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

2022 • 12 46 By Huang Yi-wei & Yang Yi-jia Translated by Lee Hui Yieng Photo courtesy of Tzu Chi Taiwan Headquarters lobal News T hembisa, a township located northeast of Johannesburg and about 20 km away from Tzu Chi South Africa branch office, has a population of 510,000. Due to poverty, dingy surrounding, unemployment and high crime rates, there are many people in need of help in this community. Since 2006, Tzu Chi volunteers in South Africa have been leading the local volunteers to conduct home visits, care for the sick, organize sewing class and plant vegetables, bringing love and kindness consistently to the people. Over time, volunteers discovered that there were many patients who needed rehabilitation exercises, but lacked relevant knowledge. Therefore, in 2011, they learned some simple rehabilitation techniques and basic medical knowledge at the Helen Joseph Hospital, to help the care recipients. As their service spread by word of mouth, more and more patients in need of rehabilitation invited them to make home visits. Volunteer Elizabeth then donated a metal shack for Tzu Chi to set up a rehabilitation room. One of the patients, Lyndipa (alias), would put on a volunteer vest after she had done her rehabilitation exercises, and proceed to help take care of children with cerebral palsy, push patients in a wheelchair, or give other patients a massage. Volunteers cheered her on as she challenged her own physical limitations to push a child in a wheelchair for a meal. It gave her a sense of achievement and confidence when she completed the task successfully. Sometimes, the patients would also have their rehabilitation exercises in a group of three. The one who needed to do a raised hand movement would walk at the front; the one who needed to practise walking with her back straight would come next—by staring at the raised fingers of the patient in front of her, her back would be kept straight naturally; the third patient would be the one in the best physical condition, who needed to practise raising her feet while walking. This way, she could also protect the patient in the middle. With a little mindfulness, the rehabilitation became more fun and less lonely for the patients. Mutual Support on the Road to Recovery South Africa I 09.2022