by Susan Quinones
Sreyleak Eam, Raksa Chhuon, Kinhor Chea, and Kanka Sin
Last year Venerable Mujin Sunim, a Swiss-born teacher ordained as a Korean Zen monk, visited our sangha and was given $205 in dana. She chose to use this money to buy some bicycles for four young women in Cambodia. She has this to say:
Last year your Sangha gave me $205. In the photo are the four girls who received bikes due to your kindness. Their names are: Sreyleak Eam, Raksa Chhuon, Kinhor Chea, and Kanka Sin.They all live more than 1.5 km from their school, have signed a contract to stay in school a minimum of 2 years (which means they usually stay longer and finish school, still a problem in Cambodia), to take care of the bike, not pawn it or sell it, and to work hard.
It is a fairly well established fact that: “educated girls realize higher wages and greater upward mobility, contributing to economic growth.Their rates of maternal mortality drop, as do mortality rates of their babies.They are less likely to marry as children or against their will.They have lower incidence of HIV/AIDS and malaria—the 'social vaccine' effect.Their agricultural plots are more productive and their families better nourished.They are more empowered at home, at work, and in society.” - Paul Hawken from Drawdown 2017.
After that they get better jobs and so can help lift their families out of the insidious cycle of poverty.
Mujin Sunim was ordained under Ven. Ananda Maitreya Maha Nayaka Thero in 1976. In 1986 she took Bhikkuni precepts in Korea under Ven. In-hong Sunim. She founded Lotus Lantern International Buddhist Centre in 1987 in Seoul and Popkye-sa in Switzerland in 2005. Her main interest is training and living Buddhism in the modern world.
We are fortunate that she will be returning to White Heron Sangha on December 22. She will lead a 1/2 day mini-retreat in the afternoon, and will be with us for the evening program as well.