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  Volume 4 - Issue 07 JULY 2006
 
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BRIDGE - BE READY TO INSPIRE AND DIRECT GOODNESS EVERYWHERE

- A meeting held on Educare from 18-19th March 2006 in Milan, Italy.

By Mrs. Prini Wimalachandra


Mrs. Prini Wimalachandra, an alumni of the Anantapur campus of Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Learning, has been very active in Swami's Educare Mission in different countries for almost a decade. She has sent us her fascinating experiences in Italy where the Zone 6 (Southern Europe) regional Educare meeting was held recently. Apart from that we also have her experiences with EHV work in Israel and a few other countries.

The Educare conference in Italy was held on 18th - 19th March 2006 at Natura Docet, a foundation set up and managed by Sai devotees in Italy, next to Mother Sai House, the Sai Temple in Italy which is also a sports facility for disabled children, where Sai devotees work as volunteers and offer their time and expertise as part of their service. Mrs. Prini's account follows below.

Aims Of The Meeting

The purpose of the Educare meeting was to get to know one another, improve cooperation within the region and to find practical ways of implementing the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba and extending His loving energy towards the general public. Focus was put on a series of key-concepts – offered as steps to build and secure our “BRIDGE” (Be Ready to Inspire and Direct Goodness Everywhere), fixing our mind on the right understanding of what we are aiming at individually and as a group (i.e. Organization).

How to create (strength) a “bridge” related to the SSO in general:
How to create a “bridge” towards the local community:
How to create a “bridge” towards local-public schools:
How to create a “bridge” through PR and Website

 
   
Natura Docet, the Venue in Italy for the EHV meeting

There was also interesting news from around Europe regarding the Sai work that is being carried out.

Croatia

Mrs. Vesna Krmpotić, a well known Croatian poet, writer and composer (she is the author of 68 books and 108 books of poetry) living in Serbia shared with me, a set of five books authored by her on Swami’s Educare. The introduction acknowledges Swami’s inspiration, introduces the ‘Educare Programme’ and carries Swami’s Message to Teachers.

These books were presented to the President of Croatia Mr. Mesić in 2004 and the Minister of Education. These books are also used as supplementary literature at the Academy of Education.

The Ministry of Culture has taken 100 books to be distributed in various libraries in the country. The books have been promoted throughout Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro.

 
   
Mrs. Vesna Krmpotić, (second from right) Croatian poet

Vesna has organized an Educare programme in Vukovar, a town completely destroyed during the break up of former Yugoslavia. The programme was conducted jointly by Sai devotees from Croatia and Serbia for the two ethnic groups of Serbs and Croats. Vesna is the author of the first book written on Swami in the Balkans, called Bhagawatha.

Readers may also be interested to learn about the public meeting organised by the Sathya Sai Organisation of Serbia and Montenegro held in Belgrade, on 12th March 2006, attended by over 200 people, including the Indian ambassador. Vesna Krmpotić inspired the audience speaking on Bhagavan and His Educare work and Dr Upadhyaya from London spoke on Swami’s humanitarian projects. The audience could see a film ‘His Work’, and learn from an exhibition and from the many books available.

Bosnia & Herzegovina

 

Azra Jahić, a teacher from Bosnia & Herzegovina has started an Educare training programme, with the support of ESSE Institute, for the teachers in a government school, (Čengić Villa Primary school in Sarajevo) with the permission of the Ministry of Education.

She is having wonderful success and excellent feedback from teachers attending the programme. She plans on extending this training to teachers of other schools in the city.

Mevlida Rovcanin, from Tuzla, also in Bosnia and Herzegovina described their monthly ‘self awareness’ courses for Sai devotees held in different towns in the country. About three quarters of the audience were newcomers to the world of Sai.

Azra Jahic conducting educare training for teachers in Cengic Villa Primary School in Sarajevo
   

Spain

There are many projects and activities being carried out in Spain and a valiant effort is being undertaken to share the Educare programme in various cities. Educare presentations have been done in Granada, Madrid and other cities. Luis and Soraya from Las Palmas, Canary Islands are running an educare programme in a state school ‘Las Torres’.

Italy

Daniel Conci, an inspirational young man from Northern Italy, shared his experience in using human values as taught by Swami in a project jointly run by the Catholic University and other non-profit organizations in Milan.

In his talk titled ‘Educare within the Family’ he shared his research and experience helping children from backgrounds of conflict to find their own style of learning.

He also presented an excellent bi-monthly manual ‘Crescere Insieme’ – ‘Grow Together’ - a values oriented magazine printed by Mother Sai publications in Italy for children, parents and teachers.

 
   
‘Crescere Insieme’ – ‘Grow Together’ - a values
oriented magazine

Greece

George Bebedelis of Greece gave us an insight into the key concepts of Educare using teachings of Swami and drawing comparisons and parallels with great Greek philosophers such as Plato, Aristotle and Socrates.

Switzerland

Felix Wust from Switzerland who is an editor and owner of a publishing house that publishes medical journals presented the magazine ‘SWISS MED’ dedicated to health care and the Sri Sathya Sai Super Specialty Hospitals. It also contains interviews with Dr. Safaya, Director of the Sri Sathya Sai Institute of Higher Medical Sciences and Dr. M.W. Krucoff, an eminent cardiologist from USA .

 
Dr. Safaya, the Director of SSSIHMS, in conversation with Felix Wust, Editor of SWISSMED
SWISSMED 27, (2005) Nr. 1

Suzanne Carenini from Tichino, Switzerland, Education coordinator for zone 6 has been tirelessly working to share and spread the Message of Educare in the region. She is a children’s book illustrator and together with her husband Dr Chino Carenini have produced a calendar on health care with values based illustrations to be distributed free of charge in schools. She is also working on an introductory kit on Educare that can be given out to members of the public interested in the programme.

There were presentations on a school project ‘Science and Human Values’ and work carried out with intellectually disabled children on anger management in Ticino. We also enjoyed various presentations from Greece and Slovenia on activities done by them with children from their centres and groups in their respective countries.

It was indeed heartening to see the inspirational work being carried out by Sai members overcoming many challenges and hardships. At the end of the conference all the participants went away inspired and energised to carry on our work in sharing the Message of Bhagavan Sri Sathya Sai Baba.

EHV Work In Israel And In Other Countries

As we reported in an earlier article in H2H (Go here to read it again), during her time in Israel, Prini was able to teach the Sathya Sai Human Values programme to students at the International Education Assistance Centre, popularly know as the UN School, in Nahariyya. Carole Alderman, the Education coordinator, Sathya Sai Organization of UK, came to conduct a very successful teacher training workshop.

Since then Ora Karov, the education coordinator, Sathya Sai Organisation of Israel has continued to hold regular Educare workshops and train many teachers in Israel, including all the staff from one particular school. She is having wonderful success and excellent feedback from both teachers and students. Feedback from teachers is that both they and the students are benefited.

They use silent sitting and the visualization of universal light, and conduct themselves as good examples to their students. A team of teachers from Afulla area, who are in charge of value education in their schools, attended a course for several weeks, and then took the message back to their schools.  

In the Tel Aviv area, a team of high school teachers from a school for children with challenging behaviour, received a course of E.H.V, and commented that it helped them a lot in their team relations and work together. In April another course was conducted for 5 days where the attendees were expected to volunteer in schools once a week at least for a year and share their EHV training and experience.
 
     

Talking about her first experience with EHV, Mrs. Prini says,

“My first experience with teaching Human Values was in Auckland, New Zealand as a teacher of Sathya Sai Spiritual Education at the Mt Eden Centre. I later joined a group of Sai Devotees in introducing the Sathya Sai Human Values programme to children in Rongamai Primary school, a public school in Otara, a suburb of Auckland. The programme was well accepted by the teachers and was recommended to the ministry of Education. As a result of which and with the official recognition by the ministry, the Sathya Sai Institute of New Zealand is now running a Pre-School officially known as the Sathya Sai Pre-school, in the premises of Rogamai Primary School in Otara.

 
Tiny tots of Sathya Sai Pre-school, New Zealand
Teaching EHV to children in Pakistan

Moving on to Bosnia and Herzegovina in 1998, I had the opportunity to teach Sathya Sai Human Values Programme in Čengić Villa Primary School in Sarajevo, Bosnia & Herzegovina. The principal of the school was very supportive and gave me all the help and encouragement to conduct the programme. In 2005 Azra Jacic commenced an Educare training programme for teachers in this school, which is an ongoing programme. With the help of Azra, we were also able to conduct weekly classes for young adults on values and self development as taught by Baba, at the Technical School of Sarajevo. Later, along with the youth members of the Sai Centre we conducted human values classes to children in a suburb of Sarajevo, as part of a project conducted by a local NGO.

Heart2Heart is very grateful to Mrs. Prini Wimalachandra for sharing with us her experiences concerning EHV. Presently she is living in Cyprus having come from Pakistan, where she engaged in very successful EHV work with a school, gaining local media interest. To read the fascinating accounts of her EHV experience in other countries as recounted to Radio Sai earlier go here.


Dear Reader, did you like this article? Would you like more articles on what's happening on EHV worldwide? Please write to us at [email protected] mentioning your name and country.

- Heart2Heart Team


 
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Vol 4 Issue 07 - JULY 2006
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