DVA’S SRI LANKA PROJECT UPDATES
Greetings once again from San Diego, California, USA and the headquarters of Dharma Voices for Animals (DVA)! I’m very excited to write to you today in order to share news of the progress in our work in the US and around the world, in particular, our pioneering efforts on the island nation of Sri Lanka.
We deeply appreciate your continuing engagement with DVA. It is people like you, champions for animals, who make it possible for DVA to conduct its operations around the globe, including our groundbreaking work in Sri Lanka, the oldest continuous Buddhist community in the world. We are depending on you. Please consider making a GIFT to DVA’s Sri Lanka Project which will be matched dollar for dollar through July 4.
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DVA Now Registered As Non-Governmental Organization in Sri Lanka
Last fall we inaugurated the DVA Sri Lanka Project at our second annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights/Welfare Conference in Colombo. Our Conference was co-sponsored by the Anagarika Dharmapala Foundation, attended by 600 people, and broadcast on national television. Since that time we have been waiting for official notice from the Sri Lankan government in order to conduct full operations as a registered nonprofit organization. We were recently notified that DVA is now empowered to do business as an NGO in Sri Lanka which allows us to advance the Project and also to receive charitable gifts from Sri Lankan nationals.
BHANTE SATHI, Co-Coordinator of our Sri Lanka Project and DVA Board Member, Returns to Sri Lanka
Bhante Sathi returned home to Sri Lanka in April and May. While in his home country the Kandy native appeared on major television networks, gave live presentations at Dhamma schools, and trained hundreds of monastics to be strong advocates for a compassionate diet in the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Ratnapura, and Gampaha. After participating in Bhante’s training, hundreds of monastics committed to working with DVA by giving talks at Dhamma schools and encouraging their fellow monastics to do the same.
KESHINIE BANDARANAIKE, a prominent Sri Lankan attorney, serves as the Director of DVA’s Sri Lanka Project
Keshinie’s planning and promoting of our Benefit Event on May 5th
, a Vegan Ice Cream Social in Colombo paid off with front-page newspaper coverage. Our DVA Sri Lanka Project team gave out 2,500 vegan ice cream cones (photo below right), enlisted volunteers to help with our Project, welcomed new DVA members, and distributed DVA Sri Lankan Project materials in both the Sinhala and English languages. Keshinie Bandaranaike, pictured below left, is also organizing the presenting of DVA’s message on television and social media, and through live teachings at the 8,000 Dhamma schools.
DVA’s Sri Lanka Project team recently appeared on three television shows, talking at length about why Buddhists should renounce animal products. We have also reached an agreement with a widely viewed television station to air a twelve-part series which will include cooking instructions and interviews with monastics, nutritionists, and media personalities. The host of our show will be DVA member and activist Tashie Roberts.
The first stage of our social media campaign involves our current Facebook page which we will expand upon dramatically in the coming months: https://www.facebook.com/FollowTheHeartGOVEGAN
Our reach is now over 500,000 users.
We have also received a commitment from the authorities overseeing the Buddhist educational system, attended by 80% of the Buddhist children, to invite our team: 1) to make in-person presentations at the approximately 8,000 “Dhamma” schools and 2) to develop a detailed curriculum for publication in the textbooks used by all the schools, which will encourage students to forego animal products. We are assembling a team of
monastics, doctors, nutritionists, environmentalists, and cooks to give a variety of live presentations.
MAKING A MAJOR IMPACT ON BUDDHIST CENTERS IN THE WEST
DVA continues to work tirelessly on behalf of animals across North America and Europe:
Continuing to meet and work with prominent Buddhist monastics from around the world when they visit the US, we are delighted to share the news that renowned Buddhist nun, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, a member of DVA’s Advisory Board, and DVA President Bob Isaacson had a very productive meeting on June 16 in Ojai, California. Bob presented Jetsunma with DVA’s Lifetime Service Award in recognition of her lifetime of compassion toward animals and discussed with her how to most effectively share DVA’s message with Buddhist Centers in the US. Jetsunma also shared important contacts with nuns in Asia. Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo gave DVA a ringing endorsement.
Moving the largest Buddhist Center in the West towards plant-based meals by dramatically reducing the number of eggs served and by significantly increasing the number of vegan meals served.
Encouraging Dharma teachers to talk publicly about ethical diets and the Buddha's reasons to eat compassionately.
Welcoming new DVA teacher members, Thanissara
, two well-known western Dharma teachers living in the US, who are openly discussing our message at Buddhist Centers.
SUPPORTING THE WORK OF DHARMA VOICES FOR ANIMALS.
Hundreds of millions of Buddhists celebrated Vesak Day
, an officially recognized United Nations holiday, honoring the birth of the Buddha on May 29, 2018, with Buddhist organizations and communities worldwide. Celebrations included:
As the only International Buddhist Animal Rights/Advocacy organization in the world,
- Cultural performances featuring song and dance.
- Plays about Buddha’s life and teachings.
- Public messages given by religious and community leaders.
DVA is uniquely positioned to use the relationships and contacts we have developed in the past seven years to make our voice on behalf of animals even stronger. But, we need your financial support to make it happen.
In honor of Vesak Day and DVA’s trailblazing work to save the lives of countless animals in Sri Lanka, please consider making a GIFT
to DVA to help fund the first year of our Sri Lanka Project
. Support for our work in Sri Lanka is particularly important today in order to realize a matching gift commitment from a generous supporter for this pioneering initiative in a prominent Buddhist country. Sharing news of our work in Sri Lanka has led to an outpouring of support, and we are within $10,000 of our fundraising goal of $78,000 to further our message of compassion!
Reaching this target will have a double impact by raising an additional $10,000 with our dollar-for-dollar match and will ensure that the first year of DVA’s Sri Lanka Project is fully funded.
For members joining before 2018 when we began requesting gifts from new members
: please consider making your membership gift now, enabling DVA to save animals by spreading our message of Compassion for ALL
living beings. You can make a gift by clicking a button below.
With a dollar for dollar match of the next $10,000 in donations, your gift of $25, $100, or $500 becomes a gift to DVA of $50, $200, or $1,000.
The GIFT you make today will go twice as far to support DVA’s important work in the Buddhist country of Sri Lanka by extending the Buddha’s teachings on compassion to ALL sentient beings, which will protect the lives of millions, perhaps billions, of animals.
No gift is too small.
Imagine a world in which animals are not considered food and do not suffer so terribly in their shortened lives before being slaughtered. Imagine a world in which Buddhist communities around the world are setting a shining example. Make your GIFT to Dharma Voices for Animals now so that you can say you were part of that achievement.
Thank you for your generous support for the work of DVA!
President, Dharma Voices for Animals
DVA is a tax-exempt charitable organization under section 501(c)(3) of the U.S. Internal Revenue Code and is eligible to receive tax-deductible contributions.