Saturday, September 11, 2010

Karuna launch 2011 'Fundraising as Spiritual Practice' campaign

Andrea writes from Triratna's Karuna Trust with news of their 2011 fundraising campaign.  Next year more than ever they're seeking to weave into their fundraising one of Karuna and Triratna's greatest strengths - the fact that most if not all Karuna volunteers come from the Triratna Buddhist Community and are practicing Buddhists.  This makes their appeals a uniquely powerful spiritual practice as well as very effective fundraisers.   She says -

"Karuna was formed in 1980, in response to the suffering of India’s Dalit population. In that time, Karuna has sent over £16,000,000 in funds to India and Asia. The majority of these funds have been raised by 400 Triratna volunteer fundraisers who have given their time to do a Karuna Appeal.  A Karuna Appeal has a daily programme similar to being on retreat, but living in the city makes it ‘retreat-like’. The structure of the Appeal supports a ‘going deeper’ experience, as this is what creates successful fundraising.

“Sangharakshita has commented on the effectiveness of this approach, saying 'Karuna door-to-door appeals are a very effective spiritual practice. Over the years I have seen many people change significantly as a result of taking part in them. I would therefore urge all those who have our work in India at heart to support Karuna in this way.' 

"There are about 300 million children, women and men in South Asia who are known as Dalits and under the Hindu caste system are called ‘untouchables’. According to Hindu scriptures this places them at the very bottom of the hierarchical caste system. This means their lives are dominated by the caste attitudes of others higher up in the hierarchy. As a result they have severe restrictions places on their lives, creating a relentless cycle of suffering that has persisted for thousands of years.
Karuna sends over £1 million each year to fund projects in South Asia which support hundreds of thousands of people by lifting them out of poverty, building dignity and challenging discrimination.

"You can help raise India’s Dalit community out of poverty and discrimination
How? By giving your time in 2011 in one of three ways:
1. Help out on a non-residential, telephone fundraising campaign in London
2. Join a Karuna residential door to door fundraising Appeal
3. Live in a pioneering men’s fundraising community for a year

"To find out more, contact myself, Jo, or Amalavajra on 0207 700 3434 or email us on We're also on the web at

"Check out the booklets and posters which are due to arrive at Triratna centres across the UK very soon. I attach the poster for those who'd like a sneak preview!"

"Bye for now.


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