In This Issue
Theravada New Year is not the only Buddhist tradition connected with the moon. Shakyamuni Buddha was born on a full moon night, he was enlightened on a full moon day, his first teaching was on a full moon, and he passed into parinirvana on a full moon. In the Vajrayana, the merit of practicing and accumulating merit through offerings and good deeds is believed to increase on full moons.
Help us build Khyentse Foundation's funding base so that we can continue to help reviatlize Buddhist traditions around the world.
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Download the 2015 Annual Report
Other KF Initiatives in Traditionally Buddhist Countries
Here are a few of the projects that KF supports in traditionally Buddhist countries, Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Mongolia.
KF is supporting tuition, books, travel, housing, and food for six Cambodian monks through the Khmer-Buddhist Education Project. Three of the monks are finishing their studies this year and the others will finish next year. A new round of recipients will be awarded scholarships next year.
The Sanghamitta Seba Sangha Buddhist Orphanage in Bangladesh has received three grants to provide education, healthcare, and basic needs for the permanent residents and day school attendees.
A Buddhist studies student from Mongolia received a scholarship in 2016 to help fund a PhD dissertation at the Academy of Korean Studies.
The Caring for Cancer Patients project
was established in Mongolia in 2013 by the Jetsungdamba Khutangt Centre. Monks from the center meet with patients at the National Cancer Clinic in Ulaanbaatar four times a week, providing emotional, spiritual, and financial care. In addition to counseling and meditation sessions, the monks offer prayers for patients as requested. Stress management classes are made available for the medical staff. Support from Khyentse Foundation has allowed the monks to offer quarterly workshops for cancer patients and their families on topics such as how to care for cancer patients with kindness; the Buddhist approach to illness; and how to approach the end of life with dignity. Thus far, the monks have provided counseling services to more than 2,600 patients and family members. READ MORE
Revitalizing Buddhist Traditions in Cambodia, Bangladesh, and Mongolia
In some countries today, the practice and study of Buddhism is threatened by political, economic, and social challenges. To help ensure the survival of all the great Buddhist lineages and schools, as well as the Buddhadharma in general, Khyentse Foundation is exploring opportunities to support Dharma study and practice in countries such as India, Cambodia, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Mongolia, and Bangladesh, where there is an evident yearning for Buddhist teachings and a desire to revive traditional forms of Buddhism.
KF recognizes the importance of the Theravada tradition as the foundation of Buddhist practice, and in true Rimé spirit supports efforts to ensure the survival, preservation, and revival of Theravada in countries where it was once a thriving tradition. Because the situation and needs of every country are different, KF partners with organizations that have already developed effective programs, as well as supporting groups and individuals engaged in innovative ways of restoring and renewing Buddhist traditions in their countries.
Buddhist Primary Schools in Cambodia
Khyentse Foundation is helping 291 Cambodian monks receive education through a partnership with Santi Sena
The Buddhist Primary Schools Project was initiated in 2015, in Svay Rieng province, Cambodia, by Santi Sena, a Buddhist NGO. With the support of Khyentse Foundation, the project is substantially improving the lives of some of the country’s neediest people, while continuing to propagate the incomparable teachings of Lord Buddha.
Santi Sena is dedicated to alleviating poverty, protecting the environment, and defending the rights of children. The project, which aims to improve the primary schools of 20 local Buddhist monasteries, across seven provincial districts, has four main goals: to improve the academic standards of the monastery primary schools; to organize monthly staff meetings to identify current obstacles and to brainstorm solutions; to offer scholarships to disadvantaged Buddhist youth; and to visit each of the 20 schools twice each month.
Santi Sena is working with the Cambodian government to improve the standards of the monastery schools by identifying the needs of the children, their parents, the teachers, and the school administration. Currently 291 students attend these primary schools. Glenn Fawcett, the KF representative who has personally visited the communities, says, “The young monks told us they want to get an education and also learn about Buddhism and become monks in order to get merit for themselves and their families. Several are orphans.” Glenn adds that the poor villagers are keen to see their children educated and are happy for them to get a free education in the safety of a monastery.
Funds from Khyentse Foundation are used for text books (1,141 so far); materials such as white boards, desks, and school decorations; and salaries for three teachers. KF has also funded scholarships to help 15 young monks continue their studies, alleviating some of their impoverished families’ financial struggles. In the most recent quarterly examinations, most of the centers had 100% pass rates, several had 80% and 90% percent pass rates, and only a couple had less than adequate results.
Santi Sena is extremely diligent in monitoring all of its schools. In conjunction with the provincial government, they visit each of the 20 schools twice a month, to check on the schools’ progress and to provide feedback and suggestions for the staff. According to Glenn, “One of the most satisfying outcomes is the vast improvement the program is achieving in terms of administration and quality of teaching. Through regular training of teachers at Buddhist Primary Schools, the program principals have set up processes that include time tables, teaching schedules, reporting formats, and teaching methodology. One center that we visited went from 15% to 85% prepared since the academic year began in June 2015.”
Another exciting aspect of this project is Santi Sena’s partnering with a local radio program, “Buddhism and Society,” which is hosted by the head abbot of Svay Rieng. KF funds pay for radio time, broadcast equipment, and materials for the program. Many students call in with questions about Buddhist points they have learned in school, or about Buddhist practice in general.
We hope that these young monks will grow into extraordinary scholars and practitioners who can help improve the lives of their fellow Cambodians, as well as spread the Buddhadharma.
The Compassion Buddhist Insitute
Supporting Buddhist Scholars in Bangladesh
Students in the library at the The Compassion Buddhist Institute.
Khyentse Foundation has been supporting the education of Bangladeshi monks at the Compassion Buddhist Institute (CBI) in Chittagong, Bangladesh. CBI is the only monastic education institution in modern Bangladesh. Affiliated with the Buddhist and Pali University of Sri Lanka, the institute offers Buddhist education to young Bangladeshi monks and novices in order to raise their level of understanding of the Dharma and prepare them to teach and conduct outreach. Upon completing the program, which is set by the university, students are awarded diplomas in Buddhist Studies, which qualifies them for university entrance in Sri Lanka. Khyentse Foundation is also sponsoring those monks to continue their studies. CBI, which has received two grants for teachers’ salaries, is run by Khyentse Fellow Venerable Dhammajoti.
Students at the Sanghamitta Seba Sangha Buddhist Orphanage in Bangladesh.
The Caring for Cancer Patients project was established in Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
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