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 scholarships. 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)