EN 36 SEPT 2015     Website Home

Contents

  • Karibu Sana (You are very welcome):
    A visit to East Africa
  • Quiet rooms in Israeli schools
  • TOS news from around the world
    * Pakistan
    * India
    * Puerto Rico
    * USA
    * Uruguay
  • What’s new on the International TOS website?
  • UN International Days for community activities

“The difficult work we do of self-transformation is not done for the self alone. Deepening our connection with the Greater Life which Theosophy embodies is a blessing to our community, our nation and our world.” –Tim Boyd

Dear fellow-members of the TS and TOS around the world,

From Africa, to Israel, to Pakistan, to India, the United States and Latin America, education and the future of our children is a predominant theme. In this issue of TOS in-touch.online we share what TOS groups around the world are doing to offer theosophical education and values to our children, improve the quality of their lives, and to encourage youth to get involved in TOS service work.

Let’s keep in touch and continue to share our experiences. Please consider sending photographs of your TOS activities and news items that might be of interest to fellow TOS members. We would welcome your contributions by email to the editors at nancy.tosinternational@gmail.com.

Remember that the newsletter is designed to be read while you are connected to the internet.

With best wishes in putting theosophical principles into action,
Nancy, Geoffrey, Rozi, Morry and Vicki

 

The editorial team (L. to R.)

Nancy Secrest, International Secretary of the TOS
Geoffrey Harrod, International TOS Webmaster
Rozi Ulics, Assistant TOS Webmaster
Morry Secrest, 2nd Assistant TOS
Webmaster
Vicki Jerome, Proofreader Extraordinaire


Karibu Sana (You are very welcome)

“It was a moment of joy and celebration for us, when Sister Ananya accepted our invitation to grace the 47th East & Central African Convention (comprising Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Zambia), in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, as our Chief Guest. . . . Each country scheduled trips to their TS centres as well, availing themselves of her presence in the continent, as an international speaker.” – Deepa Kapur, Coordinator of the TOS in Tanzania.

Ananya Sri Ram Rajan, of the USA, writes of her visit to East and Central Africa, including her appearance on national TV. Read more.

















Rachel Almog


The Quiet Room


Sound the trumpets! Bang the gong! The TS in Israel has just joined the ranks of the TOS. The TS in Israel has been doing service work for many years under the leadership of Abraham Oron, General Secretary of the Israeli Section, who is about to appoint a new TOS Correspondent in Israel. The TS in Israel has been working with two other associations with thousands of volunteers who teach, tutor and mentor children at the elementary school level. Workshops for children on meditation and dealing with emotions are a focus of their work.

Now we must be quiet as we read what Rachel Almog, a member of the TS/TOS in Israel, writes about the project she developed for “quiet rooms” at schools. Read more here.

 








TOS News from around the world

Ms Nargis Banoo is a very innovative and enthusiastic teacher of the TOS Pakistan’s Qandeel Home School project supported by TOS Australia. She wanted to familiarise children in her Home School with the different names and benefits of locally available vegetables, and thought of a novel way to turn that into a fun activity. Arni Narendran, a TOS member in Mumbai, India, is participating right now in a Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) project known as “Teach India” undertaken by the world’s largest English language newspaper, The Times of India, to equip marginalised urban youth with skills that give them access to employment. Western consumers who feel concern about the exploitation of workers and disregard for the environment in developing countries will be heartened to read about the CSR programmes being carried out in greater numbers in India, especially since the law was recently strengthened in this regard. The TOS in Puerto Rico collects, cleans, repairs and sells used goods of all types in a sort of flea market. The proceeds of their sales are used to buy prostheses or implants for children in Haiti. The TOS-USA has awarded a grant to the Lakota Waldorf School located on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in the state of South Dakota in the United States. It is the home of the Lakota Sioux, a Native American people. Some TOS groups focus on education or social services, others on helping animals. Still others devote their attention to health and healing, or to the arts. The TOS in Uruguay does it all! Read more here.

 

 

What's New on the International TOS Website?
 

In our Latest News, we announce Establishing Theosophical Schools, a new booklet by Vicente Hao Chin Jr, President of Golden Link College Foundation and former President of the Theosophical Society in the Philippines.

In response to increasing interest in the introduction of theosophical principles and practices into schools, Vic shares ideas and suggestions based on more than 20 years’ experience in setting up and running theosophical schools in economically deprived areas of the Philippines. Enjoy reading this booklet here.


 


Golden Link College, originally established as Golden Link School in 2002, was born out of Self-Transformation Seminars launched in the 1990s by the Theosophical Society in the Philippines. Now the Golden Link College has a total of five schools, and offers a theosophical education to students from the primary through the tertiary levels. The college hopes to open another branch in 2016.


In April 2015, the college students of Golden Link launched a weekly soup kitchen for very poor families in San Vicente Ferrer, Camarin, North Caloocan City, serving nutritious food for 150 persons each Saturday until the end of the summer vacation. This is in addition to the tutoring lessons given by the same college group to children in the community who are not enrolled in Golden Link.


Four monks of Plum Village Retreat Centre came to Golden Link last October 8 to conduct a session on Mindfulness with the college students. Plum Village was founded by the Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh in France and now has centres in other countries.


The grounds at Golden Link College include a garden, a pond, a basketball court and a playground. These students are enjoying the pond.




Since 2002 the Golden Link College, our Featured Project, has stood as a prime example of a truly theosophical school. Suggests Vic Hao Chin Jr, “A theosophical school is basically about the development of a certain type of human being who is psychologically balanced, intellectually free, unencumbered by prejudice, who has intrinsic motivation to attain excellence, is ethical, socially well-adapted, self-confident and unselfish. As such, the work of a theosophical school is about character building, personality development and the awakening of self-awareness and higher intelligence. It is only secondarily about learning what are called theosophical concepts.”

The Golden Link College now offers classes from the primary to tertiary level. Children are treated as evolving souls with theosophical values and principles imparted in ways that are appropriate to the children’s ages. For example, meditation is taught, its frequency and duration varying according to the age brackets of the children. No specific religion is taught or practised but all are honoured. Rather, a reverence for the divine and a sensitivity for all life are emphasised. At the high school and college levels, the theosophical world view is introduced formally as a subject in its own right. Does this mean that core subjects such as proficiency in language and basic math are forgotten? No, core academic knowledge and skills are given high priority and attention. After all, reading especially is considered fundamental to theosophists! In addition, the teaching medium at the GLC is English as knowledge of the English language is considered essential for many in today’s world. The GLC has one of the higher academic standards for schools in the area of North Caloocan City. This year all of the GLC graduates who took the exam for teacher licensure passed.

What can we all do to support theosophical education even from our own homes?

The Golden Link College and its sister schools are mostly subsidised because they were primarily established to serve the less privileged. Eighty percent of
the students are on scholarship. In addition, donations of library books are needed, as is assistance with laboratory equipment, sports facilities, computers and the construction of additional classrooms.

Since 2009, the TOS-USA has facilitated an international fundraising campaign that is supplemented by a grant from the Kern Foundation. This year is no exception. The Kern Foundation has again agreed to match
our donations to GLC up to $20,000. To donate to the Golden Link College and take advantage of the $20,000 matching grant, you are invited do the following:


It is best for you to donate to the GLC through the TOS or TS in your country in order to take advantage of the tax deduction if one is available. Then your TOS or TS group will send the total of all donations collected via bank wire to the TOS-USA. (This also has the advantage of paying a bank wire fee only once.) The TOS-USA collects all of the donations from the international TOS groups as well as its own national members. The matching grant from the Kern Foundation is added, and the total amount wired to the Golden Link College.

If you don’t care about tax deductions and have a credit card, you may donate directly using PayPal via the following link (a PayPal account is not necessary). These funds also flow through the TOS-USA and are matched by the Kern
Foundation: CAUTION: Please note that amounts on this link are in US$.
www.theoservice.org/tos-administration/donate-tos




“Children should above all be taught self-reliance, love for all men, altruism, mutual charity, and more than anything else, to think and reason for themselves.... We should aim at creating free men and women, free intellectually, free morally, unprejudiced in all respects, and above all things, unselfish.” –
H.P.B. The Key to Theosophy (Sec. 13)





  
 

Our Featured Article, Gender Issues in a Changing World, shares the talk given by Deepa Padhi, Vice-President of the Theosophical Order of Service Odisha region, India and President of the TOS Mahabharat group, at the 2014 Adyar Convention. With changing times the role of women in society has acquired new dimensions, but there are many issues that challenge women even now in the 21st century. Gender issues take such forms as violence against women, both outside and inside the home, foeticide, infanticide and trafficking. The central issue now is the rights of women as human beings.

 





UN International Days for community activities

October 4 - World Habitat Day

October 10 - World Mental Health Day

November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against
Women

December 3 - International Day of Persons with Disabilities

For information and ideas for activities in which TOS groups could engage. Read more.

 




This newsletter is a publication of the Theosophical Order of Service, “a union of those who love in the service of all that suffers.” Contact address: nancy.tosinternational@gmail.com.