Words Of Peace Global News Reports, 2011
Report: India Tour - Fall 2011
From late September to early November, Maharaji traveled India to speak about a very fundamental subject: peace. With the help of volunteers, formerly spare grounds were made festive with garlands, fabric and dyed powders, giving each event a feeling of joy and celebration.
TPRF Aids Water Purification Program in Drought-Ravaged Ethiopia
Only a third of residents in the Borena Zone of Oromia, Ethiopia's largest province, have access to clean and safe drinking water. A $20,000 contribution from TPRF is helping to fund a water purification program in the region. This program directly reduces the incidence of waterborne diseases among the local population, giving about 10,000 people a better chance for a healthy, productive life.
Leading the effort on the ground is AmeriCares, a nonprofit global health and disaster international relief organization, that delivers aid to people in crisis around the world. TPRF also partnered with AmeriCares to alleviate human suffering in the aftermath of the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.
European Parliament Welcomes Back Ambassador of Peace
The 1st Vice President of the European Parliament, the Honorable Gianni Pittella, hosted an international conference titled: "Peace and Well-being, addressing the founding values of the European Union" on November 28.
Against a backdrop of international uncertainty, including riots in many European cities, government change and continued unrest in the Middle East, an audience of institutional representatives and MEPs joined academics and business people from more than 25 countries to explore the most pressing issues facing Europe and the world today: peace and well-being.
TPRF Funds Well-drilling Program in Andhra Pradesh
The construction of bore wells in remote villages in southeastern India will help villagers lift themselves out of a persistent cycle of poverty and disease.
TPRF has given $16,756 to the Sri K. Pitchi Reddy Educational and Welfare Society (SPREAWS) to drill and maintain bore wells in 15 of the most water-challenged villages of Andhra Pradesh State. The project will benefit an estimated 7,500 families. SPREAWS, established in 1994, is a grassroots nonprofit that works towards the empowerment of low-caste, tribal and other indigenous, marginalized people in Andhra Pradesh through the provision of basic necessities and education.
TPRF Funds Healthy School Lunches for Johannesburg Teens
In the poorest sections of Johannesburg, balanced meals financed by a $30,000 grant from TPRF will give 500 high school students a better start in life. This is the second TPRF grant for the same program.
The ACFS Community Education and Feeding Scheme has been feeding Africa's indigent children since 1945, when Bishop Trevor Huddleston began distributing peanut butter sandwiches at schools. Today, the program goes much further, says Executive Director Phindile Hlalele. While school meals remains its core focus, she says, "we also work to promote healthy, contributing citizens who are economically viable and self-sufficient."
ACFS targets the neediest children. Some are orphans or heads of families; others are not only malnourished but also infected with the HIV/AIDS virus. For all of these children, the health benefits are only the beginning. The promise of a nutritious meal encourages them to attend school regularly and makes it easier for them to concentrate on their lessons. Improved school performance builds self-confidence as well as skills.
Report: Event in Brisbane - September 14, 2011
On September 14, 2011, Maharaji arrived in Brisbane after two full weeks of touring the Pacific region. The event took place in the Chandler Theatre — one of the largest theaters in Southeast Queensland. Arriving guests piled into the hall, ready to hear Maharaji speak about a familiar yet profound subject.
Changing Lives in Cambodia's Poorest Province
In the villages of Cambodia's Kampong Speu province, west of Phnom Penh, a pilot program sponsored in part by TPRF is restoring self-sufficiency and dignity to the poorest of the poor.
The Cambodian Sao Sary Foundation (SSF), dedicated to building strong communities that will impact positively on the standard of living of poor and vulnerable people, is combating the demoralizing effects of poverty through an immediate infusion of nutritious food and clean water coupled with education in efficient farming methods, sanitation, and financial management.
"Our village is so green now. There are gardens in every home," said a villager in Kraing Rohong, the first village to benefit from SSF's comprehensive approach. TPRF has contributed $21,200 to help SSF spread this successful initiative to other villages.
Report: Event in Melbourne - September 11, 2011
On September 11, 2011, Maharaji flew to Melbourne to continue his tour of Australia. During his talk, he discussed the uniqueness of every person, the uniqueness of the blessing of the breath and the need to recognize that blessing in the present moment.
Emergency Water Saving Lives in Ethiopia
Herders and agricultural workers in Ethiopia's Dollo Bay and Dollo Ado areas, near the epicenter of the worst drought to afflict the Horn of Africa in 60 years, are getting relief in the form of clean, safe water through a partnership between TPRF and International Relief and Development (IRD), an Arlington, VA-based nonprofit known for its rapid response to international humanitarian crises. TPRF approved a $25,000 grant to IRD to help provide emergency relief to about 24,000 people.
"This morning when we woke up, five different villages in Dollo Ado were completely out of water," Scott Webb, IRD's relief officer in Dollo Ado, reported recently. "By this afternoon, they will have water. IRD can hold its head high that we did the right thing today and acted quickly in an emergency to save lives."
Report: Event in Sydney - September 6, 2011
After a brief stay in Amaroo, Maharaji began a tour of three major Australian cities. On his first stop he visited the Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, a modern building located directly on Cockle Bay. Many of the audience had only heard him speak before on television — it was their first chance to hear him live.
Water Brings Hope to Kenya's Driest Regions
The families of nomadic herdsmen in Kenya's remote Wajir province, where in some areas it has not rained in three years, will have a better chance at a healthy future thanks to an immediate infusion of emergency supplies of clean drinking water.
TPRF has made an outright grant of $25,000 to Mercy Corps (MC) and up to $10,000 more in matching funds to help address the immediate life-threatening situation as well as to take steps to help avoid such devastation in the future. The matching funds will be at 50 cents per dollar for funds raised on a TPRF campaign on Facebook.
Thanks in part to this donation, MC will be able to improve the ability of 7,500 households—about 45,000 people—in Wajir to cope with and recover from these natural and man-made disasters. In addition to trucking in water, MC volunteers will ensure that target communities have rehabilitated and functioning water supply systems, appropriate sanitation facilities and increased access to information about health and hygiene. Overall, Mercy Corps is helping an estimated 195,750 people caught in what has been called Kenya's worst drought in more than 60 years.
Report: Event in Amaroo - September 3 and 4, 2011
Over the course of two days, Maharaji spoke extensively at the Ivory's Rock Conference Centre outside of Brisbane, Australia. From formal talks to impromptu interactions, attendees had many opportunities to listen — whether those opportunities were officially scheduled or not.
TPRF Partners with Mercy Corps, Causes and Socialvest
TPRF is teaming up with Mercy Corps, Causes and Socialvest to help the people of East Africa overcome an extensive and devastating famine. Mercy Corps recently sent the following message to over 300,000 people asking for help — all fans of the TPRF: Food for People Cause on Facebook:
Mercy Corps is very excited to be partnering with TPRF and the members of this Cause (TPRF: Food for People Cause within Facebook), whose enthusiasm and engagement have made this one of the most successful of all Causes.
Report: Event in Nadi - August 28, 2011
On the western side of the main island of Fiji, locals gathered to hear Maharaji speak on August 28, 2011 in the city of Nadi. Among other topics, he addressed the need for each person to consciously write their own story — so that each person has the chance to make their story good.
Nomads in Niger, One Year Later
About a year ago, TPRF made a grant in response to a food crisis in Sahel, a semi-arid area near the Sahara Desert, in the West African country of Niger. TPRF's partner was Rain for the Sahel and Sahara (RAIN), and their recent report on the difference this support has made for people of the area is both informative and heartwarming.
Sahel was once a flourishing crossroads for many cultures, where traders from Europe and the Middle East exchanged goods and ideas. It slowly deteriorated into what some call "one of the poorest and most environmentally damaged places on earth." As the Sahara desert expanded and crept nearer, it became even more so.
The intense drought of 2010 had the greatest impact on Sahel's nomadic tribes in the region of Agadez. These people rely heavily on rainfall for their sustenance. Their herds suffered greatly and securing a food supply for the animals as well as themselves became a serious problem. Children were kept out of school as the nomads kept on the move.
Pakistani Flood Victims, One Year Later
It was one year ago, on July 28th, that the South Asian country of Pakistan reeled from the deadly blow of a monsoon that left twenty percent of its land under water. This was the most devastating flood in generations, and twenty million people were displaced — many of them children. More than a thousand people died.
Those most affected by the flood were small farmers and unskilled laborers who were already living below the poverty level. In this crisis, the minimal infrastructure of hygiene and sanitation in their communities collapsed and the health of the residents, especially the children, deteriorated from diarrhea and gastrointestinal diseases.
Report: Event in Los Angeles - August 6, 2011
On the second day of the event in Los Angeles, many had the chance to speak with Maharaji face to face. Before the first person took the mic, Maharaji spoke of our desire to appear sophisticated, even though simplicity is what we're truly after.
WOPG TV Chosen by Promovision Viewers as Favorite Program
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In a web survey conducted in June 2011 by Promovision Channel 10, more than a third of participating viewers selected Words of Peace Global TV (WOPG TV) as their favorite program. Out of the channel's twenty-four listed offerings, WOPG TV received 805 of 2,111 votes, surpassing other popular programs by at least 13.5%.
After the survey concluded, WOPG TV was featured on Promovision's homepage in a banner ad that read "Felicitamos al programa Words of Peace, primer lugar en la preferencia del público durante el mes de julio [We congratulate the program Words of Peace, first place in the public's preference during the month of July]."
Report: Event in Los Angeles - August 5, 2011
On August 5, 2011, Maharaji arrived at the Shrine Auditorium — a well-known landmark in Los Angeles — for the first of two events. For well over an hour he spoke about the potential within each person, returning time and again to the metaphor of a desert: with regular rain even a desert will turn into a forest, he seemed to say.
Relief for Libyans
Just four months ago, Libya exploded into violent civil war. Thousands became refugees overnight. Thousands more were no longer able to obtain medications for serious medical conditions. In an expedient response, TPRF donated funds to help that country's most vulnerable victims. Shortly afterward, the UN launched a worldwide humanitarian aid appeal for Libya.
Today, despite Libya's continued political uncertainty and widespread conflict, thousands of refugees and displaced persons have obtained the help they need, thanks to apolitical humanitarian organizations such as TPRF.
The Essential is Invisible to the Eyes
I was recently approached to serve as the interpreter for Lucia Guerreiro, a Brazilian artist visiting France to inaugurate a statue of the Little Prince, the famous character in the story by Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
"I was always fascinated by the story of the Little Prince. I don't even know how many times I've read it!" she confessed when we were first in touch. "And I had been trying for a long time to find a way of putting people in touch with Prem Rawat's message through my artwork."
In 2005, when she was first approached, Lucia saw a beautiful opportunity: to pay homage to two great humanists at the same time. "They also have in common that they are both pilots. As men of peace, they share a certain vision of the world seen from above," she added mischievously.
Report: Event in Lisbon - July 1, 2011
On July 1, 2011 in Lisbon, Portugal, Maharaji gave an unexpected address to an audience of people already familiar with his message. The event was planned, pulled together and announced to residents within a span of 24 hours. Soon many had dropped their plans to come listen to the words of their teacher.
"Inside, I Am a Good Man"
Until 1994, if you were a black man growing up under South Africa's apartheid era (official government policy of racial segregation), you would not have the right to vote, to a decent education or health services. You could be living in a cramped room with your extended family, in a squatter camp, or out on the street — an easy prey to gangs, where guns, drugs, and alcohol are readily available. Chances are by 18 you'd have become a drug addict, have AIDS, or be in prison.
Three years ago, inspired by TPRF's successful prison program, two women started workshops in Zonderwater (which means "without water"), a maximum-security prison, bringing Prem Rawat's message of peace and hope. Today there is a team of 10 volunteers, who use TPRF printed and video materials for the 12-week course.
Zainabu's Story, Tanzania
Last year, TPRF made a grant to WaterAid to support their long-term Community Managed Water Supply program in remote rural areas of Tanzania that lack basic safe water. Not only does this program target the neediest areas, but it is based on community participation, local skill development, and long-term sustainability.
For forty-three-year-old Zainabu Salum, the new access to clean water is changing her life and that of her fellow villagers in Tanzania. She explains, "Before, we used to have to ration water. We used to get lots of stomachaches. Now we have enough to wash our hands before dinner and after going to the toilet. My children have time to go to school and I have more time to farm. I take vegetables to town to sell. We are very happy."
Zainabu lives in a rural village close to the town of Singida, in central Tanzania. The work of WaterAid has already had a transformational effect. Prior to WaterAid's intervention, women and girls used to fetch water from "traditional wells" — muddy holes dug by women about a three-hour round trip from the village. The water they collected so laboriously was often contaminated by animal waste.
Report: Event in Barcelona - June 25, 2011
Within meters of the Balearic Sea, three thousand people gathered on Saturday, June 25 in Barcelona to hear Maharaji speak about the choices we make between light and darkness, joy and sadness, pleasure and pain.
Report: Event in Brighton - June 18, 2011
On the second day of a two-day event in Brighton, Maharaji opened with a comprehensive talk about true gratification before audience members once again had the chance to speak with him face-to-face. As a special treat, Daya Rawat graced the stage, singing for both her father and the 4,400 people gathered in the hall.
Press Recognizes Success of Food for People Nepal
As Food for People in Tasarpu, Nepal, reaches its second anniversary, its accomplishments are praised in a full-page article in the Nepalese national newspaper The Annapurna Post. At the top of the page is a colorful drawing of three school children sitting with smiling faces before heaping plates of food. Spread below this is a full-page article by Senior Journalist Krishna Murari Bhandari.
FFP Nepal is located in the shadow of the capital city of Kathmandu. Mr. Bhandari describes the village of Tasarpu this way: "Though the village is linked with a blacktopped road with constant vehicular movement, it seems to be crawling in the Middle Ages. People here still depend upon primitive agricultural methods and animal farming. Their total production is not enough to support them for even nine months."
Report: Event in Brighton - June 17, 2011
On Friday, June 17, 2011, Maharaji arrived in Brighton for a two-day event marking the anniversary of his initial trip from India to the West. It had been exactly forty years since he had arrived in London, a child hoping to extend his message of peace to people living beyond the borders of his native country. During his talk, he spoke plentifully about this time of uncertainty, the challenges that were faced and the message that had driven him to take such a leap of faith.
Members of the audience also had the opportunity to speak with him.
What? Why? How Could It Be Possible?
Students of Mazara, Italy ask Prem Rawat questions on the last day of the Week of Peace, May 27, 2011
Q: The people of the Maghreb have a dream: freedom, peace,
tranquility, and serenity. In my opinion, only a wise person with a good
heart like you can help these people. Do your future plans include a
visit to Libya or in some way offering help for these people?
A: Your question is very heartfelt. I travel around the world wherever I am invited and feel that I can help. I would be very honored, some day, to be invited to Libya, and to talk to the citizens of Libya. That would be wonderful because, fundamentally, my message does not reach into the realms of religions or philosophies or cultures. It reaches for the heart of every human being. And that is the same everywhere.
Report: Event in Santiago - May 1, 2011
Flanked by the soaring peaks of the Andes, Santiago remains one of the most bustling cosmopolitan cities in Latin America. On Sunday, May 1, 2011, Maharaji arrived in this busy capital to speak to over two thousand people about a responsibility that's separate from the responsibilities of modern life: to know one's self.
Prem Rawat Gives Keynote Address for Week of Peace in Sicily
On Friday, May 27, in Mazara del Vallo, Sicily, Prem Rawat addressed
1200 people who had gathered in the town square overlooking the
Mediterranean Sea. It was the highlight of a Week of Peace and Solidarity, sponsored jointly by Mayor Nicolò Castaldi, Associazione Percorsi and The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF).
Hundreds were seated while others crowded onto balconies overlooking
the square and squeezed into any space with a view. Translation was
broadcast to all from well-placed speakers throughout the square.
Mr. Rawat's address was the highlight of a full week in which this multicultural town concentrated its attention on peace. One prominent exhibition featured over 40 banners illustrating Prem Rawat's focus on peace through the last four decades and the humanitarian aid outreach of TPRF.
Report: Event in Lima - April 27, 2011
On April 27, 2011, at the Maria Angola Convention Center in Lima, Perú, Maharaji spoke to 2,054 people about the music of this existence. He reminded his audience of the natural rhythm of the breath and how, to keep yourself in sync, you should listen to that beat.
"My Life Has Changed": Expressions from Inmates
in correctional facilities around the world are listening to Prem
Rawat's message of peace. Most attend weekly workshops where they watch
videos brought to them by TPRF volunteers and have interactive
discussions. Some have access to audiotapes or watch videos on a
computer. Some only have a few reading materials they might borrow from
the prison library.
However they receive the message, whatever language they speak or culture they are from, they have expressed profound appreciation for the way their life has changed as a result. Many send letters directly to Prem Rawat or addressed to him at TPRF. Below are just a few of the many expression letters that have been received:
Dear Prem Rawat, My life has changed with your message. It makes me feel more human than ever before. I used to be lonely, like an abandoned flower in the desert.
— Ezeiza Women's Prison, Argentina
TPRF Awarded 4 Stars by Charity Navigator for Third Time
Charity Navigator, considered America's premier evaluator for US non-profit organizations, has once again awarded TPRF
their highest rating of 4 stars. The Charity Navigator rating system
includes an analysis of how efficiently the organization uses its
support and how well it is growing its services over time. This is the
third consecutive award of Four Stars for TPRF.
Ken Berger, President of Charity Navigator, wrote Linda Pascotto, President of TPRF, that "Only 13% of the charities we rate have received at least 3 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that The Prem Rawat Foundation consistently executes its mission in a fiscally responsible way, and outperforms most other charities in America. This 'exceptional' designation from Charity Navigator differentiates The Prem Rawat Foundation from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust."
Report: Event in Buenos Aires - April 24, 2011
During the late afternoon of April 24, Maharaji entered the Micro Estadio Malvinas Argentinas to address an audience of 3,950 people, the stadium nearly reaching its capacity. He spoke intimately despite the size of the crowd, the audience responding warmly as if listening to an old friend.
Otinibi Celebrates Groundbreaking for FFP Ghana
Construction of the new Food for People facility in Otinibi, Ghana has officially begun. Children, parents, teachers and district dignitaries all gathered for the "sod cutting" ceremony, with the Chief of Otinibi shoveling the first spade full of earth. Enthusiasm for the project abounded. Brightly colored dresses whirled as women and children danced in celebration to the rhythmic beat of the drums. A group of children acted out a play based on a real story about a boy who often falls asleep in class because he comes to school without breakfast. His mother is so happy about the upcoming food program that she is helping out by toting water to the site during construction.
Report: Event in Buenos Aires - April 23, 2011
On April 23, 2011, Maharaji arrived for the first of two events in Buenos Aires. He spoke powerfully for well over an hour about the potential each human being has to recognize the ultimate within themselves.
Prison Official Speaks About TPRF's Peace Education Program
Millions of inmates are crammed into overcrowded correctional facilities around the world with no educational programs addressing self-esteem or positive life skills. The rate of recidivism in some U.S. states is 75% or higher. In contrast, Captain Lorenzo Carter, of the Dominguez State Prison in San Antonio, Texas, recently reported that for inmates there who had attended the TPRF's Inner Peace Workshop, less than 1% have returned to this prison.
For almost four years, TPRF volunteers Roberto and Chantal Piriz, Sherilyn Strickland, and Jim Clink have been presenting workshops for inmates based on Prem Rawat's message of peace. In organizing the workshops, they have worked closely with Captain Carter, head of Correctional Officers and Volunteer Services at the Dominguez Prison. In a recent interview with Chantal and Roberto, the Captain spoke about the workshops: "The offenders who attend the program, their disciplinary record has gone down. They stay out of trouble. It has a positive impact on everyone who attends the class. It is one of my best classes because of the attendance rate and the turnout. Of the seven that I have, this is by far the best."
Report: Event in São Paulo - April 17, 2011
Flying by helicopter above the skyline of São Paulo — his aircraft stark against the pinkish haze of the smog — Maharaji slowly approached the rooftop of a skyscraper located in the heart of Brazil's largest city. He had come to speak to 900 people already familiar with his teachings, the second time he has visited Brazil in the past eight months.
Contest for Peace in Sicily
Under the high patronage of President Giorgio Napolitano, of the
Italian Republic and with the leadership of Mayor Nicolò Cristaldi, the
town of Mazara del Vallo is sponsoring a writing contest on the theme of "Peace: A Human Heritage and a Human Right."
One of the stated aims of the competition is to "honor our fellow citizen Prem Rawat for his dual commitment as a witness for peace and promoter of humanitarian initiatives." In 2009, Mr. Rawat was made an honorary citizen of Mazara del Vallo in a special ceremony at the town hall.
All students in high school or university under the age of twenty-seven who live in the Municipality of Mazara del Vallo may submit an essay proposing a humanitarian initiative that would help to make their town into a real "Territory of Peace."
TPRF Supporters Extend a Hand of Help for Japan
The severe earthquake that struck without warning along Japan's northeast coast on March 11 and the subsequent tsunami stripped hundreds of thousands of survivors of the most fundamental necessities. While the island nation of Japan continued to endure aftershocks, the results of the tsunami, and the threat of damaged nuclear plants, people from all over the world began to respond with donations to help. TPRF supporters responded promptly and generously, raising over $130,000 in the first two weeks.
TPRF has awarded US$100,000 of the donations targeted for Japan to MercyCorps, a previous partner of TPRF, that is responding quickly to the disaster with its Japanese partner, Peace Winds. The money is supporting the immediate distribution of food, warm clothing, tents, hygiene supplies and other basic necessities in at least three tsunami-devastated cities on the northeastern coast of Japan. An acknowledged expert in disaster response strategies, MercyCorps has joined Peace Winds in a commitment to continue support until the situation has stabilized.
Report: Event in Barcelona - April 3, 2011
During the morning of April 3, 2011, Maharaji returned to the Centre Convencions Internacional Barcelona (CCIB) to speak to over 4,000 people about the possibility of knowing rather than believing. He spoke passionately for nearly an hour and a half, reiterating the need to feel peace, not just to think about it.
Helping the Wounded and Chronically Ill in Libya
The situation in Libya changes by the hour as opposing forces fight for control of the country, but one thing that doesn't change is the human price paid out daily. Medicines and medical supplies are hard to come by even as the number of severely wounded, both civilians and fighters, is on the increase.
TPRF has teamed up with International Relief & Development (IRD) to help bring pharmaceuticals and medical supplies into the war-torn areas. IRD has obtained a donation of US$11 million-worth of pharmaceutical goods from a supplier in Amsterdam. But getting them to those who need them is no easy task.
Report: India Tour - March 2011
Over the month of March, lucky audiences across the northeastern region of India had multiple opportunities to hear — and sometimes interact with — Maharaji. Flying by helicopter rather than plane, he stopped in Gaya, Mirzapur, Choreya, Ranchi and Delhi to speak about the innate possibility of peace. People came by the thousands to large events, although some meetings were extremely intimate in number, with one hundred people or less.
TPRF Teaming Up To Relieve Thirst
Sometimes all it takes is a little initiative and ingenuity to make a world of change. At least that seems to be the attitude of Becky Straw, one of two people responsible for founding The Adventure Project.
It all began when — frustrated with the unsustainable and shortsighted efforts of many charities — Becky realized that poverty could only be relieved if we reinvented the way we give. Charity shouldn't be short-term. It should empower the people that receive it so that every dollar spent creates a long-term effect.
Restoring Hope and Dignity to Pakistani Refugees
For 5,000 villagers in Pakistan's devastated Khyber-Pakhtunkhawa (KPK) Province, the gift of nutritious food is the first step on the road back to normal family life.
A $40,000 donation from TPRF to Shirkat Gah - Women's Resource Centre (SG), a women's rights organization experienced in coordinating relief and rehabilitation activities in the region, funded the distribution of monthly food packets for three months to families of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) returning to their homes in the village of Tindodag.
Driven from their homes by fighting between the army and outlawed terrorist groups, the returning villagers, predominantly widows and children, found their fields decimated and their livestock destroyed. The village, at the best of times remote and difficult to reach, was further isolated by heavy flooding that took out many bridges during the rainy season. As a result, international relief organizations have been slow to respond to this crisis. For some villagers, the only source of food was the terrorist groups responsible for the insurgency — assistance that eroded the refugees' dignity and self-respect.
Report: Events in Delhi - March 2011
After two days of talks in Malaysia, Maharaji arrived in India to begin another tour across the country. Two small, impromptu events were held in the capital of New Delhi, where he met casually with various people before flying to Bihar to speak in Gaya and Ranchi.
With barely two hours notice, about 2,000 people managed to attend
the first event in Delhi. By the following day word had spread and, by
late afternoon, 15,000 people had gathered in a grassy field to hear
Maharaji speak. Because of a last minute venue change, that evening's
event — which normally would have taken two days to prepare — was set up
in a record-breaking 45 minutes.
Speaking about the power of practicing Knowledge, a method he teaches to turn within, he said: 'If you practice for one hour, you can save the whole 24 hours. One out of 24 — where will you get a better investment than this?'
Report: Event in Shah Alam - February 17, 2011
On February 17, over 700 guests crowded into the Dewan Raja Muda Musa center in Selangor's capital to attend the second event held in Malaysia this year. After a brief introduction from the emcee and an enthusiastic greeting from the audience, Maharaji began to illustrate the difference between conceptualizing peace and experiencing peace. Throughout his talk, he continually returned to the subject of silence.
Preventing Blindness, Improving Vision in Rural India
For India's poor, the line between survival and destitution is thin. Deteriorating eyesight can be catastrophic for those unable to afford proper eye care.
Recognizing this problem, TPRF and its counterpart in India, The Prem Sagar Foundation, have sponsored eye clinics in some of the subcontinent's neediest areas since 2003. The most recent were held between October 2010 and January of this year. With a $10,000 donation, TPRF supported five two-day clinics in four different states.
The clinics were organized by volunteers from Raj Vidya Kender, an Indian service organization with ties to Prem Sagar Foundation. Special attention was paid to the dignity and physical comfort of the patients.
Report: Event in Shah Alam - February 16, 2011
In Shah Alam — a metropolis on the outskirts of Kuala Lumpur — Maharaji arrived mid-morning to speak to an audience of people who have already learned the techniques of Knowledge: a practical way he teaches to turn within. Catering to the diverse crowd of international guests, translation was provided in Tamil, Mandarin and Hindi.
Helping Little Lin and Her Friends in Cambodia
When the Cambodian Children's Fund (CCF) medical staff first met Lin in 2009, she showed signs of malnutrition. She was 2 years old, about 2 1/2 feet tall and weighed only 15 pounds (very underweight for her size).
Lin was one of many impoverished children living at a toxic landfill site on the outskirts of the city of Phnom Penh, the capitol of Cambodia.
Her parents could not supply her with enough nutrition for her growing body. Both parents were scavengers, supporting their three children by collecting and selling garbage, and earning only 9,500 riels per day or $0.47 per family member. This left the family lacking their most basic needs — adequate food, shelter, and health care.
Report: Event in Malibu - February 5, 2011
On Friday, February 4, an email went out to locals of southern California calling for a 4:00 p.m. meeting the following day. That Saturday, as attendees filed into the Malibu High School auditorium, it was obvious that something a little unexpected was about to happen. Photographers roamed, cameramen had already set up their equipment, and the stage held an empty yet familiar chair. After a brief presentation by the head of the Global Peace Initiative Department, Maharaji walked onstage, prompting a standing ovation from the four hundred or so that filled the hall.
For the next hour he spoke about many things, but focused on the power of transformation — and how transformation must always begin with understanding.
Stemming the Spread of Cholera in Haiti
When cholera turned up in Haiti's Central Plateau last October, it was the first time any cases of the disease had been reported on the island since 1960. Few Haitians knew what caused it or how to prevent it. The outbreak quickly reached epidemic proportions. According to the most recent reports, more than 2,600 have died and at least 120,000 more are infected. Although health officials think the number of new cases will likely peak in the next few months, it could be years before cholera is completely eradicated. It's estimated another 600,000 people could be affected before that happens.
Rumors about cholera's origins spread as swiftly as the disease itself through the overcrowded tent camps where more than 1.5 million Haitians have been subsisting in unsanitary conditions since the 2010 earthquake destroyed their homes.
TPRF's Third Food For People Center Gets Under Way in Ghana
The cycle of poverty is a downward spiral. Weakened by hunger, its victims lose the strength to work and with it the ability to feed their children. The desperate search for sustenance keeps children away from school and the opportunities that education might provide for a better future. In this way the scourge is passed on from generation to generation.
The Prem Rawat Foundation's model Food For People (FFP) program is helping to break that cycle in poverty-stricken villages in India and Nepal. Building on these successes, TPRF has dedicated $250,000 to begin work on a new FFP facility in rural Ghana.
FFP's mission is to provide assistance to people in need while respecting their dignity and giving them hope for a better future. The approach is to build clean, efficient kitchen and dining facilities near schools, where children and needy adults can get clean drinking water and hearty, nutritious meals prepared from traditional recipes of their culture. Local leaders are included in the planning and design of these facilities.
Massive Flooding in Brisbane Area of Queensland, Australia
after the recent torrential rains in the Brisbane to Toowoomba region
of Queensland left more than 20 people dead, 25,000 people displaced
from their homes, and more than 4,000 people requiring emergency
The Prem Rawat Foundation (TPRF) in liaison with Ivory's Rock Foundation (IRF) offered Queensland emergency authorities the Ivory's Rock Conference Centre (IRCC) facilities in Ipswich as a temporary shelter and distribution site for flood victims. Fortunately, no significant damage occurred at IRCC as it was outside the flood path and escaped some of the most torrential rains.