Tzu Chi to Distribute 45,000 Gift and Cash Cards to Refugees from Ukraine
In response to the humanitarian disaster due to the war in Ukraine, Buddhist Tzu Chi Foundation will distribute 45,000 gift and cash cards to refugees displaced by the conflict. Tzu Chi’s humanitarian response in Ukraine and surrounding countries includes direct financial aid, relief materials, and emotional care to refugees in Poland as well as medical assistance, protection for women and children, psychosocial assistance, food shipments, and other types of aid for refugees and displaced people in Poland, Romania, Moldova, and Ukraine. To increase the reach and breadth of its assistance, Tzu Chi has entered partnerships and collaboration agreements with UNICEF, IsraAid, the Camillian Disaster Service International Foundation, and the Polish Women Can Foundation.
In Poland, a country that has received over three million refugees since the start of hostilities on February 24, 2022, Tzu Chi volunteers are on the ground in the cities of Warsaw, Lublin, and Poznan, distributing supermarket gift cards, eco-blankets, and other relief materials. As of May 21, 2022, over 8,000 individuals had already received gift cards for the supermarket chain Biedronka at a value of 2,000 PLN per person, and in the coming months, Tzu Chi is planning to distribute a further nearly 37,000 cards. At a distribution on May 6, 2022 in Warsaw, one recipient said, “My husband and I have eight children. When I heard that cards would be given to each family member, I cried from joy. With this card, we’ll have a food supply for our family for half a year or more.”
Through its partnership with the Camillian Disaster Service International Foundation (CADIS), Tzu Chi will assist in providing long-term housing and psychosocial support for refugee women and children in Poland, as well as food and other relief goods for 30,000 internally displaced persons inside of Ukraine.
At the signing of the collaboration agreement with Tzu Chi, Father Aristelo Miranda, Executive Director of CADIS, said, “We have shared values. Tzu Chi works on compassion and charity. For us Camillians, these are our primary values too, compassion and charity.” Buddhist Tzu Chi Charity Foundation CEO Po-Wen Yen added, “With our common mission to serve humanity and inspire others, we trust this interfaith partnership will assist the refugees both in material needs and emotional support. One’s strength may be small, but together, we can move mountains.”