|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 UK.
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.