“Making money in order to give it away is fundamental to the purpose and ethos of Windhorse. One of the five principles that Windhorse is based on is generosity. Our profits are given to Buddhist projects around the world and to social projects in the communities associated with our suppliers.
“Since Windhorse started in 1980 it has donated millions of pounds to many different projects in the Triratna Buddhist Community. Over the last 5 years, when financial times have been more difficult, Windhorse has still given over £248,000 to different projects within the movement. The Buddhist Evolution shops have also given over £235,000 to their local Buddhist Centres. So far this financial year, Windhorse has donated to several Buddhist projects:
Free Buddhist Audio
“In a recent interview with Sangharakshita, he said, “We know that speech is a very powerful medium of communication. We know that the Buddha’s words spoken from, as it were, from his enlightened consciousness changed the lives of so many people. So that tradition of oral presentation of the Dharma has continued right down to the present day. It makes me particularly happy to think that talks that I myself gave years, even decades ago, to relatively small audiences, are now through freebuddhistaudio.com reaching perhaps tens even hundreds of thousands of people all over the world.”
“The creators of Free Buddhist Audio are now working on a new web presence for the whole Movement. Windhorse wanted to support this effort, which will be available to tens of thousands of people, and serve to unify the Movement.
“The donation will enable Clear Vision to work on two new sets of online interactive materials, for school and home use. One is about the Kalama Sutta, using animations by the young Indian students at the Aryaloka Computer Institute in Nagpur. The second is about the Five Precepts and uses Manga style cartoons created by an American Buddhist of another tradition.
“Windhorse Publications aims to communicate Buddhism for the contemporary world, and specifically to bring alive the Triratna system of practice. They place great emphasis on producing books of high quality that are accessible and relevant to those interested in Buddhism at whatever level.
“The £2,500 donation they recieved is helping to fund the production of two books due for release this Spring. The first, Dhivan’s This Being, That Becomes, explores the Buddha’s core teaching of conditionality, and is the second in our new Buddhist Wisdom in Practice series. The second is a new edition of Sangharakshita’s A Guide to the Buddhist Path, featuring a brand new cover, format and content. Published originally in 1990, this is one of Sangharakshita readers’ favourites and has been of tremendous value to those seeking ordination and the teachers guiding them towards it.
|Project workers from the Green Tara Trust conduct a rural workshop in Nepal|
“One example from this year is the donation of £4000 to the Green Tara Trust.. We got to know about the work of the Trust through Karunamati, an Order member and doctor who is involved with the work of the Trust. The following details from her gives you some background to the work of the Trust and how our gift will help women in Nepal.
“Nepal is one of the poorest countries in South Asia with 1 in 2 people living in poverty. This has been compounded by worsening civil conflict. Ingrained gender discrimination results in women having less access to education, facilities & decision-making. This results in poverty, poor health & disempowerment.
“4,500 Nepali women die each year in childbirth due to lack of medical care. 1 in 13 children die before the age of 5 mainly due to hypothermia, infectious diseases, and poor nutrition. In this society, women and girls do not get enough food or medical care because of their gender. The Green Tara Trust is working to change this.
“The money Windhorse has given will pay the wages of the 3 full-time Nepalese health-workers (Ishwori, Manita and Santosh) for 10 months. They provide care in pregnancy and childbirth for 10,000 people in rural Nepal, working to empower communities to take responsibility for their own care. They are all skilled in communicating and promoting health issues, especially in engaging the poorest and most marginalised in community programmes.
“The project has been running for just over 2 years, and is already seeing significant changes in attitudes and behaviour, and an improvement in the lives of many women and children”.
For more on Windhorse and their ethical approach to business check their evolution - ethical trade statement. There are occasional vacancies in the Windhorse teams, and those interested are invited to check Windhorse's adverts on the Triratna Jobs site.