The Power of 5 Blog
- May 2012
- South Africa Durban Food Distribution and Community Centers
- February 2012
- Back To School Programs In Haiti
- September 2011
- South Africa Reflection
- August 2011
- Back in Joburg
- Wisdom vs. Superstition
- Love for South Africa
- Get Started
- Join The Power of 5
- Teaching Class - Speak Good Words
- Rural Life in the Durban Area: First Impressions
- Real Life in the Tembisa Region
- IkamvaYouth - the future is in your hands
- And so our South Africa journey begins…
- Bringing the Power of 5 from the USA to South Africa
- June 2011
- Easy Starts
- April 2011
- Don't Worry
- Vision of the Future
Tzu Chi plans to set up 13 small food supply stations/community centers within three years.
Tzu Chi takes good care of 5120 orphans.
Total Budget: Approximately US$ 732,081.00
Volunteers are hard at work in Haiti with the back to school programs. Please take a look at what we’re doing in Haiti. A volunteer, Patrick Chou, also shares his experience.
On August 7, 2011, 31 members of the US Tzu Chi family from California, Ohio, New York, Massachusetts, and Michigan arrived in South Africa. We were about to embark on a two-week volunteer journey, splitting our time between Johannesburg and Durban. Everyone was bleary-eyed and tired from the 16+ hour flight and 6- to 9-hour time change but extremely eager to begin helping the needy in South Africa. None of us could possibly have known that in the next two weeks, we would be receiving so much more than we would give. Even after 6 months of massive email threads and conference calls spanning 3 different continents, I still was unsure of what to expect.
It has been a while since I have written a blog post, so I will write one now.
Today we got back from Durban, South Africa. We have learned a lot in those 7 days.
We were asked what was one of the most touching stories each of us have from Durban, so I will share one of them.
On Thursday, 8/11, Michael Pan SB told us a story about a Zulu Sister who had HIV/AIDS. The volunteer was sick at times and Pan SB would tell her to take a break at home. She would always listen, and when she got better, she would return doing volunteer work. However, as time passed, her sickness got worse and worse. Eventually, the volunteer was going to die. On that day, her family was next to her bed, chanting and praying that she would go to heaven. Quietly, so that the family members could not hear, Pan SB told her that, since she was a Tzu Chi Volunteer, she knows where she would be going after death. She replied with a yes. She knew that after death, she would be going back to Master Cheng Yen to continue helping her with Tzu Chi work. Just before she passed, Pan SB quickly gave her his prayer beads.
Pan SB told us that there was a difference between the deaths of a Tzu Chi Volunteer and an ordinary person. He noticed that the volunteers would die peacefully as if dying of old age. Ordinary people would die suffering. This truly shows how Tzu Chi has the power to heal and change the heart. I was truly touched by this story. After Pan SB finished, even he shed a tear.
Those days in Durban truly changed me a lot. I learned that even if we feel like we cannot help a person physically, we can help them by healing them with our hearts. The connection that you sense is extraordinary. If I get the chance, I would gladly go back to Durban to better experience these feelings.
Well tomorrow we will be continuing our work, but in Johannesburg this time. Tomorrow is going to be an extremely busy day.
Until next time,
I learned about a true story today that shocked and disturbed me greatly. This story really showed me that the lack of proper education in South Africa is a problem that needs to be quickly rectified.
A lady living in a poor community of Durban, South Africa, was on her way to attend a family memorial service, when she was apprehended by three men. While two of them held her prisoner, the third pulled out a knife and began sawing off this lady’s ear. She screamed and screamed in terror and pain. Luckily, she was close enough to the memorial service that the people there heard her screams and came out to help her. When the people approached, the three men stopped what they were doing, shrugged their shoulders, and let her go. Then they just walked off slowly as if they were not doing anything wrong.
What was the men’s purpose? According to the uneducated South Africans, witch doctors can make men stronger if the men can bring back the right ingredients. The ingredients are not the ones found in children books, however. They are not the spider legs, the frog eyes, or the snake venom. This particular potion requires ears, noses, and tongues. The human kind. So, this lady was actually very fortunate. She only got one ear cut off. If the other people had not been alerted by her screams, she would have lost her other ear, her nose, and lastly, her tongue before the men finished with her.
This is not the only example of the people’s ignorance. Witch doctors have also been telling HIV/AIDS positive men that sleeping with virgins can cure them of that disease. Therefore, South Africa has a lot of young girls that are raped by these men and, in turn, also develop HIV/AIDS. Why do they not use condoms either? That is because the men believe that the promotion of condoms is just a way for the white men to weaken the black men. However, this is all they know. If they are able to be educated, then incidences like these would hopefully stop.
- Victoria Chu