The world of Tzu Chi Nov-Dec 2022 (Vol.144)

TZU CHI 144 19 education in transforming their lives, as well as understand that they, too, can help others with small daily savings. A former beneficiary of Tzu Chi Study & Awards Scheme, LimYewHeng, was also invited to share his life-changing story. He recalled that his family met Tzu Chi when he was five years old. His mother was struggling to raise him and his younger brother, and the financial assistance from Tzu Chi enabled them to have a more stable life. Thanks to the volunteers’ continuous care, he finally realized that education was key to turning his and his family’s fate. Thus, he stopped indulging in video games during Form 5 and began to study hard. He successfully made it to the university and graduated last year. With a job now, he is able to improve his family’s life. University freshmen, Puaneswaran a/l Arumugam and Komalaa a/p Sellathamby, are another two inspiring examples. They shared their struggles and perseverance for education through pre-recorded videos. All three of them unanimously encouraged their juniors to persist in pursuing their studies and dreams, and to repay society one day. Flourishing against all odds “Show your green card if you prefer online lessons, and red card if you prefer physical classes.” Lim Wei Chin, a Primary 4 student, put up his green card at once. He admitted that he dislikes going to school post-pandemic, as online lessons offer more freedom. For example, he could study lying on bed, and just get up shortly before the lessons start. His grandmother, Yap Koon Eng, shared that he was addicted to the virtual world during lockdown, and was totally devoid of any physical activities. Yet, she was too busy to supervise him, as she had to raise three grandchildren single-handedly. She had to get up at 4 a.m. daily to prepare snacks and drinks for sale, and would only return home in the afternoon. Fortunately, things turned better after physical classes resumed. The sketch andYewHeng’s transformation led Wei Chin to think about his own situation. He promised in writing: “I will reduce time spent on mobile phone and be more diligent in my studies. I want to be a teacher to repay Grandma’s kindness.” Another beneficiary, nine-year-old Kirishika a/p Rameshkumar, had no means of attending online lessons during lockdown and depended on her mother’s guidance, based on lesson materials forwarded by her teachers. Studying remains challenging for her even though schools have reopened. She has to pick up her one-year-old sister from the nanny’s house after school, and take care of her in between times while she does her schoolwork, until her mother returns home from work at around 7 p.m. Despite the family’s hardship, she would donate savings in her coin bank each time the volunteers visited. After listening to the stories of the three senior beneficiaries, she realized that she is in a better position than many others. She promised that besides taking care of her sister, she will look up to the seniors and study diligently regardless of any situation, and be a good and kind person who reaches out to others with love. Education is a process of guiding children to develop a kind and positive personality. Through self-reflection, and witnessing the grit and beautiful transformation of children who shared the same fate, these needy students began to rethink the value of life and were inspired to become a better person.