Smart Academy in Bakaata, in the mountains of Lebanon was started by Radha Hussenieh as an afterschool center for teaching ACMAS, a Japanese system of mental arithmetic. She met Dada Krsnasevananda and welcomed the addition of Yoga for children to the programme. Together they expanded the center and moved to a new location.
After one year of cooperation the community is now accepting yoga as a way of gentle exercises good for concentration and harmonizing of the child’s energies. Radha, assisted by her daughter Nancy offered to teach ACMAS and Yoga to other schools, libraries and children centers. They conducted successful summer camps in a few regions of Lebanon this summer.
At the SMART Academy (which stands for S-Service, M-Morality, A-Active habits, R-responsibility and T-trustworthiness) Didi Anandarama conducted workshops for children and adults in mandala art and on writing and illustrating their own original stories. It was hard work but wonderful books and mandalas were produced as the final result.
Teachers, parents and children got inspired by this new activity. Recognizing the literary value in the process of making a book, we have launched a national contest similar to the one in Croatia of children writing and illustration their own
book. This contest is under the Farah el Maarifa NGO that was established to spread the ideals of Neohumanist Education. The contest has received the patronage of the Ministry of Education and posters will be sent out to libraries and primary schools. Smart Academy will give monthly workshops for children from different regions. The contest was announced by Radha and Didi Anandarama on national TV in an interview. The themes of the contest are: ‘Love and Care for Nature’, ‘Friendship’, ‘Be smart do your part’ and any other creative stories will be accepted.
Smart Academy is equipped with sufficient facilities to have small groups over for a weekend of workshops. A group of international students from the AUB (American University of Beirut) invited by Rami attended a weekend of yoga, meditation and workshops and enjoyed a hike into the nearby Cedar reserve. Another group from Syria joined by Lebanese spent the weekend in intensive meditation retreat. Rima remained a few days more to help finish a big mandala with the multiple intelligence symbols.