PRAJNA VIJAR SCHOOL (INDIA)
What Your Gift Will Do
Your gift will support education for children in Bihar, India.
The mission of the Prajna Vihar School is to give a value-based education to the economically and socially underprivileged that includes inter-religious understanding, arts, speech, sports, and academics. Prajna Vihar School is last year completed a new building with 4 new classrooms plus an apartment. currently planning to build three new larger classrooms for their younger classes and convert three rooms in the original building to include a computer lab, science lab, math lab, and library. Once completed, the new facilities will need educational materials and equipment.We have moved the computer lab to one of these new class rooms as they are much more spacious. In our old building we have made a nice library for the children and are planning to make a science and math labs for the children soon. In the long term, the school hopes to build a vocational training center where students may also acquire practical job skills.
Prajna Vihar School provides free education, text books, note books, and mentorship for higher education to 550 students of the lowest social castes in Bodh Gaya. Traditionally in India, children of the lowest castes have few opportunities for education and personal growth. Prajna Vihar School provides this opportunity and instills self confidence, dignity, and a respect for higher education in the underprivilaged children of the community. The students are also seen by doctors twice yearly who educate them on the importance of healthcare and hygiene.
"I am champion of the Prajna Vihar School because compassion and generosity are wise responses to the suffering in this world. Since $75 dollars educates a child for an academic year at our school—giving not only nurtures compassion and wisdom—it is also the best deal of the year!"
While travelling in India in 1990, Shaila Catherine met the founder of thePrajna Vihar School, Rick Peterson, when the school was merely an aspiration. Shaila studied meditation in India and Southeast Asia from 1990 to 1996, and was able to visit the Prajna Vihar School many times during the early years of its development. After she returned home to California in 1997, Shaila partnered with OWCF to continue to support the school.
Shaila teaches meditation internationally. She founded Insight Meditation South Bay, a Buddhist meditation center in Silicon Valley (www.imsb.org), and Bodhi Courses(bodhicourses.org), an online Dhamma classroom. She is the author of two highly acclaimed books on concentration and insight—Focused and Fearless: A Meditator’s Guide to States of Deep Joy, Calm, and Clarity, and Wisdom Wide and Deep: A Practical Handbook for Mastering Jhāna and Vipassanā.