Taiwanese foundation donate EUR 0.5 mln to Ukrainian refugees in Poland

Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu Chi Foundation has donated PLN 2.6 mln (EUR 560,000) in purchase vouchers to Ukrainian refugees residing in the Polish city of Opole.

The foundation began handing out the vouchers on Tuesday. Each of the vouchers is worth PLN 2,000 (EUR 430) and can be exchanged for products at a chain store. The drive’s organisers intend to hand out 1,300 such vouchers in Opole.

Eligible for help are refugees who have found themselves in the direst material condition. Social aid workers of Opole helped the charity identify the people in need.

This is yet another chapter of the Tzu Chi volunteers’ charitable drive. Earlier, the charity donated vouchers worth several million euros to refugees in Warsaw, Lublin, Poznań, Gorzów Wielkopolski and elsewhere. Founded by Taiwanese Buddhist nun Cheng Yen in 1966, the Buddhist Tzu Chi Charity Foundation (Chinese: 佛教慈濟慈善事業基金會) is a Taiwanese international humanitarian and nongovernmental organization whose work revolves around medical aid, disaster relief, and environmental work such as recycling. Operated worldwide by a network of volunteers and employees, it has been awarded a special consultative status at the United Nations Economic and Social Council.

Guided by secularism in its humanitarian work, Tzu Chi integrates Buddhist teachings into its practices for volunteers nonetheless. Cheng Yen is considered to be one of the "Four Heavenly Kings" of Taiwanese Buddhism, and Tzu Chi itself is considered to be one of the "Four Great Mountains", or four major Buddhist organizations of Taiwan along with Fo Guang Shan, Dharma Drum Mountain, and Chung Tai Shan.