SINT MAARTEN (CUL DE SAC) - The St. Maarten Tzu Chi Foundation on Friday teamed up with students from St. Dominic High’s International Baccalaureate (IB) program to help spread awareness about the environment and to help raise funds for disaster survivors in Africa.
The group of students made a presentation about the effects of global warming on the environment and what can be done to help reduce one’s global footprint to a group of senior citizens at the Home Away from Home Taking Care of the Elderly Foundation.
The seniors were also given information about how little things such as conserving water and reducing their meat intake can help the environment. The senior citizen listened keenly to the event and were happy to learn about this important global topic.
The IB students first made the well-received presentation during Tzu Chi’s2019 Gratitude and Blessing Ceremony held at the Philipsburg Cultural and Community Center on Sunday, March 10, 2019.
Tzu Chi also used the opportunity to raise funds for Africa by giving seniors an opportunity to deposit donations into its bamboo banks (collection boxes). A total of US$129.88 was raised. The foundation left one of its “bamboo banks” at the location so that the seniors can continue to make donations for the cause.
The funds raised is for a project to help build shelters made of bricks for the survivors of the deadly cyclone Idai - a category 4 storm that brought weeks of rain and flooding to the poorest countries of Africa from March 4 to 21, 2019. Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Malawi were hit particularly hard and about 765 persons died, hundreds missing, millions left homeless without food and water. The public can also contribute to the cause by placing their donations on Tzu Chi’s relief account at Windward Islands Bank at WIB #21932201.
At the end of the event, Home Away From Home Taking Care of the Elderly Foundation official Patricia Flanders said she had been inspired by the event and particularly liked the fact that everyone had a chance to pray together. She believes that praying for others is something that the world needs more of. She commended Tzu Chi for its efforts in St. Maarten after hurricane Irma and said she can imagine how much more assistance Tzu Chi does abroad.
One senior citizen, who attended the session urged Tzu Chi to leave one of its bamboo banks on location so that seniors can give what the can afford to help others. He then went on to make a personal donation to the cause.
“Sometimes you don’t think about what’s happening around you and what the effects are. We are now more conscious to do to help save the environment. Thank you very much,” another senior said.
A total of 11 volunteers participated in the event, including the IB students.
Tzu Chi Commissioner Sandra Cheung thanked the IB students for sharing the positive information to the seniors; the elderly for being receptive to the information shared; all volunteers for their participation and the Home Away from Home Taking Care of the Elderly Foundation for graciously accommodating Tzu Chi.