Volunteer team members Marcela Isaurralde, Silvia Acosta, and Edith Lombardia have worked tirelessly to bring Prem Rawat’s message of peace to the inmates of Ezeiza prison located thirty miles outside of Buenos Aires, Argentina. The team holds workshops featuring videos of Prem Rawat’s public addresses in Spanish and distributes printed material published by TPRF to inmates. Marcela Isaurralde recently submitted this report updating the progress of the “Peace Education Program” underway in the Ezeiza facility.
The Peace Is Possible Workshop in Unit 31 started in 2006. Mostly out of curiosity, the inmates turned up. As it turned out, many of them attended steadily for weeks, months, and then years!
Five years have passed since then. Now the time has come for many inmates to go back home! Before leaving, they thanked us time and time again for bringing Prem Rawat’s message into the prison. Each one seemed determined to continue listening and learning, and looked forward to sharing Prem Rawat’s words with their family and friends.
Prem Rawat’s message of peace has a very profound impact among the inmates. It is so unusual to hear about peace in this hostile environment, even to experience peace amidst so much grief and despair.
Some learn to speak from the heart, to believe in the heart, and to hold on tightly to the message of peace despite being surrounded by hard feelings of hate and betrayal. It is truly extraordinary for someone who feels wrecked to the bones to be able to attend a workshop on peace and to have a chance to feel the longing of the heart to be happy, to feel peace, to have a life again.
I witness smiles and smile back, feeling the beauty emerge from an atmosphere colored by fear and failure. I see women who have been touched and transformed just by listening to Prem Rawat, feeling the nurturing strength and hope that his words inspire and seeing the possibility of leaving behind the burdens of hate and misfortune.
Even those who are being punished and imprisoned, left to feel shut down and hopeless, can feel their hearts again, so free and trustworthy. There is such gratitude for being able to hear this message of peace. Even those who can hardly write make the effort to send their thanks and appreciation to Prem Rawat in carefully written messages that we send to him.
So many wanted to meet him and hear him speak in person that the inmates of Unit 31 joined together to invite him to come to Ezeiza to speak to them. It seemed that the wait was long, but they waited and waited, feeling excited and hopeful that he might come.
Then one day he did, and the impact of that is still being felt. As one inmate said, “Gratitude is the memory of our hearts.”
*Photos Courtesy of TPRF Volunteers