Tuesday March 3rd, 2020
February is the month of love, Grade 7 students from Tzu Chi Secondary School poured their love, sympathy, and prayers through digital and hand drawn posters to persuade people to donate for people in Wuhan. Of the many posters made, selected posters were displayed on our school’s social media. One of the Grade 7 students whose poster was published was Hillary Lim, a Grade 7 Compassion student at Tzu Chi Secondary School.
Hillary was with her father and grandmother when she first heard about the corona virus in Wuhan. The news triggered panic for Hillary and her family since Hillary's mother is living in Henan province, China, about 5 hours away from Wuhan.
Hillary regularly communicates with her mother, "We are very worried, especially my grandmother, now my mother said she just stays at home and doesn’t want to go anywhere."
Having to live apart from her mother, Hillary often celebrates Chinese New Year with her mother through video calls. This year's Chinese New Year certainly leaves her longing for mother more, accompanied by worries about her mother's safety. "As usual, this year we spoke on the video call, my mother and the rest of my family there continue to convince us that they are fine. I am glad."
For Hillary, the corona virus that has been affecting the world causes her to fear and worry, even though Indonesia is yet to confirm any cases, but the people closest to her have a high risk of being infected. Despite this, Hillary is still trying to be optimistic, "I can only rely on the Chinese government, I think they have tried their best to prevent this virus from growing bigger," she said.
When asked by her teacher to create a poster for donations, Hillary's immediately thought about her mother, and people who were infected with the coronavirus. She even asked for extra time to finish the poster, because she wanted to perfect her Chinese writing to be included in the poster, so that it could be read and understood by people in China. She really wants to give the best, so that her work can move the hearts of others to donate.
"The first thing I thought of when asked to make a poster, I immediately thought of the people in Wuhan, their feelings, their fears. I try to pour emotions that they might feel into my poster," said Hillary.
Another poster published in the school’s social media belongs to Sebastian Rafael Liu, Grade 7 Respect student. Sebastian expressed his sadness, when he heard that Wuhan had to be isolated, "I read the news when Wuhan was locked down. It was saddening to hear, especially when I heard families are separated. The child at home, the mother at the hospital."
Sebastian also used Jing Si Aphorism on his poster, 'Even the hardest perseverance and courage of the path can be smooth'; intended for patients infected with the corona virus and affected families to stay motivated and going forward to try to get through this ordeal.
Both Sebastian and Hillary hope the posters they made could increase public awareness of how serious the corona virus outbreak was. "I want those who see the poster to know, although many have recovered, but the death rate caused by this virus is not small either. Our donation might be a little, but little things make the big things,” Sebastian continued.
He also reminded how Tzu Chi was once a small organisation coming from cents of donation, which have grown into a grand organisation like it is now. Likewise, Hillary added, “When we donate, the most important thing is our heart and willingness to help, it doesn’t need to be much, the heart to give is the important part.”
Praying and fundraising
Aside from making posters, Tzu Chi School also held a communal prayer and fundraising ceremony for Wuhan on 14 February 2020.
By reciting 'Doa Cinta dan Damai' together, the students' hope for patients affected by the corona virus to improve quickly. "At school we also continue to remind children to live a vegetarian life, and to pray sincerely so that the outbreak is quickly over," said Chen Pei Wen, Tzu Chi School’s Ren Wen teacher.
The fundraising ceremony and the posters made by students is highly appreciated by Ms Wan Yanlin, Head of Chinese Language Department at Tzu Chi Secondary School. Ms Wan who has been teaching since 2017, is very familiar with charitable events held by the school and by the foundation. “Since I came to Tzu Chi School, our school has held many charity activities, but I never thought that one day the school would arrange a fundraising event for my country.”
She added that she will post those posters on her WeChat Moments, for her friends and families in China to see. “I want to tell my Chinese friends that they are not alone, many people across the world are standing together and fighting against the virus. Thank you students and teachers, thank you Tzu Chi!”