6 December 2014
I am running late with this year’s fundraising letter, having just returned from four weeks in Asia. It was a rich trip—though not always easy—with visits to Tamil Nadu, Nagpur, and Mumbai in India and to Mandalay, Pyin Oo Lwin, and Northern Shan State in Burma. I have much to report and I’ll post about my travels on the Clear View website and blog in the coming days. But I will be brief here.
As always, we need your help to sustain and expand our giving in Burma, India, and elsewhere. During 2014 Clear View has been able to donate nearly $15,000 to a variety of projects in Asia and in the U.S. In modest ways we have been supporting schools, training programs, meditation centers, and clinics for the last seven years. Some of these are small one-time projects. Some are larger, more ambitious efforts in which our support is pooled with others.
Clear View is intentionally personal and small in scale. My effort is to build friendship, to encourage, and connect friends to other friends with deeper pockets. Throughout my life and work this has been my networking strategy. For 2015 I am highlighting three Buddhist-based projects I just visited in Asia.
• Nagaloka/Nagarjuna Training Institute in Nagpur, India: Clear View has been supporting Nagaloka for the last five years. Nagaloka/NTI is a kind of second home for me. It is joyful to practice with, learn from, and teach the young NTI students, Dalit Buddhists from poor rural areas across India hewing to the radical social vision of Dr. B.R. Ambedkar. Please see their website: http://www.nagaloka.org
• Sakya Hostels in Chennai, India: These hostels were organized for displaced or orphaned Dalit children after 2004’s devastating Indian Ocean Tsunami. Ten years on they are going strong, with separate facilities for young boys and girls, offering room, board, and love as students attend local schools. They are loosely in the same network as Nagaloka, with independent funding and structure.
• Sasana Hitakari nunnery and school in Lashio, Burma: Just now emerging from fifty years of dictatorship, Burma’s education and social welfare systems depend on the monastic and community resources of nuns and monks. With more than 400 students Sasana Hitakari, in northern Shan state where armed hostilities are ongoing, uses a progressive “child-centered learning” model to educate children for a new world while preserving Buddhist values of service and cooperation. Walking through the bright, open schoolrooms, I found myself thinking, “I’d like to have gone to a school like this.”
There is much more I could say, more I would like to share. But for now, simply: please put a check to us in the mail today: CVP, 1933 Russell Street, Berkeley, CA 94703. Or donate at “Give to Clear View” We deeply appreciate your friendship and support. And we welcome your thoughts and comments.
Warmly, in peace,