The world of Tzu Chi January 2020 (Vol.118)

Learning to Smile OnAugust 8, 2019, Tzu Chi volunteers and Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth members from Taiwan arrived at the Chao Thai Phukhao School, situated on the Thailand-Myanmar border, to extend care to the students and distribute relief supplies. The students assembled under the scorching sun in an orderly manner and demonstrated impeccable obedience to their teacher’s instructions. When asked if they were bothered by the sweltering heat, the students unanimously replied, “Not at all!” The students, toughened by military training at school, wore a serious expression most of the time. “Many of the students are orphans, while some have been sent here by parents who couldn’t afford to raise them.When I visited the students at home, I noticed the students’ trousers were so ill-fitting that they slid down whenever the students lifted their palms in thanks,” recounted volunteer Qiu Shu-fen. Each student received two pairs of shorts, two pairs of trousers, a thermal blanket, writing instruments and a bag. Tzu Chi Thailand volunteer Qiu Shu-fen is leading the students in a sign-language rendition of a song, bringing a smile to the students’ endearing faces. [Photograph by Chien Shu-si]