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Humanitarian and Youth Programs

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

June 2021
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Religious Youth Service

N. Chakma: Reflections on the Religious Youth Service in Nuwakot, Nepal

Our historic journey started from Kathmandu, the capital of Nepal on June 1. Thirty participants rode a reserved bus to the Religious Youth Service project site in the town of Nuwakot.

The road to Nuwakot, although passing through a region of high mountains, beautiful rivers, and green fields, is very narrow; it made for an exciting ride. After driving for three hours we arrived at Nuwakot and were warmly received by the local school staff and members of the community.

The next day our program, entitled “Youth Service for Unity in Diversity,” officially started with an opening ceremony at which the participants, RYS staff, and school officials were introduced to each other. This was followed by speeches by various religious leaders and the RYS staff. Piya Ratna, the director of the RYS-Nepal project, gave an introduction to the Universal Peace Federation and the objectives of the Religious Youth Service in Nepal and worldwide.

Next, during a morning assembly, the RYS project team had the opportunity to meet the schoolchildren from the schools they would be helping to restore.

During seven days together with people from different backgrounds, cultures and nationalities I had many interesting experiences. An important part of the RYS project were the educational sessions on many aspects of life, given by religious leaders and Ambassadors for Peace.

Even more enlightening were the interfaith visits we made to sites that have spiritual significance for different faiths. Through these visits we could learn about traditions and cultures other than our own. I felt that our RYS group was making a “pilgrimage of youth.”

During this time we also came to know more about the Universal Peace Federation, its founder, Dr. Sun Myung Moon, and his most amazing journey to achieve world peace through interfaith harmony.

For our service project, we painted six school buildings which had been in very poor condition. These buildings are used by around 700 students from kindergarten to high school level. The 30 of us worked together with local volunteers to finish the job in seven days. It was a marvelous experience to make friends while working together helping others.

More than 500 people, both students and members of the community, attended our graduation ceremony. Many people came to know about UPF and RYS during the cultural program.

The days I spent on the RYS Nepal project were not only very informative and service-oriented but also the most disciplined event that I ever have attended. I look forward to taking part in future RYS projects, and I will recommend them to other people as well.

Nitol Chakma is from Dhaka, Bangladesh, and is a Buddhist.

Read also the project report and reflections by Shehreen Ataur Khan.


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