Fo Guang Shan Cloud and Water Mobile Libraries

In carrying out the objective of “Propagating Dharma through Culture” and “Fostering Talents through Education,” Venerable Master Hsing Yun established the Fo Guang Shan Foundation for Buddhist Culture and Education in 1988 using funds collected from the alms round which took place across Taiwan in celebration of Fo Guang Shan’s 20th anniversary. The foundation is dedicated to social welfare through organizing activities in the following five areas: academic research, life education, cultural communication, Cloud and Water Mobile Libraries, and Dharma propagation through music.

Fo Guang Shan’s Cloud and Water Mobile Libraries

In 2007, the Fo Guang Shan Foundation for Buddhist Culture and Education launched its first Cloud and Water Mobile Library, which made regular tours to remote areas. By bringing books to underprivileged children, it is hoped that they can expand their horizons and change their futures through reading. In 2012, under the direction of Venerable Master Hsing Yun, the number of Cloud and Water Mobile Libraries was increased to fifty, increasing the number of routes covered and the number to stations covered in Taiwan to 500. Annually, the Cloud and Water Mobile Libraries serve more than 100 million people. In addition to Taiwan, the Cloud and Water Mobile Library also offers its services to the people in Hong Kong, Japan, and Da Jue Temple in Mainland China. In 2015, the Cloud and Water Mobile Library was awarded the “Promoter of Reading – Rock Reading Award,” the highest honor in the promotion of reading in the education sector by the Ministry of Education.

 

Volume of circulation (across Taiwan) from June 2014 – May 2015

# of Stations:1,087

# of Rounds:4,238

# of Membership:9,968

# of borrowers:48,941

# of books checked-out:204,176

# of borrowers returning books:52,301

# of books returned:226,617

Participant:307,778

Volunteer:19,516

Total Mileage:151,387

Schools:1,007

Communities:80

# of books catalogued:545,693

Posted in Recent News | Leave a comment

Ensuring environment sustainability

The earth is where all living beings rely on to survive and also the common home of humanity. Over time and technological advancements the natural environment has suffered considerable harm, reaching the point where living conditions for people are seriously threatened. Based on the theme, “Environmental and Spiritual Preservation,” BLIA and Buddha’s Light Scouts troops have been active in promoting “BLIA Loves the Earth, Protects the Environment” with programs such as advocating vegetarianism, planting trees, preserving energy, reducing carbon, and beach and mountain cleaning. There are also talks and forums on environmental protection for spreading the concepts of environmentalism to the general public in the hopes of getting everyone to come together to actualize “Environmental and Spiritual Preservation.”
Beach Cleaning – BLIA members from Los Angeles, New York, Japan, Taiwan, London, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Africa have engaged in beach cleaning activities, picking up various plastic wastes, non-soluble paper, metal, glass, ropes, tires, and discarded toys etc. A total of 40,000 people were involved in collecting almost 500 tons of trash.
Tree-planting and Reforestation – BLIA Toronto, Canada; BLIA South Island, New Zealand; BLIA Sydney, Australia; and BLIA members in Taiwan have been involved in the “Planting Hope with Your Hands to Protect the Earth” program in planting 160,000 saplings.

Street Cleaning – BLIA members have been active in picking up garbage along roadsides and within bushes, cleaning parks, streets, and sidewalks, coming together to care for and protect the great earth.
Charity Gardening – BLIA Detroit members have been helping with the local Edison garden in Farming Hills, harvesting ripe vegetables and planting for the next season’s growth. All the harvest of the day are donated to the local Gleaners Community Food Bank for many low-income families in the Greater Detroit Area to enjoy fresh, organic vegetables and fruits. The program promotes both vegetarianism and the importance of carbon reduction and environmental preservation.
Through picking up garbage, members appreciate the hard work of cleaning workers. In the process of cleaning beaches, planting trees, and sweeping streets, it is also the opportunity for purifying one’s spirit. Through caring for the earth, they have achieved the preservation of both body and mind as well as self and environment.

Please see below video for better illustration

Posted in Recent News, UN & BLIA | Tagged | Leave a comment

Eradicating extreme poverty and hunger

Since its founding in 1991, BLIA members worldwide has spared no effort in caring for the underprivileged in the spirit of “unconditional compassion and loving-kindness.” The various programs BLIA chapters have conducted and participated in aim to alleviate the survival and developmental problems of the developing countries.

1) “Zero Hunger” soymilk stations have been operating for years in Paraguay to provide free supply of 77,034 liters of soymilk for families in the slums, totaling 20,350 gallons a year. This Christmas, 500 packs of South American Christmas sweetbread and 1,000 packets of chocolate were distributed to children for an early Christmas celebration.
2) BLIA Paraguay members provide material supplies for Hogarde Ninas Santa Maria Children’s Home, Mitarenda Pai Calabria Hogar Steresa, and Hogar de Ancianos San Agustin for the elderly, providing free meals to over 200 homeless people.
3) BLIA Brazil and Sao Paolo Lotus Subchapter collaborated in year-end visits and giving of supplies to the needy. 650 sets of gifts and supplies were transported in eight vehicles and a large truck to five centers for the underprivileged, including homes for the handicapped, seniors village, and orphanages, benefitting more than 600 people aged from five to over 80 years old.
4) BLIA Chile participated in the “Mis Amigos” winter relief for the young, giving away 800 pairs of thick socks and gloves, earmuffs, hats, scarves, candy, and cookies.
5) BLIA St. Louis held a food drive, collecting 461 pounds of supplies such as canned food, dry noodles, and cooking oil for the St. Louis Area Foodbank to distribute to needy families in the region.
6) Buddha’s Light Scouts in New York initiated the “Stop Hunger” food drive at the Keyfood Supermarket on 73 Avenue, Oakland Gardens and Fairway Supermarket in Douglaston. Various canned food, breakfast cereals, pasta, beans, fruit juice, and bottled water were collected, sorted, boxed, and transported to the New York City Harvest trucks for distribution to needy families in the region.
7) BLIA YAD Toronto conducted the “Out of the Cold” project by holding winter supplies and toiletries drive on campuses to help the homeless in the Waterloo and Kitchener areas to survive the cold winter.
8) BLIA New Zealand South Island initiated the fifth annual winter relief for low-income families. Over 30 boxes of food and daily necessities were donated to Christchurch’s City Mission for the needy to have a warm holiday season.
9) BLIA Vancouver held the “Love for East Vancouver; Warmth on the Streets” project, offering the homeless loving-care. Supplies such as socks, gloves, scarves, shampoo, soap, toothpaste, toothbrush as well as 200 packs of cookies, candy, and fruit juice were delivered to Vancouver St. John Ambulance headquarters for distribution to the homeless in Pigeon Park, East Vancouver.
10) More than 20 members of BLIA YAD San Francisco went to Los Second Harvest foodbank to help sort and package food supplies. The young members collaborated in packaging 1,120 boxes of food, winning the commendation of the foodbank staff.

Please see below video for better illustration

Posted in Recent News, UN & BLIA | Leave a comment

Achieving universal primary education

“Under the Big Tree” – BLIA World Headquarters Honorary President, Venerable Master Hsing Yun believes that educating children who cannot go to school is far more important than giving them money. Hence, BLIA established the “Seeds of Hope Project” to bring education back to India. In 2014, FGS Institute of Buddhist Studies in India started the “Under the Big Tree” program for underprivileged children in the villages, with a current enrollment of 50 students. Following conditions, the program teaches children coming from different family backgrounds to practice the “three acts of goodness,” providing them with different options and helping them to turn their lives around.

Since the first “Cloud and Water Mobile Library” in 2007, BLIA has been making regular tours to remote regions and underprivileged areas in the hopes of helping children there to widen their horizons and to change their lives through reading. In 2016, the “Cloud and Water Mobile Library” service has spread to China, Japan, Hong Kong, and Taiwan. A total of 53 mobile libraries had provided 665,975 volumes of books and covered 801,250 miles of touring different regions. Checked out 242,135 books and through reading, childrens learn and gain happiness in the process of their development.

Every summer vacation, BLIA chapters in more than 60 countries and regions in the world will conduct the “Three Acts of Goodness Children’s Summer Camp and Life Camp.” The programs of these camps are the collaborative efforts of BLIA YAD members, teaching the children the spirit of “do good deeds, speak good words, and think good thoughts.” In 2016, a total of 300 camps were conducted for 38,000 children, who came together in sharing, learning, and having fun for a happy vacation.

Please see below video for better illustration

Posted in Recent News, UN & BLIA, Education | Leave a comment