Humanitarian and Youth Programs


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Religious Youth Service

RYS Participants Build Community Center to Serve Three Indian Villages

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Darjeeling, India - Twenty-nine participants, representing various faiths and cultures, hailed from Bhutan, Nepal, Bangladesh and others parts of India including Assam, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh, Manipur, Mizoram, Kerala and West Bengal attended this year's RYS India. RYS India 2009 took place at Poobong, Darjeeling from August 25 to September 1, 2009.

This year's endeavor was to construct a community center of about 1,100 sq. ft for the needy peoples of three villages, thereby providing a much-needed meeting place. Ongoing efforts are being made in the development of a global peace village, and to encourage villagers to become effective decision-makers in the development of their own communities. The community center will also be equipped with important information concerning health and education.

Because of the difficult economic times, the diverse communities will share the Center as a place where many of their ritual, cultural and traditional events can take place. The "RYS Peace Center" will be a multipurpose center where everyone can nurture self-respect, living in freedom, cooperation and prosperity. It will serve as a foundation for peace by encouraging the local people to come together and promote religious tolerance and co-operation. The shared meeting space will thereby help them, to learn about each other's traditions, religions and cultures.

The RYS project was amalgam of various activities, including education, construction work, meditation, trekking, yoga and sightseeing. RYS educators and trainers inspired all the participants with motivating lectures, service activities, educational workshops and morning meditations.

At the conclusion of the project the participants reluctantly departed from one another. The youth shared in the common language of heart. The participants unanimously felt grateful to meet on a common platform and work together experiencing the joy of knowing they are part of one human family. Key sponsors included UPF International, UPF Darjeeling, Sai Baba Trust, The Government Primary School, Alu Baari, The Panchayath Office - Ghoom, and The Football Club, Alu Baari.

August 25 - September 1, 2009


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