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"Embrace with Love and Hope"

Global COVID-19 infections have exceeded the total number of infections recorded by SARS, MERS, Ebola and H2N2 Swine flu. While vaccines have already been developed and rolled out in phases for some countries, the discovery of COVID-19 virus variants is posing a new threat to global population and prolonging this battle against the pandemic.

Although the pandemic is now under control in Singapore, we are still facing a challenging economic situation. According to a report from the Ministry of Manpower, a total of 26,570 people had been retrenched in 2020, which more than doubles the 10,690 cases recorded in 2019. The rise in unemployment rate has greatly affected the vulnerable community, and its inevitable impact is the mental wellbeing of the society at large, especially the affected families.

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Strengthen our support for the needy community

In 2020, Tzu Chi volunteers had put forth their best efforts to provide care and support for the vulnerable community during the pandemic. In 2021, Tzu Chi will continue to safeguard the needy communities in a timely manner while adhering to preventive measures.

Through the “Embrace with Love and Hope” donation matching programme, every dollar received will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the government and private enterprises. The fund will then be channelled to those in need through Tzu Chi’s charity programmes.

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TIMA’s TCM Team Brought Hope to Bedridden Brain Surgery Patient

In the spirit of reaching out to those who are unable to leave their house to seek medical assistance, Tzu Chi International Medical Association (TIMA) volunteers started conducting medical home visits more than 10 years ago to provide medical treatments for homebound patients.

In 2018, Tzu Chi Singapore received a call from Malaysia to assist a patient who became paralysed due to an unsuccessful brain surgery. Diagnosed with a tumour at the lower part of her brain, the patient went through eight brain surgeries but ended up unfortunately paralysed and bedridden. With no long-term treatment plan from her doctor, her family decided to explore Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as alternative treatments.

Since then, TIMA volunteer Chew Sio Peng and Ng Yian Yian visited the patient at her house every week to provide TCM treatments. Nine months later, the patient finally showed some improvement as she started to show reflex responses in her limbs and being able to get off bed slowly to attempt walking with assistance.

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Online Mentoring Inspires Teaching Dream

Giving not only helps to relieve the plight of the needy, but it helps to improve the wellbeing of the giver too. One example that demonstrates this saying is Chua Yong Le, a Nanyang Technological University student who volunteered to be a mentor under the Mentoring with Love programme in 2020. 

Chua’s childhood aspiration to be a teacher was sparked once again after tutoring a care recipient’s child over a period of four months. To ensure that his mentee improves in her studies from the tutoring sessions, Chua spent a lot of time reviewing the curriculum and grading system of primary school education in order to find the most effective way to motivate his mentee. 

Chua’s effort and dedication in contributing to this programme had not only helped a student from an underprivileged family but also benefitted himself by boosting his confidence in teaching and reaffirming his aspiration to become a teacher in the future. 

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The First Cross Border Medical Evacuation amid Border Closure

On 26 March, Tzu Chi Johor Bahru received a call for help from the son of a Singaporean dialysis patient, who was stranded in Malaysia upon the enforcement of the Movement Control Order. The patient was unable to receive his dialysis treatments for 10 days due to a new policy then, which regulated the provision of medical resources to only COVID-19 patients and Malaysia citizens. 

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Fortunately, Tzu Chi Johor Bahru managed to arrange a dialysis treatment for him the following day at a government hospital by leveraging on their network in the medical field. The assistance did not end there as both Tzu Chi Johor Bahru and Tzu Chi Singapore continued to liaise with respective hospitals and government agencies to arrange for border clearance so that the patient can go home for his immediate treatment upon his arrival in Singapore. 

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Every dollar from you will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the government and philanthropic entrepreneurs.