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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 spirit of Tzu Chi.

    sgmilestones 1987
  • 1993

    On 20th 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 is highly supportive of Tzu Chi.

    sgmilestones 1993
  • 1996

    As Tzu Chi Taiwan marked its 30th anniversary in 1996, it strove to deepen its Mission of “Culture”. In July of the same year, the Tzu Chi Cultural Centre (Singapore) was established. The Centre assisted in translating publications from Tzu Chi Taiwan into Simplified Chinese or English, set up a website, etc. For several years, it took part in the annual book fair, to promote 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)”; it was relocated 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 medications and kidney dialysis to needy patients.

    sgmilestones 1998
  • 1999

    On 4th September 1999, the Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) in Singapore was established. Besides running a free clinic and health screening events, it also recruited many medical professionals to participate in Tzu Chi’s medical relief missions overseas. These free clinics, which were held in Indonesia, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, etc., had benefited thousands of impoverished patients.

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  • 1999

    Tzu Chi Singapore, in a show of solidarity and support for the victims of Turkey’s deadly earthquake as well as Taiwan’s 921 Earthquake, successfully applied for a license to hold street fundraisers for Tzu Chi Taiwan’s earthquake relief efforts. On 6th November, Tzu Chi volunteers took to the streets to fundraise for the quake victims. The organisation was Singapore’s first charity group that held street fundraisers for disaster relief work overseas.

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  • 2003

    During the SARS epidemic, Tzu Chi volunteers in Singapore visited the homes of aid beneficiaries, to distribute SARS prevention kits and to 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.

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  • 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

    The Jing Si Books & Café was officially opened, providing a quiet and tranquil reading space right in the heart of Chinatown. Visitors basked in the beauty of Tzu Chi’s humanistic culture as they entered the bookstore. The store ceased operation after its venue was returned to its owner in 2007. It reopened in 2016 along Sims Avenue.

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  • 2004

    Tzu Chi Singapore established its first Free Clinic in Chinatown, which was officially inaugurated by the then Minister for Health, Mr. Khaw Boon Wan. 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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  • 2004

    In the devastating aftermath of the South Asian Tsunami, Tzu Chi Taiwan started its relief efforts in some of the affected countries, including Sri Lanka. The first wave of Tzu Chi’s disaster and medical relief in Sri Lanka involved the participation of two TIMA members from Singapore. Subsequently, Singapore volunteers joined different Tzu Chi teams in their relief and rebuilding efforts at the hard hit town of Hambantota in the country.

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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.

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  • 2005

    Singapore’s Tzu Chi University Continuing Education Centre was inaugurated. It is Tzu Chi’s fourth Continuing Education Centre outside Taiwan and offers a variety of courses aimed at promoting lifelong learning as well as humanistic values.

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  • 2008

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

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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.

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  • 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 7th 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 Singapore held its first outdoor Buddha Bathing Ceremony, which included an interfaith prayer segment involving religious leaders from nine different faiths to pray for world peace. The event also commemorated Mother’s Day and Tzu Chi Day.

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  • 2013

    In conjunction with Tzu Chi Singapore’s 20th anniversary, volunteers held book clubs based on the Buddhist classic, Compassionate Samadhi Water Repentance, as well as sign language practices to prepare for four sessions of the “Dharma as Water” stage adaptation. Some 15,500 people attended the stage adaptation, where they basked in Dharma joy.

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  • 2014

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

    sgmilestones 2014 SG20140619 EDA WSZ 102
  • 2016

    Tzu Chi Singapore’s Mission of Humanistic Culture achieved new milestones with the inauguration of the first Da Ai Gallery in the world in May 2016 and the opening of Jing Si Books and Café along Sims Avenue.

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  • 2016

    Tzu Chi Singapore collaborated with JurongHealth to manage Lakeside Family Medicine Clinic in November 2016.

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  • 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.

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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.

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