The Buddhist Project started in June 2010 and is still going strong! Since January 2012, monks from Chiang Rai’s Somsak Somphet temple in northern Thailand come to DEPDC/GMS every Friday and teach an entire day of Buddhist classes to the children at the Half Day School.
The goals of the Buddhist classes are to help underprivileged children, orphans, and children at risk of human trafficking. The idea behind teaching Buddhist philosophy is to bring confidence, guidance, hope, and peace to their lives. The Buddhist classes are having a positive impact on the children, especially in regards to their self-esteem, confidence and their outlook on life.
This year, the project had expanded to include all children from Kindergarten to Grade 6. The children are divided into two groups to provide separate classes for younger and older students in the mornings; in the afternoon, a group session is held. Buddhist classes are now provided to all 150 students at DEPDC/GMS’ Half Day School!
To keep the youth engaged and open to the topics of the workshop, the monks use various means of media as well as interactive games, including educational cartoons and songs that stress self-awareness and self-confidence.
For the younger group, lessons focus on explaining karma and how to be a good person. The monks incorporate songs and dances into these classes – a great way to learn in a fun and interactive environment!
For the older group, lessons focus on Buddhist formalities, such as teaching the proper way to wai – a Thai greeting which consists of placing the palms together in a prayer-like position and bowing one’s head – and other general rules. One common rule is a rule of passing: it is acceptable for a man to directly pass something, such as a donation or food, to a monk, whereas a woman cannot, unless she is holding a piece of paper and doesn’t directly touch him, for example.
Afternoon sessions include all grades plus the Kindergarten and cover the story of Buddha and a more general background on Buddhism, including the way of life for Buddhist people. These larger group sessions are also geared towards self-esteem building for all students. The children are greatly enjoying their weekly visitors!
This project is funded exclusively by donations. A small donation will make a significant difference in the life of each child.
Thank you for your support and interest in the Buddhist project.
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 note that DEPDC/GMS receives donations for different projects. Once you have made your donation for The Buddhist Project, please email your donation details to depdc.gms(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 Buddhist project’s biannual updates to be sent to, if different from the previous.