Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Dada Shambhushivananda gave a high-profile lecture to thirty corporate members, business people, architects, etc. The talk was organized by Carol Yip & Jane Rai and the theme was Beyond the Superconscious Mind. Copies of Gurukula Network were distributed to everyone, and the NHE Futures book was introduced and sold.
Didi Ananda Shivani and Dada Shankarsanananda are making a yoga academy in Singapore. Dr. Dhanjoo Ghista is helping with the curriculum.
Nuntaka has been running the Rakrook Kindergarten in Lampang for many years along neohumanist principles. She also has a well established yoga centre above the kindergarten. She did her masters in neohumanist education at Chiang Mai University and is now considering doing a PhD in NHE. She has written one beautiful small book in Thai that highlights NHE also. Her articles about NHE are published in Thai magazines and newspapers. She also spearheaded several cooperative programs with local colleges and universities in the area highlighting neohumanist methods.
Las Pinas, Manila , Philippines
Dada Ramakrsna has 52 children in his boys home.
The AMSAI Kindergarten has been running for the past 20 years since 1986 when it started in the WWD owned premises in Las Pinas, Manila . In 2005 a new 3 storey building was constructed that now houses the AMSAI in the ground floor which has now 16 children. The other floors serve as offices and meeting space where workshops, collective meditation and ETCs (Education Training Camps) are held regularly. Recently a livelihood skills training was held for 14 mothers. Last ETC was also attended by teachers sent by other NGOs besides the other AMSAI schools in greater Manila area.
The new children's home building, under the direction of Didi Ananda Devamala, is very spacious and is home to 150 children. The school under the guardianship of Didi Ananda Anuraga has added two new classrooms and a total renovation of the kindergarten has been completed. A sports field will be installed soon.
During his tour in November, Dada Shambhushivananda visited Nepal where he gave 6 lectures and visited the schools. Nepal has a budding AMKG nucleus of 30 people.
There are five schools there. The biggest school in Hithora where Dada Ounkareshvarananda is the principal. It goes up to 8th grade. The school in Kathmandu is run by family Acharya Sister Shanti. The 3 story building is 10 minutes from the airport. Her school was the first one in the area. It now has 36 children and goes up to 6th grade with permission to go up to 8th. It can accommodate up to 200 children.
While visiting Nepal , Kulapati spoke at the Kathmandu University on the topic of Neohumanist Approach to Life. He also met with the Vice chancellor and graduate students. He gave a lecture at the local high school as well.
In Dhulikhel, Dadaji spoke to the Rotarians of Nepal on the theme: "Spiritual Perspective to Life". Students and Teachers of Dhulikhel High School also benefited from Dada's talk on Science of Meditation"
Dada Shambhushivananda met with Professor Tulasi Diwasa, a celebrated poet, writer and research scholar of Folk Studies in Nepal and head of Folklore Society in Nepal . He was the cultural attache for the Nepal government and is working on cultur al empowerment through focussing on the lives of people throughout Nepalese history. There are 67 tribes in Nepal and 127 dialects. They each have their own rituals, customs, economy etc. Prof. Diwasa is helping to record the archives of all these communities. Our Gurukula representative in Kathmandu, Dr. Rudra Laxmi Shrestha is also working with the National Folkore Society of Nepal in this important research work. Ananda Marga Gurukula supports this important research initiative to preserve the folk culture of Nepal.
Institute of Veterinary Science and Animal husbandary has been re-opened by Ananda Marga Gurukula in Bokaro Steel City , Jharkand, not far from Anandanagar. The Principal is Ac. Bhavananda Avt.
Dada Rudradevananda is running the computer centre at Anandanagar with the assistance of Dada Citkrishnananda.
Stockholm , Sweden
In November, 2006 about fifty people attended a lecture given by Dada Shambhushivananda on “Spirituality in the Light of Neohumanism” in Stockholm . Dadaji talked about the human mind and its characteristics and the importance of Yoga and Meditation in life. He proposed to enhance the study of the self, introspective practices (like meditation) and to make the habit of rendering selfless service to the human and universal community and integrate these values in the education of our children. Didi Anandabhadra inaugurated her new school building in Hasselby Strand in Stockholm and has already 26 children.
In December the “Neohumanist” educational association started a new project “Home Care” sponsored by Smitz-Hille Foundation from Germany . The aim of this project is life improvement for the socially vulnerable people. Home Care provides social and medical assistance at home to increase physical, moral and spiritual health of invalids, incurable diseased and people with minimal sources of existence.
The Sunrise Centre in Malta, under the direction of Didi Rasamayii, has a new website. <www.tbexbix.org> They are also welcoming volunteers, especially for the summer, working with the children in the morning, and enjoying the sun and sea in the afternoon.
Sunrise Schools Update
by Didi Ananda Devapriya
The creativity of our teachers is one of the most precious jewels of our schools in Bucharest . This year, we had an innovative Mother's Day celebration in the Mihai Bravu School . The teachers and children spent a week designing springtime costumes out of scraps of cloth, paper, paint and other materials for a fashion show! Parents were so charmed and fascinated when the children began to walk out on the red carpet catwalk to model their clothes - that at first they were stunned, forgetting even to clap - but they quickly recovered, and were soon enthusiastically applauding each of the children as they proudly showed off their work. A video clip from the event is available on our website www.romania.amurtel.net
In Bucuresti Noi school, we invited an African drumming teacher from Rwanda named Vincent to come and teach percussion classes to our children during our multicultural theme of Africa . When he arrived and began slipping six large African "jembe" drums out of their cases, the children were immediately entranced. They enjoyed getting to know Vincent better as he shared pictures from his family with us, and of course they loved the drumming!
The multicultural day in Mihai Bravu school was on Greece this year. The children and teachers all came to school dressed as gods and goddesses from the Greek pantheon, and in circle time each one shared which god or goddess they were representing. The school was also elaborately decorated, with many Greek flags, an olive tree, Greek temples, and more. Events included a re-enactment of a physics experiment of Archimedes, Olympic games, a masked theatrical enactment of the stories of Prometheus and Pandora's box, and Greek grapevine step dancing. Everyone received a crown of laurel leaves as a prize at the end.
The A.M. Technology Center (AMTech) is a non-profit, non-government funded initiative affiliated with Ananda Marga. AMTech provides Primary and Secondary schools in the Ga West district of Accra, Ghana with access to information and communications technology on a non-commercial basis that aims to facilitate learning and increase opportunities for the future. It was founded in June 2005 by Gilbert Nyavie who trained at NIIT, a respected Indian-based computer school with branches in Ghana .
The first phase is to establish a basic training lab equipped with up to twenty workstations. This will be utilized initially to train the trainers, i.e. instructors who will then be assigned to specific secondary schools in Accra . As resources become available, AMTech will assist each targeted school to establish its own computer lab and a resource library of reference materials, curriculum aids, etc. The effort is not simply to teach computer literacy skills but rather the use of ICT in imparting academic subjects and encouraging use of the internet for research and learning.
There are numerous computer training centres now in Ghana . Nearly all of them operate as commercial enterprises. AMTech has been registered as a non-profit organization and a local board formed. An office has been established. Discussions have been held with the Ghana Education Service. Resource people and mentors in Asia, Australia , Europe and the USA are in contact and provide valuable guidance. A proposal and budget has been prepared.
The Project is need of:
1) Educational CD'S: Math, Science, English, Geography and Computer Science
2) Computer networking materials and interactive educational programmes
Please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information please visit: www.amtechghana.org
by Didi Ananda Uttama
The Neo Humanist Center offers progressive educational classes for children and a wide array of health and environmental awareness programs for adults. Situated in a northern suburb of Athens, Greece NHC is a project geared primarily, though not exclusively, to the needs of women and children. We are researching now how to formally register as a school. We need to be out of our place by February of next year so within this year, we will look for a house with a yard and get official. Lots of work but we are happy doing it.
We have 16 children now which is a good number for the space we have though we can still receive a few more. As we're not at our capacity yet, children enroll all year and now little ones are coming to be ready for September. Vimala is doing a great job with the help of Florence and Elena. Florence is also our Infant Massage instructor and she's about to begin with Yoga for Babies. The massage course is great, mothers and babies love it. Our mother-infant and mother-toddler programs are going well and we've got a good number coming for Mother-Toddler Yoga.
Our other women's programs are continuing, the Breast Cancer Support Group and most recently, a women's environmental awareness group. The environmental group is working to organize programs for children, starting with recycling awareness as well as events for children and adults for the upcoming Eco Week.
The monthly Wellness Connection presentations are well attended and we always have a waiting list of practitioners ready to do a presentation. We just had our annual Wellness Fair which draws Greek and English speakers together to see what's being offered in Athens for Wellness care.
And last but not least, we finally have a website up and running. Still needs a fair amount of work but it's done enough to get an idea of what we do. www.neohumanist.net
Hong Kong Sector
Dada Rasabuddhananda, pictured here with his yoga students, is doing some research on therapeutic benefits of different asanas.
Ulan Bator, Mongolia
Didi Ananda Kalika and Didi Sudeshana at the Ananda Marga Lotus Childrens Home in Mongolia are now caring for over 180 children with 50 people on the staff. During the past summer, over 1,000 visitors came to tour the project, including representatives of the
Himalayan Foundation. The website for the Lotus Childrens Home is http://www.lotuschild.org/.
The primary school is now educating children from kindergarten through to fifth grade. Thirty five children are in the kindergarten program and sixty are in the primary school. The staff now has thirteen teachers. In
September, the school was awarded the City Educational Bureau Medal of Excellence. On his recent visit to Ulan Bator, Australian's Foreign Minister, Alexander Downer met Didi Ananda Kalika, a former Australian. He was very impressed with her project to which he donated $10,000.
Kulapati presented AMGK at the Ananda Marga Sectorial Conference at the Cordoba Master Unit which is managed by Dada Ramashrayananda. The Master Unit, which is two hours away from Cordoba, boasts over 700 hectares with hills, mountains, river and a lake. It is one of the largest master units outside of Ananda Nagar. The MU is right on the main highway from Argentina to Chile . It has land on two sides of the highway. They are building a house there now to host eco-village camps. Besides sharing the work of AMGK, Kulapati gave a talk on Yoga in Light of Neohumanism and participated in a PROUT Workshop. Dada also coordinated GK work with representatives from Chile along with Dada Moksananda and with representatives from other countries.
During his recent visit to Georgetown Sector, Dada Shambhushivananda also visited the MUs and schools in Paraguay . In addition, he gave a seminar to teachers as well as a public lecture on Development of Human Personality that was organized by Dada Paradevananda and Didi Ananda Sushiila. (details below). Ananda Marga owns 6 properties in Asuncion . The Didis have a Master Unit and manage two schools. The schools are managed by Didi Ananda Sushiila one of which is a high school. Didi Anandamayii is the Director of the smaller school which is run in a rented facility. The Didis live in a beautiful house on the MU and make the long commute to the schools each day.
The Dadas own a two floor house which serves as the regional office. They also own a school building one block away. The Dadas Master Unit is 20 hectares. The school serves 20 kindergarten aged children from very poor homes. It has a beautiful 1000 square meter garden. It was started by BP Sister Niliima. The schools and MUs are in close communication with each other and support each other in a cooperative way. There is a strong family feeling amongst them.
Dadas Visit to Paraguay
by Didi Ananda Sushiila
It was my dream to have Dada visit our schools. When I read Gurukula Network newsletter I used to wonder why doesn't Dada come to South America . So when the Dada in charge told me that Dada will visit South America in January, and asked me if we would like to have Dada pass by Paraguay , immediately I said yes. So the Margiis made the preparation for Dada to come; they printed posters and handouts and distributed in the city before Dadas arrival for his public lecture while we acaryas were in the meeting in Argentina .
Finally Dada arrived on the 10th of February and gave an education seminar in our school attained by all teachers, directors, LFTs and Dadas and Didis from 4 schools here. The following day he gave a public talk on “Developing Harmonious Personality through Yoga and Meditation” which was attended by about 100 people. All were inspired by his talk and wisdom and his open and warm personality.
Sao Paulo, Brazil
Traveling by bus for 24 hours from Asuncion to Sao Paulo, Dada Shambhushivananda reports on the vastness of the country and horizon, with vast, beautiful, rolling, green hills and lots of sunshine. In Sao Paulo Dadaji visited two schools. One run by Kamalesh and Mirabai which serves 65 kindergarten children up to age 6. There are 150 children on the waiting list. Didi Ananda Jaya runs a vibrant school with Director Jayagiita. There are 120 children in this free kindergarten school, with 300 on the waiting list. With money from the municipality they are also running after school activities. Didi Ananda Jaya is a fountain of inspiration for all in the community. Dada Diipajinananda is the director of a Yoga Academy in a large owned facility in Sao Paulo. The Yoga Academy is now attracting many students for intensive training in yoga philosophy.
Sorocaba is one and half hours from Sao Paulo. The school property there was donated by Sister Rukmini and the school serves 40 children from very poor neighborhoods. It is a very beautiful place, which includes a lake, swimming pool, woods and basketball court.
Porto Allegre, Brazil
Dada Shamhushivananda attended an Ananda Marga Regional Seminar held at the Master Unit run by Dada Cittabodhananda. He gave three talks:viz., Yoga, Values and Mission ; Guru and Disciple; and a class on NHE.
Dadaji also had a tour of all the schools in the area. The largest one is celebrating its 10th anniversary. It currently goes up to fourth grade with 250 students, with plans to add a grade every year up to 9th grade. It is a high quality school, very well organized and functional with high quality facilities that include computers, science laboratory, beautiful library, gymnasium and herbal garden. The schools emphasize the arts, music and vegetarianism. The school is legally registered and receives a subsidy from the local government. Sister Giita is the director. While there, Dadaji participated in a TV interview for the schools 10th anniversary.
The properties in Porto Allegre are owned. Thanks to Sudama who also donated property for a vocational project for street children where they grow herbals and produce herbal products. Four social welfare workers are also posted to the program by the government. Through the efforts of Dharmamitra they were chosen from among 50 applicants for a government grant of $17,000 dollars for this street childrens project.
There are three kindergartens in Porto Allegre in addition to the Elementary School. Sister Kevalanii, who sets all the standards for the kindergartens, got NHE recognized with Ministry of education. She runs a very creative kindergarten program with lots of educative stories amplifying yama-niyama.
The 2007 academic year started in the Neohumanist Education centre PR Sarkar in Barrio Las Malvinas with three levels of Kindergarden and five levels of Primary school with a total of 230 children.
Mr. Mario Williams, the Education secretary of the Atlantic Region, a State of Colombia, visited the school in Barranquilla and was very inspired to see how the children do meditation and the benefits of neohumanist education. He is going to help the project. Regular group mediation started in the neohumanist school in Barrio Las Malvinas Barranquilla with the teachers of the school.
New York Sector
Los Angeles, California , USA
Eight Ananda Marga Yoga Educators participated in the International Yoga Therapy Conference Symposium held at Hilton, Los Angeles , USA on January 20, 2007. While there, they also held a meeting to coordinate the matters of interest to Ananda Marga Yoga Educators. Among those present were: Dada Shambhushivananda, Dr. Richard Maxwell, Eileen Maxwell, Dr. Bruce McEwen, Kristine Weber, Dr. Steven Landau, Dr. Sid Jordan.
Dadaji gave a talk to 55 persons on The Secrets to Health & Happiness. It was arranged by Sister Mita Chen and Mrs. Anita Lah in Trillium Condominium Lounge in Toronto.
A play about Baba's life was performed in December at the River School , for the whole school and the parents. It was very nice and touching. For a view of photos of the play, plus other parts of the River School performances please visit: