Dear Friends of Alice,
This will be the first newsletter of the year 2022. In our last edition of the Alice Project news, we updated you about all the activities happened in the last year. Now let us bring you further on this journey.
The arrival of Lama Kelsang la and Christmas: The year started with the Christmas celebrations though, it was not so easy time due to the pandemic. But the Alice celebrated the Christmas and The New Year, with prayers and pujas for the well being of all the students, teachers, and the friends of Alice. It was a great fortune of ours that Lama Kelsang La, the brother of our president Mr. Tsewang Tenzin who has been residing in the school since some days. Lama had the intuition and he was knowing the trouble which we all had to face and this is why he was insisting all of us to use our time in performing good actions, prayers, meditation as much as possible.
Not only this, Lama was on a special mission, which was to very essential; the restoration of the stupas that are made at our schools of Sarnath and Bodhgaya. Thanks to him, we found very professional artists and workers who did a wonderful work and the stupa, of Sarnath school was restored very nicely.
After the restoration of the stupa at Sarnath special pujas needed to be performed, which was successfully done under the guidance of Lama. After the completion of the restoration work done at Sarnath , the restoration started at Bodhgaya School. Lama himself was there to look after all the works. When the restoration completed there, a grand puja was organized there as well.
Meeting of the board members:In the month of December a meeting with the board members of the society was organized at the Sarnath School.The meeting was very successful. The secretary of the society expresses herself as follows:
It was an exciting experience for all of us to meet all the members after the tragic Covid break. The meeting was very important and was a great success one. All the members approved the expenses of the current financial year and the estimates for the next year 2022-2023. Beside this many other points were discussed some of them were as follows : The construction of new classrooms in Sarnath where the school population continues to grow (we are already at 1200 students); also expansion of the school for the chakma, in Arunachal Pradesh; the online connection project between the three schools (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh) for the sharing of lessons, assemblies, events; the resumption of ethics courses that had been suspended due to the pandemic; addition of new Covid emergency courses for school recovery for high school students (part of the funding offered by UBI); insurance for all teachers; new project for chakma families for the Bodhgaya school; collaboration between schools and the Alice group in Italy; I plan to send a former student to Italy to the farm of an Alice supporter as a bridge between Italy and India as part of a development initiative for sustainable agriculture associated with a … Sustainable school. There was also talk of the financial situation, severely tested by the lack of student fees. The administration has decided not to ask for any contribution in consideration of the economic difficulties of many families caused by the lockdown
Despite everything, thanks to friends who believe in our educational research, we manage to survive, with great sacrifices on the part of all. We would like to reassure all our friends about the transparency of all our operations.
Increasing of Corona cases, closure of the School and online class started: The Omicron variant of Corona, started India also and the govt. asked all the schools to be closed in the starting of January, following the norms we here at the Alice also had to close our school and once again we had to take the help of the online classes.
To easily avail this online class for the children who are not able to afford it, the administration decided to invest a part of the donation received from UBI in purchasing the Tablets for such students, which was a great avail for the students. Teachers of the school made a great effort to help the students, to keep their studies going on without any problem. Republic Day Celebration: Following the covid protocols, in the presence of teachers, members of the society and the staff, the national flag was hoisted at the school premises on the occasion of the Repulic Day (26 January 2022). Unfortunately this year there were not the students.
The principal and the vice president of the society hoisted the flag. The secretary of the soceity addressed to the teachers and staff of the school and the nuns of the Tara temple situated at our school.
The first Alice Project meeting: After two years of closure due to the Covid, finally two volunteers : Mr. Satyam Umberto and Sara Runza, arrived at the Sarnath school in the month of January. They were the two volunteers who took this challenge to come in India even though it was not so easy at that time. But we did it.
On 27 January 2022, there was a first online meeting was organized. The theme of the meeting was : “ Tu, Come Stai? Aiutare Bambine e Bambini a ritrovare se stessi” – How are you, help the girls and boys to retrive themselves.
The Educational Project- Alice Project, is coming back at Traviso. About 40 people were present in this meeting, while many followwed it on facebook and you tube. It was a successful meeting, people were happy to listen about the juourny of Alice Project that started in eighties in Italy and later on India. They happily shared their views, ideas and suggestions.
It was nice to listen about the success of Alice and how much it is need in the present moment, from one of the ex- students Mr. Boom Dorje, who was presenting the meeting together with Mr. Satayam and Mr. Sudhakar .
For More details follow the link : https://www.facebook.com/ideasociale/videos/3141169006205836
Entry of Covid in the premises of Alice Project: In the last two years of pandemic, this caused so many troubles to the whole world; though some of our teachers and our president got effected, but it never entered the gates of Alice Project. But this time, it entered. It entered and at first it effected to Mr. Umberto and Miss Runza who were here one a special mission with great motivation to support the Alice Project School and they did a wonderful work to make it possible.
Then it also effected the exectutive director Mr. Sudhakar who got effected by it. It was an emergncy situation for all of us. At once we contsulted to one the best hospitals of Varanasi, who sent their representatives for the examintation of all the members staying at the School.
Mr. Valentino who physically was not here at Alice, but his mind was always here , he got worried about all of us and at once he requested the Lama to make divinations and to suggest us wht should we do in this situation. Lama made the divinations, and said that, we should not be panic, but we should try to keep ourselves , peaceful and relax, spend the time in practicing the Dharma. He suggested several pujas and prayers, that were urgently needed to be done. We asked our President Mr. Tsewang Tenzin la, and our contacts in Nepal who did a wonderful job to arrrange the pujas and prayers for all those who were sick and beside them for all the students, teachers and sponsors for their well being.
Lama Kelsang la was also here and he also did many different kinds of pujas and fire offerings, so that we all can face this challenge in an easier way.
Thanks to all the pujas, prayers, and fish liberation the Alice school made it possible to overcome the Covid crisis without serious side effects. Alice Society President Tenzin Tzewang and Lama Kelsang offered ongoing psychological and spiritual support to the students.
In particular, Lama Kelsang, the spiritual referent of the schools, did not spare himself in offering puja for the sick.
A difficult moment for the family of Mr. Sudhakar : The starting of the year 2022, was not so easy for , on 31st of the January, we got the information that the director of the school Mr. Sudhakar Lost his father, who was doing under treatment since long. Indeed it was not an easy time for Mr. Sudhakar and his family. As he had just came out of the Covid infection and then the lost of his father. Not only was he, Mr. Mohan lal, the vice president of the society, also not feeling very well. Once again he was hit by the disease of lever.
Mr. Valentino once again, Lama Kelsang to make puja for both of them and lama kindly accepted it.
PRAYERS FROM THE BARDO…
Lama Kelsang was invited by our school superintendent’s family to make special prayers for the death of the head of the house. It is said that the anina of the deceased does not realize that she is no longer alive and keeps wandering in her house prey to confusion. Hence, the bardo pujas. Thus are called by both Brahmins (Hindu priests) and Buddhist Lama those special prayers to accompany the consciousness of the deceased into a new dimension of existence.
Lama Kelsang went directly to the deceased’s house for the complex ceremony of passage, after the cremation.A particular curious one. The family of our director is truly ecumenical because they are represented the three major historical religions: Hinduism, Buddhism and Christianity.
Obviously, there’s no competitiveness, but deep respect for the rituals of every religion. Eventually, it turns out that apart from slight differences, all religions equally face the mystery of death, with similar rituals and beliefs.
After the puja of the llama, everyone said they feel more serene.Prayers, in fact, are useful for both the living and the dead and they bring, however, peace, resignation, comfort.
The work of Lama Kelsang is admirable, who did not hesitate to bring his spirituality to the homes of the sick or mourning people in the villages, donating the strength of his own achievements to soothe physical and psychological pain.Americans call this testimony of pure dharma as “engaged Buddhism,” which is Buddhism in action, engaged, outside of monasteries, in the field, among sick and dying people.
Compassion in the practice of poor people’s lives, period. Thank you, humble llama Kelsang, for your testimony of social commitment to those who are suffering and in need! – Valentino giacomin
PEACE, AT THE END!
It was very helpful, after the prayers I and my whole family felt very relaxed and calm. Specially my mother, who is at a time deeply sad for my father, while other worried for all of us, felt very relax.
The tears of joy and gratitude roll down from our eyes. We express our deep gratitude. What you are doing for all of us, is so kind of you.
I will never forget
The reopening of the schools: In the month of February, when the speed of covid got down, the schools reopened, once again the schools of Sarnath and Bodhgaya were ready to welcome the students.
Following the covid protocols the school reopened. There are a great joy and happiness seen over the faces of the students and the teachers, who were meeting each other after a long gap of of a month.
New experiment on Math : At the Alice Project Sarnath Branch we once again started a new experiment with the students, about the concentration, awareness, through the mathematics.
Mr. Mohan Lal, who has recovered from the sickness, was ready to lead the class and we found every good results in this experiment, about which we will write more in our next edition of Alice Project News.
The Ethical project restarted, and a press conference: As soon as the covid cases decreased, at our schools of Sarnath and Bodhgaya once gain we restarted the Ethical project a special training course for the students about moral ethics and philosophy, under the sponsorship of UBI (Unione Buddhista Italiana). At the same time, special classes for English, Math, Science, Hindi and Special Program are also organized twice a week. In one of the weekends on 13th March 2022 Ven. Lama Thupten Kalsang accepted our request happily and spends a quality time with our students, while exchanging smiling faces, Guruji explained them about the importance and need of moral ethics in our life and the importance of human life and how we should lead meaningful life. In this event, with the aim of world peace a puja for goddess Tara was also performed together with all the teachers, students and all the members of the Alice Project Family. Everyone participated the puja with great joy and pleasure.
Everyone prayed Goddess Tara to bestow her light of love and kindness to all the sentient beings and may all the negative karmas that have been knowingly or unknowingly happened by our body, mind or speech be dwelled away. May all be free from diseases. May all be happy and find the profound peace.
On this occasion a press conference was organized at the school, that was very nice. Here we are presenting the copies of some articles.
A Special retreat for the long life of HH the 14th Dalai Lama and world peace: To honor and thank the Dalai Lama, who blessed the Sarnath school three times, supporting educational research, the students of the three schools in Alice (Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, Arunachal Pradesh) have decided to start the recitation of half a million of mantras for the long life of the Guru (Cenresig, and Tara).
At the present moment, the world is facing the war between the Ukrain and Russia, and the entire world is at the edge of the third world war. So at this situation , what can we do here at Alice? At Alice, we believe in prayers and mantras: so we decided to make the mantra chanting of Gooddess Durga and for the world peace. Our target was to chant 5 00,000 each mantras, but we reached upto 800,000. After the completion of the chanting a fire puja was organized at the schools of Sarnath and Bodhgaya and the meals were offered to the students and the teachers who are following the ethical project.
President Mr. Tsewang Tenzin visits the Bodhgaya and Saranth Schools
Our President Mr. Tsewang Tenzin visited the Bodhgaya Branch and Sarnath Branch in last weeks. He met the students, teachers, and the member of the society at both the schools.
In the year 2011, he had paid a visit at Arunachal Branch. This was the testimony after his first trip at Arunachal School : ′′I was so impressed with the good and hard work being done here. This school is really making a difference to the lives of the villagers. They are so poor it moved me deeply.”
An inspiring Report from our president that he had submitted to Mr. Valentino Giacomin:
This time after his visit at Sarnath and Bodhgaya Mr. Tenzin, presented his report as follows
Dear Valentino la,I was able to met the teachers today morning and we discussed in detail about school , the present world crisis and the ways to raise fund for our school……….The ethical class is really an interesting and good one. I like it so much. Overall visit to both the schools are so successful and I am really glad that I could do it. The environment at the Sarnath and Bodhgaya school is so pleasant and loving. So don’t worry about the school. You please take good care of yourself and stay happy.
Meeting with the professor Mr. Negi la,: On behalf of Mr. Valentino sir, the president met the professor Wangchhuk La, the new executive vice – chancellor of the CHITS, Tibetan University , Sarnath and offered some of the publications of Alice Project.In the discussion, professor, was very happy, and remembered his last visit, at Alice Project in the year 2018. He said he was so impressed to see our students and appreciated them saying “ Your students are good listeners. They have a wonderful capacity of listening.”
And as per our request, he said he will pay a visit soon to address our students. We are very
thankful to the professor for being so kind to us.
Annual exams, Parents meeting and Result distribution: On 31 of March at the Alice Project Schools, parents – teacher meeting and the mark – sheet distribution was organized. They met the teachers, listen to them, shared their views, ideas, requests and suggestions and received the report cards of their wards with keen interest and happy faces.
The principal office was whole day full of the parents and guardians, who met him with their children, to express their thanks, to make their requests regarding the new admissions, to ask different information related to the school and the new academic sessions.
Over all the day was successful one. We thank all the parents / guardians who came to visit the school. At the same time we are sorry for the ones who could not come, but we are always open to them. They can come whenever it is convenient to them.
Visitor from Nepal and the new projects for the Bodhgaya Schools : Dr Tenzin Wangchug, a graduate of philosophy at the Tibetan University of Sarmath,paid a visit at the Sarnath and Bodhgaya Schools. Tenzin is our reference in Nepal when we have to contact some monasteries to do special rituals for schools. We are checking the possibility of Nepali Teachers (spiritual) involvement in the management and administration of Bodhgaya School. The visit aims to collect documentation that will serve as a starting basis for the project of a possible partnership with other institutions. We will write more about this project in our next edition.
Arrival of Francesca and Romina at Alice: Francesca Piovella, and Romina two wonderful ladies, with lots of enthusiasm and dedication arrived at Sarnath School. They will be here at the for some weeks and will follow the projects that are running under the UBI and will help and support for the preparations for the 5th International Teachers training At the Sarnath School, that is going to be organized at Sarnath in the month of August.
The third online the meeting: On 20th of April, there was the third online meetingTu, Come Stai? Aiutare Bambine e Bambini a ritrovare se stessi- With Madam Paola Salvadori The director of the Compensivo Institute Don Milani di Barberino (Fi). The Principal’s school has been distinguished for years for educational choices – courageous and advanced educational. A model institute in every way. A school looking for a new educational paradigm for future generations.
This meeting also was as successful one as last time. About 35 people joined the meeting live while many others joined it through FB and other social media platforms.
The Director talked about the Alice Project School, which she visited four years ago, and what her teachers are doing to put into practice some of methodology of Alice Project. During the meeting Madam Paola expressed herself about the Alice Project Schools as follows:
When I was in India at the Alice Project School, I saw the kids arriving in the morning at his school in Sarnath where I have been where there are about 900 students who arrive in the morning and neatly set up the courtyards with plastic mats on which they sit and sing. Singing unites, and makes one rejoice, not only Valentino says so but also neuroscience says that singing together predisposes one towards the other. Harmony is created between people thanks to the vibrations they put together. Choral singing has this function and also a therapeutic one. It is therefore an important moment. Before, it was done in the various plexuses with all the children together, and now it is timidly beginning again in the individual classes, because in order to sing it is necessary to lower the mask. After the assembly for singing, the children go into the classroom to choose the colored balls placed at the entrance of the classroom. A moment of silence follows and the lesson begins structured as the teachers believe. A few teachers have begun to structure the lessons by also following the visualization techniques of mental training much used in the pursuit of concentration that change depending on the age of the children. Sitting children focus on abstractions about what they are doing. If for example they are doing English a complicated word comes up, children imagine the word, count how many letters make it up, what is the initial and final and so on. They play with the letters of this word. The same for math or operations within a cloud. The same can be done for any type of discipline. The typical lesson goes on by stopping for a moment where you stretch out by telling a joke, some funny words or get up for physical movement or just close your eyes and concentrate. In the secondary school there are math, English and humanities teachers who are implementing these methods but not all. You can’t say we have an experimental class because we would have to do a whole series of steps according to the standards I mentioned earlier.
Announcement: We are pleased to inform to all of you dear friends that this year, we are going to organize the 5th international teachers training and pilgrimage tour to the 8 holy Buddhist sites in the month of August from 02nd to 25th there will be the training and after that there will be the pilgrimage tour.
All the necessary preparations are being done for the organization.
Quote of Thanks:
Now last but not the least, On behalf of whole team of the Alice Project we express our deep gratitude and thanks from the bottom of our hearts for all the help and support that we have been receiving from you. Thanks to you we will continue to see improvements in our school.