About The Pacific Islands Region
Pacific Islands Region Office
Tzu Chi’s Pacific Islands Region originally began in 1996 and is based on the island of Oahu in Honolulu. Our small but strong group of volunteers here provide key services that include relief for the homeless and environmental protection.
Hawaii, American Samoa, Saipan, Guam, Micronesia, and Marshall Island
In 1996, a group of doctors and volunteers from Honolulu, HI, founded Tzu Chi USA’s Pacific Islands Region chapter on the island of Oahu. Since the name Oahu means “The Gathering Place,” they could not have chosen a more perfect location for our volunteers who continue to gather to this day for their good work.
Along with our regional office, we established the Tzu Chi Humanities School of Hawaii in 1996. With so much poverty and homelessness in Hawaii, especially in Oahu itself, we saw a great need to help through our relief efforts by opening a free clinic center in 1997 for low-income and uninsured residents there.
We then expanded our efforts in 1998 by opening a branch office in the eastern district of Honolulu. While it is the smallest Tzu Chi USA sub branch, our coverage area there is wide. Our volunteer base is small in this region but we are strong. Because our volunteers are on an island and we provide aid to other Pacific islands, there can be challenges regarding transportation and bringing over medical and other supplies, but we make it possible because of the great need of the people living there.
Poverty in Paradise
While Hawaii might be one of the most beautiful and seemingly happiest places on earth, there is much poverty there and an excessive amount of homeless people in part due to its extremely high cost of living. Many people have various jobs to try to make ends meet but still can barely make it.
It is our privilege as Tzu Chi volunteers to provide relief to these people who often cannot provide for themselves. We help by offering food as well as free medical services to the homeless who would otherwise not be able to see a doctor. We also work with the American Red Cross to help provide shelter for the homeless.
Cleaning Up to Keep Beautiful
When many people think of Hawaii they think of beautiful mountains and beaches and lush vegetation and friendly people. It is all that, but there is an underside that often is hidden from the world. There is the extreme poverty, but there also is the garbage that is left by tourists who vacation there. The once beautiful beaches are often left with litter. Our volunteers work tirelessly to help in the efforts to clean up the beaches and other popular sites to bring back the beauty to this beautiful and harmonious island.
Our volunteers work hand in hand with Hawaiian Civil Defense Forces and as well as with local school students doing environmental good deeds including picking up the trash that was left behind. We collect bottles, plastic cans, aluminum cans as well as other garbage, which we sort through and ensure it all gets recycled in order to keep Hawaii beautiful.
1238 Wilhelmina Rise