When the current school year started, so did the Buddhist Project’s classes! After months of planning, through the initiative of Kru Somboon, teacher at the Half Day School, and Ianic Camirand, one of DEPDC/GMS’ international partners, the project now continues into its second year.
Ianic arrived at DEPDC/GMS in April 2010. She came with the ambition to provide Buddhist lessons to all youth at DEPDC/GMS. Ianic strongly believes that understanding Buddhist philosophy will provide the youth with greater confidence and guidance in their everyday lives. Among many things, Buddhist philosophy promotes self-confidence and the possibility of leading a mindful and meaningful life in spite of all difficulties – ideals that DEPDC/GMS promotes, too.
The Buddhist Project’s classes have been expanded and now include children between 5 and 8 years of age. All in all, Buddhist classes are now provided to 70 children at DEPDC/GMS’ Half Day School.
The children are divided into two groups to provide separate classes for younger and older students. For the younger class, lessons began by teaching them to recognize all of the opportunities they have in life, and to not solely focus on their difficulties and conflicts. The youth learned about living peacefully in their communities, to love themselves and others, and to be satisfied with what they have. Additionally, the workshop included advice on how to develop self-confidence, rather than focusing on one’s flaws.
Class also taught why one should not hurt another person in any way – in deed, action, speech, or thought. The monks emphasized that when an individual makes a mistake, they must accept that mistake and grow from it. Future teachings will also focus on human trafficking prevention. To keep the youth engaged and open to the topics of the workshop, the monks used various means of media and interactive games, including educational cartoons and songs that stress self-awareness and self-confidence.
The older group learned about how to lead a successful life through using the four Dharmas: enjoy what you do, put effort into it, put your heart into it, and follow-up often. The monks explained that these principles will help them to succeed in their education. The older youth were asked to draw pictures of themselves, showing what they would like to be in their futures (i.e. teachers, doctors, etc.). They then had the opportunity to share their dreams with the rest of the group. The monks conducted this activity to encourage them to think about their futures, and to explain that if they are to accomplish these goals, they will need to first overcome the obstacles in their lives.
The Buddhist Project’s classes are truly enjoyed by all youths involved, as well as by all of the staff who participate. DEPDC/GMS hopes to continue these workshops for years to come, and is in the process of raising funds for this purpose.
If you are interested in supporting the Buddhist Project you may make a donation through our Pay Pal account with your credit card or Paypal account. Please clarify that your donation is to go towards ‘The Buddhist Project’.
** DEPDC/GMS receives donations for different projects. Once you have made your donation, please email your donation details to donations.depdc(at)gmail.com. Please include your name, the amount you donated, the email address you used for the donation, and the email address that you would like the biannual updates to be sent to, if different from the previous.