga, marking the start of a promising collaboration aimed at empowering students and fostering educational excellence.
“This scholarship not only eases the financial burden for our deserving students but also empowers them to pursue their dreams and educational goals,” said Stephanie Reyes, Academic Director of the Technical Vocational Program and Senior High Program of Colegio De La Ciudad de Zamboanga. “Your generosity is a beacon of hope and we are deeply thankful for your support.”
Volunteers led the awarding of certificates as well as bags and set of tools to the new TechVoc scholars. Thereafter, the three incoming 5th year medical scholars from Ateneo De Zamboanga University received personalized stethoscopes in a symbolic moving-up ceremony organized by Dr. Anton Mari Lim, Tzu Chi Zamboanga Liaison Office Coordinator.
Gratitude and encouragement filled the ceremony as Tzu Chi Philippines Head of Charity Maria Cristina Pasion shared invaluable insights and experiences in an inspirational talk. Pioneer scholars and their guardians also delivered testimonies, shedding light on how Tzu Chi has provided both financial and moral support in their time of need.
Amicor Ventura, the mother of Tzu Chi scholar Bijay Ventura, expressed her gratitude to Tzu Chi for coming to their aid when their home was devastated by the massive floods caused by Typhoon Paeng in October 2022. Tzu Chi’s support continued when her son became a scholar of the foundation. “My son has become more independent and hardworking. He can now focus on his studies without worrying about school expenses,” Amicor said.
For Rayeed Muhdalam, Tzu Chi provided not only a second chance to rebuild his life but also a second home and a strong network of support. Rayeed emphasized Tzu Chi’s core value of Great Love, serving all people regardless of religion, race, and cultural identities. He added, “Tzu Chi does not encourage anyone to change their religion but instead focuses on nurturing individuals to be good, compassionate people within the framework of their own faith.”
In his closing remarks, Harvey Yap, the head volunteer of Tzu Chi Zamboanga’s Educational Assistance Program, expressed gratitude to all the volunteers and donors who generously support the foundation. He also encouraged the scholars on their journey as part of the Tzu Chi family. “Just do your part. Study well, and we’ll take good care of you,” he said. “Always make sure your intentions are pure, and remember to pass on to others the blessings and love you received from Tzu Chi. I promise you, things will work out for you.”