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Milestones of Tzu Chi Singapore

Relentlessly serving for a good cause


  • 1987

    Tzu Chi volunteer Liu Jing Lian, who hailed from Taiwan, relocated to Singapore with her husband. She started Tzu Chi’s charity work locally by recruiting donors and volunteers. This pioneering team began providing aid to needy households and making care visits to nursing and children’s homes. They also travelled to Tzu Chi’s headquarters in Taiwan, where they sought the directions of Master Cheng Yen and delved into the Tzu Chi spirit.

    sgmilestones 1987
  • 1993

    On 20 September 1993, Tzu Chi was officially registered with the Singapore Registry of Societies. At that time, it still lacked its own venue. The abbess of Pao Kwan Foh Tang (a local Buddhist temple), Venerable Hui Qi, generously allowed Tzu Chi to conduct its activities at the temple’s premises. A disciple of Venerable Master Yin Shun, just like Master Cheng Yen, Venerable Hui Qi was highly supportive of Tzu Chi.

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  • 1993

    Tzu Chi organised fund-raising seminars and assisted in the establishment of the Singapore Bone Marrow Donor Programme (BMDP). From 1994 to 2007, Tzu Chi and BMDP co-organised several seminars and blood test activities to promote and advocate for the cause. In 2022, Tzu Chi and BMDP resumed their collaboration.

  • 1996

    In July 1996, the Tzu Chi Cultural Centre (Singapore) was established. The Centre assisted in various tasks such as translating publications from Tzu Chi Taiwan into simplified Chinese or English and the setting up of a website. For several years, it took part in the annual book fair, promoting Tzu Chi’s publications to a wider audience.

    sgmilestones 1996
  • 1998

    In August 1998, Tzu Chi was officially named “Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation (Singapore Branch)”; relocating to Chinatown later in the year. Its new home was a historical landmark that used to house a popular Chinese opera theatre. Besides providing care and aid to needy and elderly residents in Chinatown, it also started offering financial assistance for AIDS medication and kidney dialysis to needy patients.

    sgmilestones 1998
  • 1999

    Tzu Chi set up its first community Eco Point in Jurong East and invited residents to join in the sorting of recyclables at the HDB void decks every month. Today, the Eco Points located in more than 30 communities across the island have become a venue for many organisations to visit and learn from Tzu Chi's environmental philosophy.

    sgmilestones 1999
  • 2003

    During the SARS epidemic, Tzu Chi volunteers in Singapore visited the homes of aid beneficiaries to distribute SARS prevention kits and help the physically challenged take their body temperature. They also provided the latter with vegetarian meals and encouraged people to go on a vegetarian fast. Subsequently, the volunteers started sharing the health and environmental benefits of a plant-based diet at all major events held by the organisation.

    sgmilestones 2003 1
  • 2003

    To help resolve the shortage of blood stocks in Singapore during the SARS epidemic, Tzu Chi collaborated with the Singapore Red Cross for the first time in organising a blood donation drive. Since then, blood donation drives have become a perennial activity in Tzu Chi. For several consecutive years, the Foundation received the Blood Mobile Organiser Gold Award.

    sgmilestones 2003 2 SG20030920MEA ZSD 011
  • 2004

    Officially inaugurated by the then Minister for Health, Mr. Khaw Boon Wan, Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Singapore) was first established in Chinatown. The Free Clinic, which marked a historic milestone for Tzu Chi’s Mission of Medicine, primarily served the needy elderly in the community and the Foundation’s long-term aid beneficiaries.

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  • 2005

    After three years of construction, the Jing Si Hall in Pasir Ris was finally inaugurated. This beautiful landmark is the main venue where Tzu Chi volunteers carry out activities to reach out to the wider community. In the same year, the island-wide network of volunteers were regrouped according to their residential zones and neighbourhoods, with the hope of promoting “kampung spirit” (good neighbourliness) in the community.

    sgmilestones 2005
  • 2005

    Tzu Chi University Continuing Education Centre (Singapore) was officially opened. This is Tzu Chi University's fourth continuing education centre outside of Taiwan, providing locals with a place for lifelong learning and spiritual enrichment.

    sgmilestones 2005 2 SG20051104OTA CWH 020
  • 2005

    As the number of kidney patients increased dramatically, Tzu Chi found that those who applied for long-term dialysis subsidies could not pay for the expenses while waiting for approval during the first two to three months.

    In April 2005, Tzu Chi coordinated with hospitals and non-profit dialysis centres to launch the interim dialysis assistance scheme to subsidise the cost of dialysis during the transitional period.

    Subsequently, Tzu Chi also provided transportation allowance for renal patients with mobility problems who could not afford to travel to and from the dialysis centres.

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  • 2008

    With the support of the Health Ministry and grassroots organisations, the Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Singapore) was relocated from its Chinatown premises to Redhill. A relocation and opening ceremony was held in November 2008 to mark the occasion.

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  • 2009

    Tzu Chi Singapore launched the “Seeds of Hope Financial Assistance Scheme”, which provided transport and meal allowances for needy students affected by the global financial crisis.

    sgmilestones 2009 SG20111217CHA CCS 094
  • 2010

    Tzu Chi’s first overseas health screening centre, the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening Centre opened its doors. Renamed the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening and Medical Clinic on 7 November 2011, it expanded its services to include eye screening, dental and family medicine services, with resident doctors to better serve the health needs of the populace.

    sgmilestones 2010 SG20100821 MEA WSX 023
  • 2011

    Tzu Chi Free Clinic (Singapore) expanded its Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) arm in November 2011 to include a full-day clinic from Monday to Friday. The TCM clinic is open to all, regardless of religion or race, and offers free general medicine and acupuncture services.

    In October 2022, the TCM arm was renamed Buddhist Tzu Chi TCM Free Clinic (Redhill).

    sgmilestones 2011
  • 2014

    Situated in the Chong Pang precinct of Yishun, Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool opened its doors in April 2014 to students, offering holistic childcare services with an emphasis on character development and the teaching of life skills.

    sgmilestones 2014 SG20140619 EDA WSZ 102
  • 2014

    In August 2014, in order to further promote environmental education, Tzu Chi set up the Eco-Awareness Centre in Woodlands Industrial Estate. The centre, which operated six days a week, comprised an educational exhibition area and a recyclables sorting area.

    sgmilestones 2014
  • 2014

    Tzu Chi found that the demand for home care services was increasing, and launched the "Tzu Chi Home Care Services" programme.

    The programme provided free home care services, including medical, nursing and rehabilitation services to poor and sick residents in the western region through referrals from the Agency of Integrated Care (AIC).

    sgmilestones 2014
  • 2016

    With the increasing demand for home palliative care services, Tzu Chi established the "Palliative Care Services" programme and formally became a member of the Singapore Hospice Council. Tzu Chi’s palliative care team serves referrals from hospitals for residents in the western region of Singapore.

    sgmilestones 2016
  • 2016

    The Tzu Chi Da Ai Gallery was inaugurated on May 11, 2016, marking a new milestone in Tzu Chi's humanistic culture mission. The gallery showcased Tzu Chi's local and international work, highlighting the spirit of love.

    In October 2021, the gallery ended its operations.

    sgmilestones 2016
  • 2016

    In November 2016, Tzu Chi collaborated with JurongHealth to manage the Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic.

    The clinic provided outpatient services five and a half days a week, with a focus on prevention, treatment and care of chronic illnesses, as well as health check-ups, interpretation of reports, nutritional counselling, medical consultations, and dispensing of medication.

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  • 2017

    The GP outpatient services formerly provided by the Tzu Chi Free Health Screening and Medical Clinic were relocated to Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic. The vacated space was then refurbished into the Tzu Chi Day Rehabilitation Centre, which started operating in April 2017, to better serve the needs of an aging population.

    sgmilestones 2017 2 SG20170720 MEA ZMZ 002
  • 2017

    Located in a beautiful colonial house surrounded by lush greenery along Queen’s Avenue in Sembawang, the Tzu Chi Great Love Student Care Centre, which lies adjacent to the Da Ai Gallery, started operating in January 2017.

    In November 2021, the centre ended its operations.

    sgmilestones 2017 1 SG20171017 EDA ZMZ 035
  • 2019

    In line with the government's policy to promote active ageing and preventive medicine, Tzu Chi launched the Seniors Engagement & Enabling Nodes (SEEN) in Bukit Batok and Pioneer in September.

    The centres serve nearly 1,000 seniors in the neighbouring communities through various cultural and medical activities and facilities.

    sgmilestones 2019
  • 2019

    The government also promotes preventive healthcare through TCM. In September 2019, Tzu Chi set up the Buddhist Tzu Chi TCM Free Clinic (Khatib), providing general medicine, acupuncture, moxibustion, cupping and other services and treatments for free.

    sgmilestones 2019
  • 2019

    In order to encourage the younger generation to do their part for society and spread the cycle of love, Tzu Chi established the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre in Yishun in November 2019.

    The centre promotes the five values of "gratitude, respect, commitment, courage and resilience" and is run based on its Five-Pillar Approach. This would encompass Arts & Culture, Eco Awareness, Volunteerism, Young Parenting, and Youth Wellness.

    sgmilestones 2019
  • 2020

    In February 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic in Singapore was so severe that Tzu Chi decided to set up an "epidemic relief committee". A three-year physical and mental health care programme for various parties including Tzu Chi volunteers, care recipients, migrant workers, renal patients and frontline workers was also launched.

    In recognition of Tzu Chi’s contribution to Singapore’s battle against the COVID-19 pandemic, the Prime Minister’s Office Singapore (PMO) announced in December 2022 that the Foundation would be awarded the President’s Certificate of Commendation (COVID-19).

    sgmilestones 2020
  • 2020

    In July 2020, the second Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool was opened at the Toa Payoh West Community Club for children aged 18 months to six years old.

    In June 2023, Tzu Chi took over the Whole Child Nurture Centre, where it became the third branch of Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool.  

    sgmilestones 2020
  • 2023

    Tzu Chi is an advocate of the "Sustainable Living" pillar of the Singapore Green Plan 2030. Aligned with this pillar, Tzu Chi launched the Glow On Gallery at the Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre in July 2023.

    Through the three aspects of environmental, social and economic sustainability, the gallery shares with visitors Tzu Chi's local and international charity work, as well as its values.

    sgmilestones 2023