Tzu Chi shares goodwill with inmates

POSTED: 01/15/13 12:54 PM

St. Maarten – The Tzu Chi Foundation continued its annual tradition of kindness and goodwill by giving New Year’s gifts and sharing joy to 185 inmates from the Pointe Blanche Prison and the Simpson Bay detention facility.

The 85 guards at both facilities were also given gifts.

The foundation, donated the gift bags containing essential items that prisoners can use such as a Jingsi book, toothbrush, soap, juice, water, biscuit and a pair of slippers.

The Buddhist compassion relief organization is built on the principle of sharing joy, love and kindness to others, hence its annual effort to put smiles on the faces of others each year.

In addition to delivering the New Year’s gifts, the foundation’s ten volunteers, who went on the visit, also held a program for the inmates.

Upon arrival at both facilities, the volunteers sang, introduced themselves and with the help of two special volunteers from Canada, the sister and brother-in-law of Tzu Chi Commissioner Sandra Cheung, Wanda and Hai, held stretching, exercise and Kung fu sessions with the inmates.

They also did a sign language session and engaged the inmates in a quiz session in which prisoners who had the correct answers won prizes. Inmates were shown a video from Tzu Chi founder Master Cheng Yen, which explained the principles of the Tzu Chi movement as well as focused on issues such as personality development, prayer and other subjects.

Among the messages left with the inmates were the importance of love, care, forgiveness, taking care of oneself and sharing of one’s wisdom with others as is taught by Master Cheng Yen. “The moment we rest, our eyes close and our minds start dreaming. We have many problems today because people think more than giving action. In Tzu Chi we learn to take action, Master Chen Yen teaches us to just do it,” inmates were told during the visit.

In an effort to teach youngsters the principles of goodwill from young, the foundation enlisted the assistance of youngsters; age’s two to five, from All Children’s Education Foundation (ACE) to help pack the gift bags. The young children were excited to help pack the gift bags, while learning the positive principles.

The foundation thanked Unit Head of the Corrections Penitentiary Institutions Ruthmila Gumbs-Milton and all others from the institutions for accommodating the volunteers each year. They also expressed thanks to the inmates from being open and accommodating during the visit and for participating in the fun activities.


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