What is Tzu Chi

Tzu Chi is an international non-profit organization with operations and branches in 55 countries and over four million members world wide.With charitable missions, in nations such as Iran, North Korea, South Africa, and Indonesia, it is a philanthropic group with truly global reach.

Meaning. Tzu Chi are Chinese characters which mean “compassionate relief”. Following Buddha’s teachings, this organization aspires and works to relieve all of those in need.

History. The Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation was founded in 1966 in Taiwan by the Dharma Master Cheng-Yen and a small handful of disciples to help those in need. In 1966, when Master Cheng Yen went to see an ailing follower at a hospital in Hua-Lien, Taiwan, she saw a pool of blood on the floor. She was told that an aboriginal woman had suffered from miscarriage, and had been turned away due to her inability to pay the security deposit. Upon hearing this, the Master felt tremendous sadness and disbelief, and thus resolved to help the poor and educate the rich. In the beginning, it was only funded with 50 cents of daily savings from thirty households and the disciples’ additional wages of sewing one extra pair of baby shoes a day.

Tzu Chi’s ideals are to save those suffering and those going through difficulties through compassion and joyful giving. The Master strived for a world of kindness, compassion, joy, and equality, attainable by good deeds of charity. By 1996, Tzu Chi members numbered more than four millions both in Taiwan and all around the world. Tzu Chi’s main programs are in charity, medical assistance, education and culture as well as bone marrow donor programs and international disaster relief activities. Wherever there is a call for help, Tzu Chi members are always ready to mobilize their efforts and resources and come to the aid of those in distress.


Four Major Missions:

1. Charity
2. Medicine
3. Education
4. Culture

Eight Footprints:
1. Charity
2. Medicine
3. Education
4. Culture
5. Bone Marrow Donation
6. International Relief
7. Community Volunteers
8. Environment Protection

The Ten Tzu Chi Precepts:
1. Do not kill
2. Do not steal
3. Do not fornicate
4. Do not lie
5. Do not drink alcohol
6. Do not smoke, use drugs, or chew betel nuts
7. Do not gamble or speculate
8. Follow the traffic rules
9. Respect your parents and be moderate in speech and attitude
10. Do not participate in politics or demonstrations

For more information, please visit www.tzuchi.org

What is Tzu Ching

Meaning. Tzu-Ching means “youths with compassion and joyous giving.” Youths who abide to Tzu Chi principles and spirits to extend and carry out Tzu Chi missions on campus are members of Tzu-Ching. In order to create cohesive support for their development, the “Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association” was established. The members of this Group are called the “compassionate youth”, or in Chinese, Tzu-Ching (TC).

History. In 1991, more than 20 college students in Taiwan started doing volunteer work at the Tzu Chi hospital and accompanied Master Cheng Yen in visiting the poor. They bathed/chatted with the elderly, and cleaned/repaired the homes of the needy. Therefore, they could be referred to as the forerunners of the Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association. Finally, on May 31, 1992, the Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association was officially established in Taiwan. Today, TC groups are established by college students on campuses all over the world, including: Canada, USA, Argentina, Australia, South Africa, Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, the Philippines, etc.

North American TC. In 1994, after participating in Tzu Chi camps in Taiwan, many foreign college students in different countries began to establish TC groups in their local areas. As TCs in other regions of the continent are rapidly carrying out and expanding Tzu Chi’s missions, TC groups in the North America also continued to develop and grow. In order to create a centralizing structure that would link and support TC college groups across North America, in July, of 1998, TC officers from different states went to Taiwan to attend TC officer training camp, Still Thoughts Camp, and Volunteer Camp. After participating in the camps together, the officers held three conferences to establish a North America TC Team. The purpose was to form a unifying structure to link all the scattered chapters to ensure TC growth and quality; and to provide guidelines, information, and motivations for campus TC chapters. From September 4th through 7th of 1998, the North America TC Team held its first US conference in San Jose, CA, during which resolutions concerning the North America TC Constitution, the national web page, the translation team, and various other national projects were approved. The meeting officially established and started the North America TC Team.

For more information, please visit www.ustzuching.org