Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness The Dalai Lama
INTERSCHOOL PROGRAMME An initiative to provide insight into religious diversity, build and encourage spiritual growth
AN ALBUM An initiative to provide a valuable forum for Indian and Tibetan youth to meet and share their rich heritage and understand the enduring ties that link the two ancient cultures. 1
"To meet the challenges of our times, I believe that humanity must develop a greater sense of universal responsibility. Each of us must learn to work not just for our own individual self, family or nation, but for the benefit of all mankind. Today we are so interdependent, so closely interconnected with each other, that without a sense of universal responsibility, a feeling of universal brotherhood and sisterhood, and an understanding and belief that we really are a part of one big human family, we cannot hope to overcome the dangers to our very existence â€“ let alone bring about peace and happiness." - His Holiness The Dalai Lama
About the Foundation
Write to us
Programme Overview The aim of education is not just the knowledge of facts but also the transmission of values. With the objective of combining the ideals of spirituality with a spirit of enquiry in the youth of today, the Foundation has been organizing interschool programmes at Dharamsala (Himachal Pradesh), Mussoorie (Uttaranchal) and Bylakuppe (Karnataka). This ongoing programme brings students from different communities together to share their lives for a week. Through film screenings and discussions, students are educated about each culture and its traditions. Theatre, debates, workshops on conflict resolution and group exercises encourage them to learn about each other and build bonds of trust and friendship. This programme provides a valuable forum for Indian and Tibetan youth to meet and share their rich heritage and understand the enduring ties that link the two ancient cultures. Inter-school participants will:
Live together in host school for a week. Attend yoga and meditation courses. Take part in theatre, debate, discussions & cultural shows. Attend lectures on different faiths and visit various religious places. Watch films of educational values on culture, personalities and faiths. Visit to various centres in the host area and build intercommunity network. Attend workshops on conflict resolutions and personality development.
“The human mind is both the source and, if properly directed, the solution to all our problems. Those who attain great learning but lack a good heart, are in danger of falling prey to the anxieties and restlessness which result from desires incapable of fulfilment. This is why I say material knowledge can easily be a source of negative thoughts and feelings. Conversely, a genuine understanding of spiritual values brings peace.” – His Holiness the Dalai Lama 4
INTRODUCTION On the first day of the programme, all the participants assemble in the hall and formal welcome speech is delivered by the Principal of the host school. Special lecture is delivered by the chief guest, which is followed by speeches of other dignitaries invited specially for the programme. Before the end of the first day, each student greets others who have come to attend the program and introduces herself/himself. Over the next seven days, students from the Indian schools, the International schools and the Tibetan schools spend time together in various activities and familiarize themselves with each otherâ€™s cultural practices and daily lives. 5
MEDITATON & YOGA Students attend an early morning meditation session which is led by one of the senior Tibetan monks. They practice guided meditation; are familiarized with various types of meditation techniques and discuss the application of these techniques to enhance concentration and focus. Yoga is another activity students love to involve themselves in especially during the early morning sessions. They are taught different techniques and discuss the benefits of yoga in daily life.
GROUP DISCUSSION As a part of the Interschoolprogramme, students are divided into mixed groups and are given ample time for group discussion and to prepare a presentation on particular topics. They are free to present their ideas either as a group or by appointing a representative. They can use visual aids like charts, illustrations and software like power point. A wide array of topics is discussed ranging from Education to Politics to environment.
THEATRE Each school is informed in advance to prepare a skit for the programme. Since participating schools come from different backgrounds and cultures, theatrical presentations have been used effectively to improve learning experience. Skits provide an innovative way of conveying ideas and various contexts. Students are encouraged to ask questions after the performance if they can relate to some of the scenarios that are presented or if they want to express disagreement with views that are represented in the skits. Themes like saving trees, effects of greenhouse gases, valuing tradition and culture, communal harmony, inter-religious co-existence, wild life preservation, moral and ethical living have been covered by students through their presentations. 8
INTERFAITH DIALOGUE A special interfaith lecture-dialogue is arranged during the programme. Local religious heads and authorities are invited to enlighten the young minds about the history and practices of various religious faiths. These religious discourses have included Christianity, Islam, Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism. The Foundation strives to bring many more faiths each year and educate young minds about religious diversity, keeping in mind the spirit of tolerance that is characteristic of India. Students are free to ask questions of the speakers and clarify any doubts. They also discuss relevant contemporary events.
COMMUNITY INTERACTION In an effort to build cross-cultural bonds, inculcate respect for inter-religious sentiments and experience diverse religious practices, the inter-school participants are taken around the city. The group visits religious centers, including a mosque, a church, a temple, a Buddhist monastery and a Gurudwara. Each centre is informed in advance and requested to provide a short lecture with guided tour of the complex. A special discussion session is also organized where participants can ask questions or learn more about the particular faith. In addition to the trips to various religious centers, the group also visits ongoing community projects that protect the environment like organic farming, solar heating projects etc. 10
ART, CRAFT & DEBATE A day long visit to the craft centers is organized in collaboration with the local centres. Students are introduced to various traditional arts & crafts and they have the opportunity to choose and take up a day-long crash course in one of the art forms. One day of the programme is dedicated to debating among the participating schools. The session is not structured in the traditional competitive format and is instead dedicated to honing the studentsâ€™ ability to express views and respond to counter arguments. Topics are chosen according to their relevance to the age of the participants. For instance at the recent programme the students debated the necessity/frivolousness of Ethical education in schools todayâ€™. 11
CONFLICT TRANSFORMATION WORKSHOP Conflicts are a necessary part of life today. As His Holiness the Dalai Lama says, "As long as there is human society, there will always be conflicts. I always say that if we do not want conflicts at all we have to make the entire humanity stupid or dull, and then there will be no problems at all." Therefore conflicts are an inevitable part of any change and potential development. Conflicts can lead to hostility and stagnation or they can lead to social progress and better understanding. It depends entirely on how people manage conflicts. The Foundation collaborates with Tibetan Centre for Conflict Resolution to conduct a day long workshop. The day is dedicated to engaging the participants in conflict resolution techniques using games and inter-active methods. Various theories and techniques are discussed which demonstrate the positive aspect of conflict and ways to reap its constructive potential.
CULTURAL PROGRAMME & CONCLUSION On the last day of the programme, each school presents a cultural performance which they prepare in advance. Since participants come from different cultural backgrounds, each school brings different songs and dances. Folk songs and dance forms from India, Tibetan, Indonesia, America, and Thailand have been showcased by the participants over the years. Students from the host school are part of the audience during this performance. The Inter-school programme then concludes with a presentation ceremony where each participant and their escort teachers are gifted small mementoes. 13
About the Foundation MISSION ď‚§
To promote universal responsibility in a manner that respects difference and encourages a diversity of beliefs, practices and approaches.
To build a global ethic of nonviolence, coexistence, gender equity and peace by facilitating secular processes that cultivate personal and social ethical values.
To enrich educational paradigms that tap the transformative potential of the human mind.
The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness the Dalai Lama is a not for profit, non-sectarian, non-denominational organization established with the Nobel Peace Prize awarded to His Holiness in 1989 . In the spirit of the Charter of the United Nations, the Foundation brings together men and women of different faiths, professions and nationalities, through a range of initiatives and mutually sustaining collaborations.
ONLINE RESOURCE Website www.furhhdl.org eNewsletter Sign up by sending an email at email@example.com Facebook www.facebook.com/furhhdl Twitter www.twitter.com/furhhdl Teaching DVDs www.furhhdl.org/announcements+dvds Publications www.furhhdl.org/publications_films_resources
SUPPORT US! The Foundation works with a modest corpus. There are no charges or tickets for our events. DONATIONS are welcome to meet expenses towards organizing secular events like this one. These are tax exempt under Sec 80G in India. Contributions are accepted preferably by cheque or draft payable to ‘Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH The Dalai Lama’. For other modes of payments, please visit www.furhhdl.org/support
WRITE TO US! Inter-school Programme Foundation for Universal Responsibility of His Holiness The Dalai Lama Core 4A, UGF India Habitat Centre Lodhi Road, New Delhi - 110003 Tel: (91) (11) 24648450 Fax: (91) (11) 24648451 firstname.lastname@example.org www.furhhdl.org
Should you have any queries regarding the Inter-school Programme, or wish to participate in future, we will be glad to hear from you.
REGISTERED OFFICE The Foundation for Universal Responsibility of HH The Dalai Lama Private Office of His Holiness The Dalai Lama Thekchen Choeling, McLeod Ganj Dharamsala - 176 219 District Kangra Himachal Pradesh India Tax ID No in India: AAATF 0174 E Trust Registration No.7989/ FCRA182450033 Tel: (91 (1892) 21879 Fax: (91) (1892) 21813 www.dalailama.com