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Institutional Visit

Embracing the mentally challenged with comforting love

In the early days of Buddhist Compassion Relief Tzu-Chi Foundation (Singapore), there were not many cases of poverty. The Foundation thus began to actively recruit volunteers to make regular visits to care institutions, to offer compassionate care to the marginalised groups in society. To date, Tzu Chi has served 17 institutions, including mental health nursing homes, nursing homes for the elderly, hospitals, prisons, etc. In particular, our partnership with “Sunlove Home” lasted for as long as 18 years.

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Leveraging on the power of teamwork, our volunteers work together with love to provide care for the homes’ residents. Services provided by volunteers include cleaning, feeding, giving haircuts, spiritual care, conducting group activities, and holding celebrations during festive occasions, which bring much cheer to the residents. Their many years of selfless efforts have garnered recognition from the institutions as well as the government.

Institute of Mental Health

Situated in the Hougang area, the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) offers a comprehensive range of psychiatric, rehabilitative, and counselling services. In 2003, IMH invited members of the public aged above 16 years to serve as volunteers in the Institution. It hopes that by personally engaging the public, it would help to dispel some of the commonly held myths and stigmas about mental illness.

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In November of the same year, Tzu Chi volunteers began to conduct monthly visits to the IMH residents in Block 6, hoping to bring cheer and comfort to the latter through their loving company and support. After learning of the shortage of haircut services at the IMH, Tzu Chi began mobilizing volunteers skilled in haircutting to give the much-needed haircuts to the residents. The volunteers served each resident patiently and lovingly, even taking care to ensure that the haircuts suited their profiles. Presently, volunteers visit the IMH on every fourth Sunday of the month to provide care and free haircuts to the residents. The number of residents they serve has surged from 20 plus to 100 plus persons.

In 2013, our volunteers held the first Buddha bathing ceremony at the IMH. The hospital was pleasantly surprised to find the residents much calmer after the Buddhist ritual, and requested the volunteers to conduct a monthly spiritual class for Buddhist residents. During the class, videos on Buddhist stories are shown and participants were guided to share their learning experiences.

Date: Every 4th Sunday of the month
Time: 1.30pm – 4.30pm
Open to: All Tzu Chi volunteers and members of the public

NB: Transport is provided - please meet at the Jing Si Hall (Google Map) at 12.15pm.

Pre-registration is not required.

HCA Day Hospice Centre

Located within the compounds of Tan Tock Seng Hospital (TTSH), HCA Day Hospice Centre is a charity organisation co-funded by the Ministry of Health (MOH) and the National Council of Social Service (NCSS). The Hospice Centre provides nursing care for terminally ill patients, aged as young as 26 to 85 years.

Since September of 2000, Tzu Chi volunteers have been making regular care visits to the Hospice Centre, bringing much warmth and cheer to the patients. They hold group activities, Cantonese opera performances, give free haircuts, etc., with the hope of providing respite and comfort to the sick in the final lap of their lives.

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During the monthly gatherings, volunteers share with patients inspiring Jing Si Aphorisms and songs of love and kindness, giving them emotional support to help them develop a positive mindset and soothe their troubled hearts. Many of the patients take in these messages of love and forgiveness, and are thus able to open up their hearts. Such simple spiritual exchanges bring blessings and encouragement to the patients, giving them peace of mind during their final journey in life.

Date: Every 3rd Monday of the month
Time: 1.30pm – 3pm
Open to: All Tzu Chi volunteers and members of the public

NB: Please meet at the HCA Day Hospice Centre (Block A #03-01 @Kwong Wai Shiu Hospital; Google Map) at 12.50pm. Pre-registration is not required.

SASCO Senior Citizens’ Home

“Evergreen Place”, a sheltered home for needy elderly residents, is managed by SASCO Senior Citizens’ Home. Since June of 2016, members of the Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association began to make monthly visits to the Home to offer care and support to the elderly residents. During the Chinese New Year period, this group of young people would organise and hold a festive celebration at the Home, allowing the elderly residents to experience heartwarming festive joy. Their youthful energy and enthusiasm touch the hearts of the senior citizens, and they have established a close rapport with the latter, whom they affectionately regard as their grandparents.

Date: Every 4th Sunday of the month (Except Feb & Mar 2019: 17Feb, 24Mar)
Time: 2pm – 4pm
Open to: All members of the Tzu Chi Collegiate Youth Association and tertiary students


Singapore Prison Service

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In 2009, apart from providing medicine subsidies to inmates suffering from AIDS/HIV, Tzu Chi further established a partnership with the Singapore Prison Service, to provide regular spiritual counselling and care for inmates. During each of the two-hour visits, Tzu Chi volunteers share with the inmates Jing Si Aphorisms and real life video stories to inspire introspection, with the hope of leading the latter towards a path of righteous living. In 2013, Tzu Chi further accepted the request of Singapore Prison Service, to expand its care services by providing AIDS prevention counselling to inmates who are about to complete their incarceration.

Open to: Tzu Chi’s certified volunteers only
NB: Volunteers must pass an evaluation by the Singapore Prison Service and receive relevant training.

Cluster A
Date: Every 1st Wednesday of the month
Time: 2pm – 4pm

Cluster B
Date: Every 3rd Wednesday of the month
Time: 9.30am – 11.30am, 2pm – 4pm

Changi Women’s Prison
Date: Every 2nd Wednesday of the month
Time: 2pm – 4pm

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