Engaged Buddhism: Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation says 386 wells have been constructed in drought-stricken areas of Zimbabwe in 10 years

- through Henry Oudin

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Tzu Chi volunteer Dino Zhu, front left, with community leaders and local residents, breaks ground in a new well in Zimbabwe. Image courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation

The Taiwan-based global charity and humanitarian organization Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation has announced that its relief operations in Zimbabwe have led to the construction of 368 wells in drought-stricken areas across the landlocked country over the past 10 years. last years. The wells have, in the process, benefited more than 750 people with access to clean water, Tzu Chi shared.

Zimbabwe, in southern Africa, is suffering from the twin threats of an economic downturn and prolonged drought, which have combined to create a major food insecurity crisis. According to the United Nations, more than half of Zimbabwe's population of some 15 million lack sufficient food. With a semi-arid climate, the impact of climate change on water resources has led to longer and more frequent droughts, which have been exacerbated by deforestation, overgrazing and poor land management practices.

Volunteer Dino Zhu looks boring as a new well is underway. Image courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation
Residents draw water from one of Tzu Chi's new wells. Image courtesy of the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation

“Access to clean water allows foundation volunteers to share farming and irrigation strategies with locals,” Tzu Chi noted in an announcement seen by BDG. “Through the provision of water resources, individuals can start growing crops and adopting a more sustainable lifestyle. For example, maize is a staple food in Zimbabwe, with a harvest period of about three months. To support local communities, volunteers educate and guide residents through the step-by-step process of planting crops. During the harvest, volunteers help residents sell their crops in the markets.

The wells provided by Tzu Chi are equipped with hand pumps and secured with concrete bases, which helps prevent contamination. Tzu Chi volunteers work with local residents to identify suitable locations for the wells and then carry out the construction work. Working closely with local residents ensures that wells are built in areas where they are most needed and that local communities recognize that they have a stake in the success of these projects.

“Sustainable solutions are key to solving Zimbabwe's water crisis,” Tzu Chi said.

The Tzu Chi Buddhist Compassion Relief Foundation, Republic of China, better known as the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation, was founded in Taiwan in 1966 by Buddhist nun and Dharma teacher Master Cheng Yen. With a focus on "putting compassion into action", the Tzu Chi Buddhist Foundation is a UN-accredited NGO with some 10 million supporters and 432 offices worldwide in 51 countries, undertaking regular activities in the areas of humanitarian aid, medical care, education, and environmental sustainability.

As a global icon of socially engaged Buddhism, Master Cheng Yen expressed his deep belief that everyone is capable of manifesting the same great compassion as the Buddha. She noted that true compassion is not just about feeling sympathy for the suffering of others, but is found in reaching out to relieve suffering through concrete actions.

Master Cheng Yen is popularly known in Taiwan as one of the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Buddhism, the others being: Master Sheng Yen, founder of Dharma Drum Mountain; Master Hsing Yun, founder of Fo Guang Shan; and Master Wei Chueh, founder of Chung Tai Shan. These four global Buddhist orders, known as the "four great mountains", have become one of the most influential Chinese Buddhist organizations in the world.

Founder of Tzu Chi and spiritual leader Master Cheng Yen. At tzuchi.org.tw

Life is filled with pain and suffering, but also with hope and love.

(Dharma Master Cheng Yen)

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Henry Oudin

Henry Oudin is a Buddhist scholar, spiritual adventurer and journalist. He is a passionate seeker of the depths of Buddhist wisdom, and travels regularly to learn more about Buddhism and spiritual cultures. By sharing his knowledge and life experiences on Buddhist News, Henry hopes to inspire others to embrace more spiritual and mindful ways of living.

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