Dhamma Aid Cambodia

September 2010 Update

Dear friends of Dhamma Aid Cambodia,

A lot more things seems to be happenning for DAC as we proceed towards the end of the year.

Books and more books
This month is a record month DAC - 9,000 books of two titles printed in the same month !




Dhammapadipa For Young Students
Cover design by Mr SY Moy of Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Dhammadipa for Young Students

In the July update we informed that we were collaborating with Youth Resource Development Program ("YRDP") in Phnom Penh to print and distribute "Dhammadipa for Young Students".  YRDP works with university students to develop awareness of human rights, peace building, gender equity, community development and inter-faith and cross-cultural understanding.

We initially intended to print 4,000 copies but just before we went to the printers, a donor emailed us to top up the amount.  So we proceeded to print 5,000 copies which have been funded by cash donations, 2 anonymous donors and a group of Indonesian friends headed by Yanti.

The Dhammapada

We have also printed 4,000 copies of The Dhammapada. This is the first time DAC has printed a scriptural text. This edition is bi-lingual, in Khmer and English. The Khmer text is from the Khmer Tipitaka while the English text is from the Union Buddha Sasana Council of Myanmar.

Thanks to Bee Yong for arranging this Dhamma-dana. This kind lady whom I have yet to meet, phoned me to say she wanted to deposit a cheque with funds from her friends before she catches the plane to Qinghai to help the earthquake victims there. The donors for this meritorious act are listed here.

Thank you very much for all your ongoing support, particularly to our donors; you know who you are (and so do we!).


The Dhammapada Cover design by Ven Sovann Pannavaro featuring the Buddha image of Uttama Bodhi Vihara, Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.
Photo by Chong Su Lim, Malaysia

YRDP will be distributing "Dhammadipa for Young Students" to various Wats, NGOs and schools around Phnom Penh. Faye Smith, the Country Head of Project Cambodia, run by the Buddhist Library of Sydney would be taking a quantity of books to be used in their classes down south in Kampot.

I also contacted Sela Chham to help me distribute the books in Siem Reap.  Sela was the first local I befriended in Cambodia.  I met him when I first visited Siem Reap with my family in December 2005.  He was working with Journeys Within, the boutique hotel we stayed in and which was owned by an American couple . Sela told me that like most people his age, he had a difficult childhood, which is an understatement.  After his father died, he and his mother wandered the countryside until they were offered shelter by the army, on condition they worked for them.  So while his mother cooked in the barracks, Sela spent part of his childhood dodging mortar shells in the battle field as he carried boxes of bullets to government soldiers in the front line. He impressed me (and probably also inspired the idea of DAC), as despite his difficult situation, he would go to a nearby Wat every day after work to teach English to the local children.  The American owners of the hotel eventually started an NGO which sponsored Sela's studies at a private university.  Today, Sela continues his good work with an NGO called PEPY which helps to improve literacy and education standards in the Siem Reap area.

With Sela's help, these books will be distributed to local NGOs running free classes for children and youths in Wat Thmei and Wat Damnak as well as to Green Gecko, an organisation which cares for the street children of Siem Reap. And through his employer PEPY, the books will be distributed to rural school libraries around Siem Reap.

The Dhammapada will be distributed by Ven Sin Kong Nyanajoti and Ven Sovann Pannavaro primarily to the various wats or pagodas and the monastic universities for the benefit of monks, samaneras and doun chis.

After 5 years, our work is becoming familiar to the Dhamma community in Cambodia.  (In Cambodia, our books carry our name as "Malaysian Buddhist Friends" and not DAC).  This familiarity is largely a result of our books being actively distributed by our Cambodian friends at the grass-roots level, directly into the appreciative hands and hearts of ordinary Cambodians.

Book Distribution: Dhammapadipa for Young Students

Faye with Australian volunteers from Project Cambodia, collecting books from YRDP. These will be used in their classes in Kampot, down south.

Our books distributed at the Asia Foundation Exhibition in Phnom Penh

And also at the UN International Peace Day Forum on 21 Sept,

for the benefit of a young generation free from war.


Book Distribution: The Dhammapada

4,000 books of the bilingual Khmer-English Dhammapada.

The first distribution of 300 books by Ven Sin Kong at Eng Thuong Buddhist High School.
Battambang, West Cambodia in September 2010.


Happy monks...with their own copy of the Dhammapada.


"Better than a hundred years in the life of a person who does not comprehend the Noble Dhamma, is a day in the life of one who comprehends the Noble Dhamma.." ~ Dhammapada 115

Visit by Cambodian monks to Kuala Lumpur

We arranged for the Venerables Sin Kong Nyanajoti and Ven Sovann Pannavaro to attend the World Buddhist Conference which was held at the Istana Hotel on 25 and 26 September 2010.  We are grateful to the organisers of the WBC for sponsoring their visit and participation.  DAC actively supports the resurgence of Buddhism in Cambodia and believes that the effort to re-establish the Buddha Sasana must be led by dedicated and educated monks who will hold leadership roles in the future.  The visit and participation in the conference by these young monks exposes them to progressive ideas, develops a wider world view and allows them to extend their network of international contacts.

sinkong

Ven Sin Kong is from Tbeng Meanchey, a remote and poor district in northern Cambodia 4 hours from Siem Reap. His parents are farmers. Ven Sin Kong ordained as a novice when he was 15. After his studies at a local Buddhist school, he won a scholarship to study at the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Myanmar. After graduating in 2008 with outstanding results, he proceeded to obtain his Masters in Buddhist Studies from the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka. He is presently a lecturer in a monastic university, the Phra Sihanouk Raja University of Battambang where he teaches Buddhist Philosophy and Abhidhamma.

Ven Sovann is from a poor farming family from Kampong Thom. The second child among 6 siblings, he ordained as a novice at the age of 14.  Through his own efforts and perseverance he secured a scholarship to study for a Bachelor's degree in Buddha Dhamma at the International Theravada Buddhist Missionary University, Myanmar.  He has translated several books by Burmese Sayadaws and by Ven K Sri Dhammananda into Khmer and which was printed
by DAC for distribution in Cambodia . He is currently the Director of Khmer Student Monks’ Association of Myanmar where he is continuing his studies for a Masters degree.
Important people at the WBC: Ven Wei Wu from the International Buddhist College,Ven Sin Kong, Ven Sovann, author Dato' Ang Choo Hong and the fella who owns the camera.

Dana for Ven Sin Kong and Ven Sovann together with Ven Tejadhammo of Australia at Uttama Bodhi Vihara, Bandar Utama.
Khmer books available at Uttama Bodhi Vihara, Bandar Utama, Petaling Jaya
You will soon be able to borrow Khmer Dhamma books for your Cambodian workers and maids.  These will be available soon at the UBV Library. We may also make these books available at another Buddhist library in KL. This is probably a first in Malaysia. We will announce this facility once it is ready.

Thank you once again for your support. Do not doubt that you are making a difference and please remember to check our website regularly for updates.
If you wish to be informed of our periodical updates, send a blank email to "da-cambodia-subscribe@yahoogroups.com" or just click on this LINK, and then click send.


With peace in the BuddhaDhamma,
Yu Ban
September 2010

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