DVA’S SRI LANKA PROJECT UPDATES
Greetings 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 here 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 world, including our groundbreaking work 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!
DVA Now Registered As Non-Governmental Organization in Sri Lanka
After kicking off our Sri Lanka Project on October 26, 2017, at our second annual Asian Buddhist Animal Rights/Welfare Conference in Colombo, co-sponsored by the Anagarika Dharmapala Foundation, attended by 600 people, and watched on national television, we have been waiting for official notice to conduct our full operations. We were recently notified that DVA is now officially registered to do business as an NGO in Sri Lanka which allows us to go full speed ahead and also to receive charitable gifts
from Sri Lankan nationals.
BHANTE SATHI, Co-Coordinator of our Sri Lanka Project and DVA Board Member, returning to Sri Lanka to train our team.
Bhante Sathi will be returning home to Sri Lanka April 25 to May 12. He will appear on major television networks, give live presentations at Dhamma schools, and train other monastics to be strong advocates for a compassionate diet in the cities of Colombo, Kandy, Ratnapura, and Gampaha.
KESHINIE BANDARANAIKE, a prominent Sri Lankan attorney, is the Director of DVA’s Sri Lanka Project
Keshinie is working hard to plan and promote our Benefit Event on May 5th
, a Vegan Ice Cream Social, in Colombo. We’ll be giving out 2,000 vegan ice cream cones, enlisting volunteers to help with our Project, welcoming new DVA members, and distributing DVA Sri Lankan Project materials in both the Sinhala and English languages. Keshinie Bandaranaike 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 Tashee 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 currently over 400,000.
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:
- To make in-person presentations at the approximately 8,000 “Dhamma” schools
- 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:
- 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 and Kittisaro, two well-known western Dharma teachers living in the US, who are openly discussing our message at Buddhist Centers.
- Continuing to meet and work with prominent Buddhist monastics from around the world when they visit the US. For example, a renowned Buddhist nun, Jetsunma Tenzin Palmo, is scheduling a meeting with DVA President Bob Isaacson in June during her trip to California to talk about how to most effectively share DVA’s message with Buddhist Centers in the US.
SUPPORTING THE WORK OF DHARMA VOICES FOR ANIMALS.
Hundreds of millions of Buddhists will celebrate 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 will include:
- Cultural performances featuring song and dance.
- Plays about Buddha’s life and teachings.
- Public messages were given by religious and community leaders.
As the only International Buddhist Animal Rights/Advocacy organization in the world, 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 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 $16,500 of our fundraising goal of $78,000! Hitting this target will raise an additional $16,500 with our dollar-for-dollar match and will insure that the first year of DVA’s Sri Lanka Project is fully funded.
With a dollar for dollar match of the next $16,500 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.
Please also consider a monthly gift.
Imagine a world in which animals are not considered food, a world in which Buddhist communities around the world are setting a shining example. Make your GIFT to DVA now so that you can say you were part of that achievement.
Your support is greatly appreciated!
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.
President and co-founder of DVA
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