In May 2013, Buddhist Global Relief (BGR) awarded Helen Keller International a three-year grant to support their Enhanced Homestead Food Production (EHFP) and Orange-Fleshed Sweet Potatoes (OFSP) production in Côte d’Ivoire. The project extended from September 2013 to August 2016. The goal of this project was to improve the nutritional status of children and families in the Gebke Region of Bouake District. In this region, as elsewhere across Côte d’Ivoire, people face a constant struggle with food security, availability of micronutrient-rich foods, and accessibility to markets.
A BGR project in Bangem subdivision of Cameroon, in West Africa, undertaken in partnership with the social service organization CENCUDER, is making big news. The project, which started last academic year, aims at enhancing the education and health of over 95 poor and needy village children attending the Ebase-Bajoh primary school. The core of the project is the distribution of a hot school lunch to the pupils, many of whom are girls and orphans. The feeding program, which is intended to promote literacy amongst school-age children suffering from chronic hunger and an insufficient diet, is the first of its kind to be undertaken by an NGO in the Bangem subdivision. It is quite astounding that in this country—which is 40% Catholic, 30% Protestant, 18% Muslim, and probably 0% Buddhist—it is a Buddhist organization that has come to the aid of the poor children of the region.
Wisdom Publications has just published a new book by our chair, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, entitled The Buddha’s Teachings on Social and Communal Harmony. The book is an anthology from the Pali Canon, with a general introduction and individual chapter introductions by Bhante. It has a foreword by the Dalai Lama and a prologue and epilogue by Alan Senauke. The text itself is organized into ten chapters, dealing with such topics as anger, proper speech, good friendship, the community, disputes, and the establishment of an equitable society. Here follows an edited excerpt from the Dalai Lama’s foreword and from Bhante’s general introduction.
This year Buddhist Global Relief held ten U.S. Walks to Feed the Hungry. The first walk of the season kicked off in Milford, Michigan, which was followed by walks in Seattle, San Francisco, Philadelphia, San Jose, Los Angeles, New York, St. Louis, Willington (Connecticut), and Houston. This year our chairperson, Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi, participated in three of the walks—in St. Louis, Willington, and Houston. Our executive director, Tom Spies, also participated in three walks—in Philadelphia, New York, and Willington. Earlier during the summer, a walk was held in England, organized by The New Buddha Way, and a solidarity walk took place in India, held by our partner in Nagpur, the Bodhicitta Foundation.