In mid 2011, the Bangalhalia Agapara Buddhist Welfare Orphanage (BABWO) faced a food crisis in feeding the 120 children under their care due to limited aid from the local government and irregular support from donors. The BABWO Volunteer Charity Adviser, Bro Mong Mong Thun Marma approached Firefly Mission. Two FFM volunteers visited BABWO in the Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh in July 2011 and discovered that the food crisis was critical. On behalf of FFM, they made a donation to enable BABWO to continue to feed the 120 children for the next six months. Further visits were made by FFM volunteers in February 2012 and January 2013 and a number of projects have since been implemented in support of the minority Buddhist community in the Chittagong Hill Tracts.
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Voices from the Heart
SBS Kathina Reflection 2014
Like all Firefly Mission trips, this trip to SBS has been a very fruitful and enjoyable one for me due to a few reasons. Firstly is because I have just finished my End-Of-Year examinations and is relaxing while awaiting my results so this trip serves as a relaxant for me and also doubles up as a reward too for finishing the school year.
Secondly, there are many new faces and each one of them brings an element of refreshment because we get to talk to different people and not just to the same old-timers. They are like patches adding their own stories to the firefly mission quilt and this in turns make Firefly Mission more interesting and less mundane.
Thirdly, this trip is filled with visits to other Buddhist Organizations like Tzu Chi on Day 1 and Nalanda on Day 4 and is therefore very rewarding to our spiritual life. These organizations show us around their “campus”, as they serve as schools for the Dharma, and even host us for delicious lunches, they also inspire us as they have done much meaningful work too and have gained many supporters, even those from overseas.
Lastly, I enjoyed this trip very much too because like all Firefly Mission trips it has successfully incorporated the elements of relax and learning into the trip itinerary. No one will forget the beautiful hotels that we stayed in especially the boutique hotel on day 1 and the five-star hotel on day 3. All in all, I took a lot out of this trip and I hope to be able to go for more trips in the near future.
Graeme participated in the alms round
Photo Credit: Bro Goh KS
It is beyond our imagination that anyone would come half round the world to support us. Our spirits are uplifted and we are humbled.
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