Since its founding in 1966, Tzu Chi’s core missions of charity, medicine, education, and humanistic culture have aligned seamlessly with the United Nations’ seventeen Sustainable Development Goals. This reflects a natural synergy between their goals and actions.
On July 19, 2010, the U. N. Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC) granted the Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation (USA) the status of an NGO with special consultative status. Within Tzu Chi, the Global Partnership Affairs Department is actively dedicated to championing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and also effectively communicating Tzu Chi's projects aimed at addressing these crucial objectives.
As from January 1, 2022, for two years, Tzu Chi has served as co-chair of the UN Interagency Task Force on Religion and Sustainable Development (IATF) with the endorsement of the IATF Multi-Faith Advisory Council (MFAC). CEO of Tzu Chi USA, Debra Boudreaux, said:
“We will continue to work towards these issues of climate change, food insecurity, food systems, environment and biodiversity, refugees, faith, women empowerment and more.”
In close collaboration with the international community, Tzu Chi actively promotes grassroots empowerment, with a particular focus on assisting disaster-affected communities in their journey toward enhanced sustainability. This includes adhering to well-established humanitarian guidelines in areas such as food security, nutrition, WASH (Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene), education and capacity building, shelter provision, settlement development, distribution of non-food items, and healthcare services.
Po-Wen Yen, CEO of Tzu Chi Charity Foundation, also said that in the spirit of transformation to prepare for the future, Tzu Chi will work to bolster its efforts in Environment, Society, and Governance work (ESG) and Social Corporate Responsibility (CSR) reporting. This entails focusing on four key areas: establishing systems and reinforcing governance, transmitting ethical teachings and nurturing talents, cultivating global partnerships for the common good, and advancing information optimization and financial revitalization.
Our Sustainability Work Across the Globe
In drought-hit Zimbabwe, Tzu Chi has built 368 wells for residents over 10 years. Since 2008, Tzu Chi volunteers have been active in the country, reaching out to many schools to help construct simple classrooms as well as provide clothing, lunch, as well as stationery like pencils and pens. Volunteers even help give the children haircuts and attend to the health needs of the local community. During the winter months, aid packages are distributed, including rice from Taiwan, eco-friendly blankets, and water purification supplies.
When the magnitude 7.8 earthquake hit Türkiye and Syria on February 6, 2023, Tzu Chi mobilized to bring emergency relief to Türkiye from February 17 to March 27, involving 40 distribution events. The provision of cash cards benefited 38,926 households with a total of 187,581 individuals. Such an endeavor was only made possible by a dedicated team of 2,085 Syrian refugees, who are Tzu Chi's aid recipients-turned-volunteers. This relief mission also included a donation of 25 metric tons of eco-friendly blankets, amounting to 8,148 pieces.
In response to the Russian invasion of Ukraine on February 24, 2022, Tzu Chi has mobilized its members across Europe to find necessary resources and provide aid to Ukrainian refugees. This marked the start of humanitarian relief. Tzu Chi held its first aid mission on March 5, 2022, in Poznań, Poland, and subsequently extended its humanitarian aid, including cash cards and relief supplies, to Lublin, Szczecin, and Warsaw. To this day, Tzu Chi's love and support has continued to accompany these refugees in Poland.
In Nepal, Tzu Chi volunteers are actively engaged in several initiatives. In the field of education, Tzu Chi provides support to impoverished families and encourages children to return to school and continue their studies. Tzu Chi also provides support for underprivileged women through livelihood training, to improve their family's economic well-being. Furthermore, volunteers help to foster a sense of unity and altruism among villagers; they demonstrate that even small contributions, like saving a handful of rice each day, can make a significant difference. In the field of medicine, health check-ups are held for villagers, to promote health and hygiene principles and lifestyles. Tzu Chi's unwavering commitment in Nepal aims to uplift impoverished rural communities, ultimately striving for the common good and shared well-being.
When the sun sets in one location and one group of Tzu Chi volunteers take rest for the day, volunteers on the other side of the world rise and carry on the torch in their ongoing efforts to create a more sustainable and peaceful future.