Excerpted from news reports by Didi Ananda Devapriya
Earth Day, which is internationally recognized on April 22nd, was celebrated in Bucharest at the two Sunrise Playschools for the first time. We had a variety of discussion themes – what makes the earth happy, what makes it sad, how we can be good friends to the earth. We also discussed differences between chemical
and natural materials. But one of the most interesting projects was paper making to practically demonstrate recycling! At the Mihai Bravu the children recycled paper step by step into a very beautiful artistic creation.
At the Bucuresti Noi school, the children went on an adventure in the forest to find a magical fairy…only the children could see the fairy and they had to become very quiet and follow a magical trail through the forest blindfolded listening for fairy music in order to find her. At first the fairy was sad, because big people are forgetting about nature, but when she met our children who were so enthusiastically saying that they love the Earth – even singing a song specially made for the occasion, her spirits lifted and she guided them through a nature walk…When we met with other big children in the park, the fairy and our children shared a message about the earth with them. They also were excited to do something positive for the earth by picking up litter and throwing it in the right place. It was a memorable event!Special Needs work Mihai Bravu school
In our Sunrise School, Mihai Bravu, where we have been pioneering the integration of special needs children into a normal setting since the inception of the project, an innovation that we are experimenting with this year is that we have hired a “psicopedagog” in order to provide more individualized attention, planning and parent involvement for our special needs children. Her job includes making a detailed evaluation of each case and a individualized plan with specific learning objectives which are presented to the parents and shared with other staff.
Her name is Gabriela, and she herself is a very positive example for the children because she also has cerebral palsy in her legs, but through physical therapy, and a very determined spirit, she has been able to overcome it to a great degreePanatau Fountain of Hope is a new after school center in Panatau, a small village in rural Romania. Since its opening in October, the after-school center has been serving warm, nutritious vegetarian meals and giving homework support to 30 of the most disadvantaged children in Panatau daily. The opening ceremony of Izvorul Sperantei, took place on Nov. 2nd. The project has received several generous contributions, but is still in urgent need of more sponsorships in order to cover the costs of providing the hot meals. It costs 16 euros per month to cover the food costs of one child – or about 190 euros in a year.
Ac Shambhushivananda Avt participated in the deliberations in the conference on “Peace and Reconciliation in South Asia” held in Oslo on April 10-11th and organised by The International Association of Human Values. Among the speakers were some
members of the European Parliament, representatives of conflicting parties in Sri Lanka, Mynamar, victims of Maoist movement in India, representatives from some state governments of India, peace scholars, women peace activists and members of the media community who shared views on “How does media fuel or solve world conflicts?”
During the Spring Retreat held at Selva di Cadore in Italy from 21st to 24th March a Neohumanist Education workshop was held with 18 participants from Norway, Italy and Spain. The workshop covered the background of NHE;
a presentation of what makes a NH school: policies/practices, building and environment, teachers, students, curriculum; and then a discussion of NHE principles with practical examples and materials. Due to the variety of backgrounds of the teachers we discussed age groups from nursery to primary and high school.