Great Love Mothers
Nurturing the Crystal Clear Heart of a Child
“Love the children of others with the love of a mother, and love our own children with the love of a Bodhisattva.” Holding fast to this simple tenet from Master Cheng Yen, a group of mothers who had their hearts set on accompanying school children on their journey of growth, established Tzu Chi Singapore’s Great Love Mothers team in September 2007. Most of the team members were housewives, freelancers, with retired fathers joining later.
Primary schools in Singapore hold weekly classes on Character and Citizenship Education. Hence, the Great Love Mothers make use of this period to conduct a character building programme in primary schools, including Mee Toh School (since 2008), Maha Bodhi School (since 2008), and Ai Tong School (from 2009 to 2011). The lessons are designed to inculcate the teachings of Jing Si Aphorisms and Tzu Chi’s humanistic values in students.
The heart of a child is very pure and simple, and the Great Love Mothers hope to gradually sow the seeds of goodness in the hearts of children. Through presenting stories, videos, sign language songs, skits, etc. and the sharing of Jing Si Aphorisms, these parent volunteers are able to captivate the attention of students in class. They hope that such positive influences will help the young develop good moral characters.
The Great Love Mothers’ tireless efforts have won the approval of the schools, and the several years of weekly half-hour lessons have impacted the lives of close to 10,000 students in the three schools.
Many of the Great Love Mothers and Fathers have witnessed the positive effects of teaching Jing Si Aphorisms on children’s character development and how their own children benefited from Tzu Chi’s Parent-Child Bonding Class and/or Teenagers’ Class. Hence, they hope to extend their love to other kids. A number of the parent volunteers started without any professional knowledge, and only learned how to use a computer, act, host, perform sign language songs, make props, etc. through the process of volunteering.
The team of volunteers gather every Monday in the Jing Si Hall for fellowship and for meetings and rehearsals. Their activities include sharing of videos and Jing Si Aphorisms, sign language and song practice, skit practice, etc. In addition, training sessions are held during the school holidays with the aim of strengthening and deepening the volunteers’ knowledge of Tzu Chi’s Missions and Jing Si Aphorisms. The team also conducts in-depth discussions on how to make use of Jing Si Aphorisms to guide the students in class, thereby improving on the programme they offer to the schools.
Volunteer with Us
1) Weekly meetings
Date: Every Monday
Time: 9.30am – 12.30pm
Venue: Jing Si Hall
2) School visits
Mee Toh School
Date: Every Wednesday
Time: 10am – 11.30am
Meeting place and time: Mee Toh School Hall, 9.30am
Maha Bodhi School
Date: Every Friday
Time: 11.45am – 12.45pm
Meeting place and time: Maha Bodhi School Hall, 11am
With a rise in mental health issues among the youth in recent years, art therapy has emerged as one of the more popular activities in tackling this growing societal problem. To enhance the social-emotional well-being and social skills of primary school students, Tzu Chi Humanistic Youth Centre (HYC) launched an after-school programme titled “Kidz Hideout” in early 2022, including art therapy as one of its key activities.
Tzu Chi Great Love PreSchool (Yishun) places great emphasis on children’s character development and organises the Parents Appreciation Day event every year. At the home of six-year-old Li Junyi, not only did he involve three generations of his family members in the Parents Appreciation Day ceremony this year, he even included his preschool teacher and his domestic helper, who has been taking great care of him since he was little.
In recent activities for Parents Appreciation Day in Tzu Chi Great Love Preschool (Yishun), young children learned to bake cookies, make cards, serve tea, and bathe feet. Besides creating a heart-warming interaction between parents and children, it was to guide children to be grateful and express their love bravely.