Quizito Baera said: “I’d rather be a volunteer than an aid recipient as I wish to inspire more people to help others in need and learn Master’s teachings.”

In 2019, Tropical Cyclone Idai hit the Indian Ocean, and brought devastating floods and winds to the central region of Mozambique, in southeast Africa. This caused significant casualties and left many displaced. Inspired by Master Cheng Yen, Tzu Chi's compassion has been unwavering and love from Tzu Chi members worldwide was collected in Mozambique. Up to 2023, four large housing communities had been built to provide shelter and support for the disaster-stricken residents. Tzu Chi’s love and care inspired Quizito Baera to become a Tzu Chi volunteer. Together, they extend their love and support to those enduring hardship.

Quizito Baera (front left) expressed his gratitude to Master Cheng Yen and Tzu Chi. | Photo provided by Tzu Chi Foundation | Xin Dian Jing Si Hall, New Taipei City, Taiwan | 2023/12/16

Quizito was a recipient of Tzu Chi's care and has become the first certified volunteer in the Great Love Village. After witnessing his own home collapse because of Cyclone Idai, he lost all hope and questioned why disaster had befallen him. When Tzu Chi volunteers came to assess the situation, they shared Master Cheng Yen's perennial three wishes: "May all minds be purified, may society be harmonious and may the world be free of disasters." This gave Quizito hope and the courage to carry on.

Fourteen-year-old Baera, Quizito Baera's son, is in the eighth grade and hopes to become a teacher. A filial son, he learnt how to sew at the age of eleven and actively helps with household duties. | Photo by Dario Nhacale | Metuchira, Nhamatanda, Mozambique | 2023/07/22

Quizito no longer dwells on complaints. He and his entire family have become Tzu Chi volunteers. He received seeds from Tzu Chi and now diligently cultivates crops. Beyond self-sufficiency, he also devotes himself to caring for the residents of the Great Love Village. His home has now become the village "gathering place for love".

Quizito Baera (left) is a survivor of Cyclone Idai. In 2022, he received sesame seeds from Tzu Chi, which he meticulously cultivated and harvested. After selling 100 kilograms of sesame, he earned enough to buy a bicycle. It significantly reduces his travel time from four hours to just one hour, improving transportation for both goods and personal commuting from his home to the farm. | Photo by Dario Nhacale | Metuchira, Nhamatanda, Mozambique | 2023/06/28

Quizito said: "After the disaster, many NGOs provided hot meals and clothing. Tzu Chi was different. They not only provided supplies but also guided locals in using local materials like thatch for roofing, wholeheartedly assisting in rebuilding our homes. Tzu Chi provided complete sets of construction and farming tools, settling residents and restoring vitality to the community."

Initially, Quizito was surprised by why Tzu Chi volunteers from Maputo were willing to drive 1,200 kilometers to help them escape hardship.

Later, he joined Tzu Chi to visit impoverished households; at the end of last year, he attended a training session in Taiwan. In the two days of the workshop, besides the courses, he listened to the sharing of volunteers from various countries. Finally, he understood that it was Master Cheng Yen's teachings that guide volunteers to learn by doing and awaken through learning and enable them to give with joy and selflessness.

Quizito Baera (right) leads his entire family in volunteering for Tzu Chi. They visit together and go beyond by generously donating fabrics from their own tailor shop to families in need. | Photo by Dario Nhacale | Metuchira, Nhamatanda, Mozambique | 2023/07/22

Master said: “While paving the path ahead, we should take each step firmly.”

Quizito has made a vow to spread Master Cheng Yen's teachings, and guide and inspire more villagers to become givers like him. He wishes to transform the Great Love Village into an orderly city, and, with other volunteers, bring Master Cheng Yen's teachings to even farther places.