|The Woza Moya Project was initiated in 2000,
at the Buddhist Retreat Centre.
An HIV/AIDS community care and support Programme, situated in
rural Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, providing services in the
areas of Home Based Care, Orphan Intervention and Food Security.
The Dharmagiri Trust (namely Kittisaro and Thanissara, the
guiding teachers at the Buddhist Retreat Centre) undertook to
establish, guide and support the project. Louis and Chrisi van
Loon ( the owners of the Buddhist Retreat Centre ) offered board
and lodging at the center to project manager Sue Hedden. The
launching of the project was made possible to a large extent by
the The San Francisco Sangha and the Libra Foundation, from the
Maxine Linnell, a therapist from the Karuna Institute in the UK,
offered a counseling course for the volunteers at the beginning
of 2002. This was a very special and enriching experience for
all participants, many of whom continue to reflect on this
process, still today.
We also received our certificate of registration from the
Department of Social development from Pretoria and are now
officially a non-profit organization. This should make it easier
for potential donors to support our special projects.
In April 2002 Thanissara launched her poetry book, "Garden of
the Midnight Rosary", in Durban, at Louis and Chrisi van Loons
home. Thanissara offered the evening as a benefit for the Woza
Moya Crisis Support Fund. The evening was a great success with
the proceeds going towards helping two children in the Chibini
community, Mhlonishwa and Nonjabulo.
An annual event on the Woza Moya calendar is the yearly
Christmas party for the children of Chibini hosted at the
Buddhist Retreat Centre. To this hundreds of children turn up,
along with the local dignitaries, the volunteers and many
others. A BRC employee plays a warm and jovial Father Christmas
giving gifts to all the delighted children.