This is a video / slideshow I made for the 20th Anniversary party of our Familia AMURTEL home last September. It was such a beautiful feeling to be altogether with all of our Familia AMURTEL children – now of course, most of them are already grown-ups! It has been an amazing experience to see them grow and mature – often quite the roller-coaster ride, but overall I am quite proud of each of them! Glad to have been part of the adventure.
The Secretary General of the United Nations, Ban Ki-Moon, made a one day trip to visit earthquake affected Haiti. Since the January 12 earthquake, the Petionville Country Club has been transformed into one of the largest camps for displaced people in Port-au-Prince, with estimates of up to 70,000 people living there. AMURT has opened 3 Child-Friendly Spaces in the camp, serving approximately 460 children so far, and projected to serve up to 1000 within two weeks. As Ban toured through the camp, he visited one of our Child-Friendly Spaces scheduled to open the following day. Sara Wolf (Sarita), the AMURT Child Protection Coordinator, explained the educational importance of providing safe opportunities for play and self-expression for young children. She described our program which offers story-telling, art, music, karate and yoga as well as meals and nutritional support to children 4-12 years old. He enquired if the children are going to school, and she explained that as schools are still closed, AMURT is providing this transitional program of 3 hours a day. He was very impressed to see how happy the children look.
Sunday morning, Jayatii awoke to the sound of pattering rain drops through the broad leafy banana trees, and the slow steady dripping of water through leaky roof of her tent on the roof of the AMURTEL headquarters. In the dim, groggy light of early morning, her first thoughts rushed to the people in the camps. Most of the 11,000 people displaced by the earthquake living in the camps that AMURTEL is overseeing, are staying in huts hastily made of corrugated tin, scraps of wood, and tarps.
A surplus of tarps were still lying in the AMURTEL depot, and Jayatii’s conscience would not rest until she found a way to distribute them to the people getting wet and muddy in the slow steady rainfall. So, at 6 am, she and Ramakrsna sketched out a plan to distribute tarps to the women in the camp in Citroen. Later that morning, an AMURTEL team handed out cards to the women in the camp, and returned a few hours later in the afternoon with the tarps. When the AMURTEL vehicles arrived, the camp committee quickly cordoned off an area for the women to stand in queue, and the distribution was organized with surprising ease and efficiency. 133 tarps were distributed in about 20 minutes. Read more
Vines naturally seek to climb and grow ever closer towards the light. When untended, if unable to find a fence, or tree or other strong support on their own, they tend to sprawl chaotically into a great, tangled mess. But when pruned and guided onto a support by an attentive gardener, then this same twining nature of the vines can fully express and they quickly climb higher and higher.
In all forms of service, whether as educators, awakening the thirst for knowledge in young minds, or as social workers, empowering people to solve their own problems, or spiritual aspirants helping other travellers along the path of life, we become like the gardener. We seek to help vines make contact with a strong supportive structure that will enable them to grow and express their own inherent potentiality. Read more