Humanitarian and Youth Programs


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Religious Youth Service

Learning, Serving, and Trekking with Religious Youth Service in Nepal

Sunakothi, Lalitpu, Nepal - "RYS Nepal allowed me to develop a sincere relationship with the community of Sunakothi and further deepened my understanding of other religious traditions and beliefs. I realized that through broadening my understanding of other faiths, I grew deeper in my own personal spirituality."

The Religious Youth Service hosted an eight-day project in Sunakothi, Lalitpur, Nepal from November 20 to 28, 2008. Participants from Nepal, India, Mauritius, and the United States came together to aid the village of Sunakothi with the installation of two much-needed water tanks and the creation of a peace pond. The project was hosted at the Bauddha Jana Vihar, a Buddhist Community Center and Temple.

Participants engaged in daily morning meditations with Bhante Dharmagupta, a Buddhist monk and spiritual leader, and had opportunities to interact and learn the values and principles of the Buddhist faith.

Each afternoon a religious excursion was scheduled in hopes to enrich the understanding and deepen appreciation for all faiths. Visits included to an interreligious assembly (Anmol New Baneshwor), Brahma Kumari Ashram (Thamel), Assumption Catholic Church (Jawlakhel), Shanti Hindu Ashram (Koteshwor), and Jamal Mosque (Kathmandu).

Additionally, educational sessions were scheduled in the evenings to encourage intercultural dialogue, team building, and personal reflection. Participants were able to enjoy the aesthetic beauty of Nepal through trekking adventures and historic visits to ancient temples.

On the final day, a peace tree was planted and inauguration of the water tanks took place with local dignitaries as a symbol of understanding and cooperation. Following the inauguration, a community cultural night was organized as part of the closing ceremony. Representatives from the community and project offered cultural dances and songs in appreciation for RYS.

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