Tzu Chi Responds to the Developing Ukrainian Refugee Crisis
Tzu Chi USA begins fundraising for items to benefit those now seeking refugee in Poland from Ukraine.
Mar 02, 2022, 18:06 ET
SAN DIMAS, Calif., March 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ -- On February 24, 2022, Russia launched a full-scale invasion of Ukraine. Since then, residents of Ukraine have fled en masse, rapidly escalating into what experts believe could be the world's worst refugee crisis since the not-too-distant Syrian Civil War. Consequently, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is mobilizing its humanitarian response.
As of March 1, approximately 660,000 residents have fled into neighboring countries. So far, Ukraine's Health Ministry reports that more than 350 civilians have been killed, including 14 children. Observing events as they unfolded, Dharma Master Cheng Yen, the founder of Tzu Chi, highlighted the plight of refugees to Tzu Chi volunteers worldwide on February 28:
"Looking at them fleeing—some carrying young children on their backs, holding them in their hands, older ones holding smaller ones—large families are escaping in crowds. We do not know what their destination is."
Currently, Dharma Masters at the Global Tzu Chi Foundation Headquarters' Jing Si Abode in Taiwan are chanting a portion from the sacred Lotus Sutra called the "Universal Gate Chapter on Avalokitesvara Bodhisattva." It is believed to bring peace and harmony to the world. Yet, Master Cheng Yen has invited the global community to contribute their goodwill and blessings to those suffering as a result of this crisis:
"Only when the heart is peaceful and peaceful can this man-made disaster be quelled."
At the same time, Tzu Chi volunteers in Europe have connected with local agencies and partners along the Polish-Ukrainian border. It's currently estimated that more than half of refugees noted have crossed into Poland. With this great need, we are planning donations of humanitarian relief items that will provide immediate physical comfort, including but not limited to emergency goods, medical supplies, DA.AI Technology eco-blankets, and food.
Reflecting on Tzu Chi's past support of people who are displaced, Powen Yen, the Chief Executive Officer of the Tzu Chi Charity Foundation, noted refugee crises extending from Syria and recently Afghanistan. In both instances, where the threat of danger was high, Tzu Chi sent humanitarian aid where possible to comfort those seeking safety and refuge.
While it is difficult to predict what will happen next, Tzu Chi volunteers continue to monitor the situation and are assessing its humanitarian relief efforts accordingly. Regardless, Tzu Chi USA calls on the public to contribute to our fundraiser, "Love & Compassion for Ukraine." Donations will go to support the above relief items, but also send a clear message to those seeking refuge: in the face of crisis, you are not alone.
Donations are accepted in the following ways:
- online: donate.tzuchi.us/ukraine
- by mobile app, Tzu Chi Connect: tzuchi.us/app
- by check: made payable to "Tzu Chi" and mailed to the Tzu Chi chapter nearest you. See the list at tzuchi.us/offices
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a global non-profit humanitarian organization founded in 1966 by a Buddhist nun named Dharma Master Cheng Yen in Taiwan. Its missions of medicine, charity, education, and humanistic culture has brought relief to 127 countries and counting. In 1989, Tzu Chi USA was established and now has 62 offices across the US. The heart of Tzu Chi is embedded in its name: in Chinese, "tzu" means compassion and "chi," relief.
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SOURCE TZU CHI
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