From Humble Beginnings to a Global Humanitarian Charity Organization
In 1966, Dharma Master Cheng Yen established the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation in Hualien, an impoverished rural county of Taiwan. The devout Buddhist nun was moved by the misery and pain she saw around her, and made a powerful aspiration to relieve suffering and help the poor. She joined forces with five female disciples and thirty housewives, and to fund their charity, the women made baby shoes for sale, putting money aside from what they had for food.
From these humble origins, Tzu Chi is now active on five continents and has provided relief aid to over 100 countries and areas globally. Over time, the mission of Charity has expanded to Medicine, Education, Humanistic Culture, Disaster Relief, and Environmental Protection.
The view that material deprivation as well as “spiritual poverty” can cause suffering was central from the start, so Tzu Chi not only provides physical relief, but also advocates the development of altruistic love for others, and selfless giving through volunteering.
The Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation is a volunteer-based organization founded by Dharma Master Cheng Yen in 1966, with its headquarters in Taiwan. It is an international charity organization devoted to spreading Great Love in the fields of Charity, Medicine, Education, and Culture. It later expanded its work to International Relief, Bone Marrow Donation, Environmental Protection, and Community Volunteerism. Today, Tzu Chi has volunteers in 67 countries and regions, and has provided aid to more than 128 countries and regions around the world.
Letter from the CEO
Surveying the world around us, we see a mounting prevalence of epidemics, worsening effects of climate change, a widening wealth gap, as well as increasing conflicts. Global issues are becoming more complex, with a growing need for social and sustainable actions. These phenomena mean that, in the face of surging global issues, we must reinforce multilateral alliances and foster collaborations among organizations spanning sectors, institutions, and nations.