vendredi 23 octobre 2009

Malaysian ‘Jail Spa’ Nurtures Beauty Behind Bars

Against a backdrop of razor wire and machine guns, beauty therapists at Malaysia’s first “jail spa” quietly tend to their customers under the watchful eye of uniformed wardens. Despite the tight security, the innovative Balinese-decorated spa is doing a brisk trade while giving inmates at the country’s biggest women’s prison a trade they can turn to after their release. “I am not afraid at all because I have faith that these prisoners are well-trained to serve the customers and our safety is assured here,” said Noor Aliza Osman, 45, who was on her second visit to the spa at Kajang Prison. “It is comfortable here, the prices are reasonable and I don’t have to wait too long to get my hair done like at other salons,” said the mother of four who was having her hair colored with henna by 30-year-old prisoner “Farah.” With her hair neatly tied back and dressed in a loose green jacket and trousers, Farah looked like any other beauty therapist, apart from the prisoner identification number sewn onto her uniform. “I am very glad to have this chance and I have regular customers here who have been kind enough to ask me to work for them once I am released, as they have become familiar with me,” she said with a smile. “This is a very good experience and I have learned useful skills here. I’m considering opening up my own spa if I have enough money when I am freed.” Farah — using an assumed name at the request of prison authorities — is an Indonesian citizen who worked as a waitress before overstaying her visa in Malaysia and being sentenced to one year in jail. She is among seven prisoners currently working at the spa, who go through four security checkpoints each morning to reach the salon from their cells a few hundred meters away. Once at the cozy building, where the scent of aromatic oils floats in the air, they are permitted to mingle freely with their customers, chatting and laughing as they work a nine-hour shift under close watch of three wardens. Only inmates who have not committed serious or violent offences are considered for a position at the spa. Some 60 percent of the jail’s 1,600 inmates are foreigners, many of them Indonesians convicted on immigration charges. The salon has welcomed a steady stream of customers since opening late last year, offering head-to-toe beauty services such as facials, pedicures, foot reflexology and massages for as little as 30 ringgit ($8.60). “The response has been overwhelming so far,” said the prison’s chief inspector Fauziah Husaini. “Many customers were hesitant to come to a prison at the beginning but … this program can change public perception about prisoners so they will be easily accepted by the society in future,” she said. Prisoners working in the spa are paid a small allowance and the rest of the income generated from the business is used to help fund other rehabilitation programs, such as bakery and sewing classes. “We are basically helping them to prepare themselves to adapt to society once again when they are freed. We also hope this program can lift the veil of secrecy about prison in the eyes of the public,” Fauziah said. “It’s all about empowerment and to give these prisoners a sense of confidence, that’s how the idea of setting up this spa came about.” Agence France-Presse

mardi 13 octobre 2009

Complexité = sérénité : le constat des neurosciences

Chantal Vander Vorst - vendredi 23 octobre 2009

Photo Chantal Vander Vorst

Le monde est devenu d’une complexité défiant l’intelligence humaine. Nos réflexions, nos conversations intérieures, ce qui nous semble pourtant la plus pure logique, semble ne pas vouloir se manifester dans la réalité du monde. On ne compte plus les techniques de gestion mentale, les méthodes de coaching et les personnes charismatiques promettant toutes monts et merveilles. Nous cherchons des techniques à l’extérieur de nous car nous n’avons aucune conscience de notre intelligence. C’est dans notre cerveau que naissent les idées les plus lumineuses, les intuitions les plus heureuses et les solutions les plus aptes à nous convenir. Mais il ne nous apporte la sérénité que si nous l’activons d’une manière très précise ; le reste du temps, il nous stresse. A nous de l’activer différemment pour qu’il nous procure une satisfaction, une joie et une sérénité durables.

Formatrice et coach, Chantal Vander Vorst est Managing Director de l’Institute of NeuroCognitivism à Bruxelles. Depuis sa découverte des neurosciences, elle se passionne pour l’élévation du niveau de conscience de l’être humain et la révélation du plein potentiel de chacun. La mission de l’Institute of NeuroCognitivism est de former les professionnels de l’humain à une approche neurocognitive et comportementale, et de mettre cette approche à la disposition de tous les secteurs de la société en favorisant sa diffusion et son appropriation par le plus grand nombre.

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