Press Release

Ministry of Health & Social Development
Release Date:
Friday, 9 February 2024 - 4:50pm

His Majesty’s Prison recently received chess supplies and other resources from UniteBVI Foundation to assist with its rehabilitation of inmates.

The donation is to coach inmates to play and engage in the game while the ultimate goal is to use chess as a tool to teach inmates a variety of skills while serving their sentences including patience and perseverance.

Minister for Health and Social Development Honourable Vincent O. Wheatley thanked UniteBVI and the Superintendent of Prison Mr. Jay Kendall and his rehabilitation staff for their efforts in inmates rehabilitation.

Honourable Wheatley said, “We cannot do it all our self so, I am thankful for strategic partners in making these things possible. We have a long way to go but this is a very important start in what we are trying to do. So, thank you to UniteBVI and everyone else for making as possible.” 

In addition to the chess pieces, other resources such as basketballs, footballs, art supplies, dominoes and puzzles were donated. UniteBVI has also engaged the BVI Chess Foundation who committed to assist with the training of prison inmates.

Superindent of the Prison Mr. Jay Kendall also thanked the minister Honourable Mather and UniteBVI foundation for their continued efforts to enhance rehabilitation initiatives for prisoners housed at Balsam Ghut.

The Superintendent expressed, "This holds significant importance for everyone, particularly the inmates at HM Prison Balsam Ghut. We eagerly anticipate collaborating on additional initiatives to contribute to enhancing the safety of the BVI."

Meanwhile Honourable Mather noted that incarcerated people across the world, tend to be forgotten and rehabilitative efforts are not usually highlighted. In this regard, he expressed his gratitude to UniteBVI, Honourable Wheatley and the staff at the prison for developing a community partnership to ensure inmates and the efforts to rehabilitate them are not forgotten at the prison.

In addition, Kim Takeuchi, the Foundation Manager at UniteBVI said this partnership follows the foundation’s mandate and mission to merge great ideas with the resources for a sustainable and positive benefit to the BVI.

“This is a great example of where collaboration came together to transform something bigger than just us. So, we are really excited to be working with the prison and the rehabilitation team and hopefully there's more to come,” Miss Takeuchi said.

The Ministry of Health and Social Development through its subsidiary His Majesty’s Prison remains committed to advancing the rehabilitation of prisoners in the Virgin Islands.


Fitsroy Randall

Information Officer I
Ministry of Health and Social Development
Vornicia's House of Commerce, Long Bush
Tortola, British Virgin Islands
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