Tzu Chi Foundation administered an English and Mandarin Training Program in Bohol that was designed to give job opportunities to the Boholanos especially those who want to work abroad. This program is added to help Boholanos work in lucrative industries.

In Bohol, with a pioneer batch of 14 students, the English and Mandarin Training was formally opened on November 9, 2020. This training program aims to teach students in the different Tzu Chi culture, learn the English and Mandarin language for them to use in effective communication, and with other lessons under the program.

Classes are held for three hours every Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays in Tzu Chi Activity Hall. Students will be given monthly allowances based on their attendance. Serving as the instructors are brothers Ericson Go Giap 施誠宥 and Chris Chen 陳其毅 (Tzu Chi active volunteers) who teach the students in Mandarin, and Arlene Pelayo, volunteer-staff who also teaches them English and cultures of Tzu Chi.

Chris Chen 陳其毅 is a Taiwanese, a businessman, who also became an active volunteer of Tzu Chi Foundation encouraged himself to be their teacher to impart his learning to the students. In fact, being a teacher is one of his childhood dreams.

“At first, Uncle Joven asked me to teach them some Chinese and Mandarin, and soon they will be sent to Taiwan to work there. After 5 months of teaching them, I enjoy it and it let me think about when I was young being a teacher is also my wish. Now it’s my first time to be a teacher and I enjoyed that!” Teacher Chris joyfully mentioned. Every Wednesday, he spares time to teach the students the basics in Mandarin.

“In the first lesson, I taught them to count 1 to 10 in Mandarin. After that they were able to speak their age in Mandarin, and can speak their phone number as well. We also talk about other lessons. Until now we just finished our lessons and tests, and I think the majority look like they can listen well.” he added.

According to him, teaching Mandarin is a good plan or program in the Tzu Chi Foundation. Through this, students would be able to communicate effectively in Mandarin and able to comprehend the words being said.

Meanwhile, Brother Ericson Go Giap 施誠宥 also delivered his Mandarin lessons through online classes.

Volunteer-staff Arlene Pelayo, a licensed professional teacher, who is working for 4 years in the foundation also teaches the trainees.

“I am teaching them more about Tzu Chi Foundation, Tzu Chi Etiquettes, and its four missions. Also teaching them English grammar that they can use for their future interviews.” ma’am Arlene said who also prepared PowerPoint and Video Presentations during the teaching-learning process.

Among the pioneer batch who was inspired to join the training is Mary Irish Amizola, from Tubigon, Bohol.

“My dream to be a doctor encourages me to join the training since I am not born with a silver-spoon in my mouth and achieving that dream was kind of impossible for me but the moment I heard of this opportunity, I grabbed it immediately because being a care assistant is not far like being a doctor,” Irish said as she wants to help other people.

“In this training, I learned a lot from the doings of Tzu Chi and also learned that silent mentors really exist and I have a big respect for them because they also help the doctor practice their profession, also help other people cure and save their lives.” She added as she has lots of fun learning Mandarin.

“Thank you Dharma Master Cheng Yen for giving us this foundation which helps everyone without naming the race, society status, and also want to thank Tzu Chi Foundation for inspiring the youngsters and having selfless love, and helping other people without expecting any return.” Irish said gladly.

Wardell Bolos, a 19 year-old from Dauis, Bohol is also a recipient of the program. He has no idea about this kind of training, but his friend encouraged him to join since it can benefit a lot and can help other people. Upon knowing it, he decided and was encouraged to join the training. Aside from Mandarin, he learned how generous Tzu Chi Foundation is, in which he can apply in his daily lives.

“I offer my sincere thanks to Dharma Master Chen Yen, because of her, many people received assistance during this pandemic crisis. I also give thanks to our trainers Ericson laoshi, Chris laoshi, and ma’am Arlene for teaching us the Tzu Chi culture, as well as speaking English and Mandarin.” Wardell seriously said as he is very thankful for giving him the chance to be part of the training and able to apply the learning he gained from Master’s Talk.

“Well, the one that encouraged me to join the training is my grandfather who suffered from a stroke for 7 years. I can share my love and passion in caring for older people who need care because as Filipino, I know that Filipinos are very family oriented and I am also close to my grandparents and I care for the older ones who need a lot of care,” said Christine Joy Alonzo, one of the trainees from Tubigon, Bohol.

Trainees are also given the chance to attend the monthly humanity classes together with the scholars. Through this, they would be able to learn about the Dharma and the teachings of Master Cheng Yen. This also became their bridge to know the value and significance of promoting vegetarian lifestyle.

“I was surprised when I first attended the humanity class. I found out that Tzu Chi Foundation is really great because they help a lot of people and I was so glad that I became part of it. Thank you to Dharma Master Cheng Yen who gave us the opportunity to study Mandarin. May you continue to help other people and share the love that you have for everyone.” she thankfully stated.

Trainees will undergo a series of training and assessments for English and Mandarin in Bohol. Certainly, this would give them an opportunity to achieve their dreams in life. Aside from helping their families out of poverty, they may be able to help others by extending their hands and opening their hearts.