Pages InformationWriter admin Date04 Oct 2013 Read14,938 Comment0
Seeds of Learning Planted in Africa
The Friends on the Path Foundation held a ground-breaking ceremony on September 9 at 11:00 in the morning, local time, for construction of the ‘Agriculture Technical High School of Chekeni Mwasonga Village’ in the city of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania.
Ven. Beopgwang (Executive Director) and Ven. Hyeil (Secretary General), representing the Friends on the Path Foundation, were in attendance, providing their undivided support. Sophia Umjema, Tanzania’s Minister of Administration, together with 400 other representatives, was also present at this ground-breaking ceremony.
Construction of a school on the African continent, where Korean Buddhism is still unheard of, holds a very special meaning for the Jogye Order, in terms of its willingness to provide support to the first African NGO project in the history of Korean Buddhism.
Tanzania is one of the most poverty-stricken countries in the world, and many children and teens must forgo proper education due to their economic situation. Therefore, less than 5% of the populace enrolls in high school. The literacy rate for citizens over the age of 15 is well under 30% of the total population. The Friends on the Path, a Non-Profit Organization (under the leadership of Ven. Jaseung, Chairman of the Board of Directors and president of the Jogye Order) is therefore constructing a technical school to grant educational opportunities to the young people of Africa.
The high school is to be established in a small village called Chekeni Mwasonga, in the Temeke District, situated approximately 30 km away from Dar es Salaam, the economic capital of Tanzania.
Ven. Beopgwang, in his congratulatory remarks, stated on behalf of president Jaseung, “This agriculture technical high school, to be established in the future, will help all the young people who have had to give up their educational opportunities due to lack of economic resources. We will, from this day forward, provide support to those students who lack money to pay for tuition and living expenses. Through various educational opportunities, we hope for these students to realize their dreams.” In return, Minister Sophia Umjema offered the following words in gratitude, “This groundbreaking ceremony for the Tanzania Agricultural Technical High School is the very foundation which could support the future of Tanzania.
Initiated by the ground-breaking ceremony, the Tanzania agriculture technical high school will begin its official construction in the spring of 2014. The goal is to complete its final construction in May of 2015. It will be comprised of different classrooms, a health clinic, practical training rooms, a library, and dormitory. After completion of the physical structures, the school will open its doors to the students in August 2015. Formal training will officially begin in September of that year.
Beginning with the ground-breaking ceremony, the Friends on the Path will hold various events to raise money, with support from the general public. The Dharma ceremony of 108 prostrations and the African Compassionate Charity Bazaar are currently being organized to raise the donations necessary to maintain the school.