By Jia Jing Wu, China Times, Taipei│March 16, 2011
Cerebral palsy patients can’t speak clearly but can sing? The hearing impaired can’t hear music but can dance? This is not a joke! For the past five years Cathay Charity Foundation has sponsored the “Disabled Performing Arts Group” of ADLINK Education Foundation to visit prisons to share their stories. The group comprises of individuals with visual disability, impaired hearing or spine injuries. They have brought laughter and instilled positive energy in the inmates.
Fu Chien, the Chairman of Cathay Charity Foundation, expressed that “This is not only a win-win, but a win-win-win cooperation!”Chien Fu stated that for five years Cathay has been hosting “Delivering Love to Prisons” at Taipei Detention Center, Sindian Drug Abuser Treatment Center, Tao Yuan Reformatory and many other prisons. More than 15,000 inmates have benefited from this program.
“We have a date with the Taichung Women’s Prison every July. They are hoping that the Disabled Performing Arts Group can perform there every July, and it will be like a carnival in the prison,” said Fu Chien. He was moved when he saw handmade albums made after each performance by female inmates for Cathay and ADLINK, as a token of their appreciation.
Last year, the Disabled Performing Arts Group won the group first prize of the “Caring for Life Award” hosted by Dharma Drum Mountain. Min Liu, the group leader, thanked Cathay for its long-term support, which has offered the group many performance opportunities. The honor is jointly shared with Cathay Charity Foundation.
Min Liu states that what makes the group so special is that its members speak from their own experience instead of sermonizing. It truly inspires the inmates when they see that those who have physical disabilities can still be positive and confident. Fu Chien said that the “Delivering Love to Prisons” Project not only provides members a stage where they are admired, but also inspires the inmates. Meanwhile, participating volunteers from Cathay also gain a sense of satisfaction. Some volunteers donate money and others contribute time. Through the process of participation, participants all felt how blessed they are, making the event a win-win-win situation.
Charity projects like “Delivering Love to Prisons” or “One-day Volunteers” look for more participation from the society. The more volunteers participate, the more industry contributes. This maximizes the benefit for the public and the society.