Ageless Susila Dharma
While many of us are concerned about losing some of our physical strength and abilities as we age, studies now show that being socially engaged, as volunteers, as activists, and as caregivers can slow some of the negative cognitive and physical aspects of aging! Truly, we are not getting older we are getting better if we use life's experiences to contribute to the well being of those around us and around the world. This issue of the e-News calls attention to the fact that while many SD projects focus on the health, education and well-being of children, some of our most highly effective and dynamic people in the fields of health, education and social work are well over the age of 80. As Lola Stone's article below suggests, starting young, leading a life full of engagement and commitment to the value of helping others is a recipe for success. Our newest SDIA member project Integrated Health Trust in the UK is helping to reform the way medicine is practiced in that country and its team is all in their 80's and 90's (see below). Another new member project, Mis Corazones Alegres, has focused on providing love, care and dignity to older persons in Colombia, who are often a forgotten group when it comes to providing support services in many countries. At the same time, through SDIA's Human Force Volunteering Camps, young people are being offered a great opportunity to learn about life in disadvantaged communities, be involved in the work of an SD project, and discover aspects of themselves in the process. Spread the word about this great opportunity to friends and family in anticipation of next year's volunteering camp! SDIA recognises that age should never be a barrier to participation—either in the giving or receiving of care and compassion. Please send us your stories of on the theme of 'ageless SD'!
Making the Most of Living till Your Nineties and Beyond:
Advice for a long and successful life from an experienced social activist
By Lola Stone (age 93) Bangkok, Thailand
First of all, say yes to Life, for taking risks and trusting our intuition and/or our guardian angels make Life an adventure. There will be times when, like Dante says, “In the middle of my Life I find myself in a dark wood wherein the straight path is lost.” Trust life as you will probably be getting experiences you need. Help will come at the right time and you will be shown what to do.
Sharing what one has learned keeps one interested in others and can prove a help to them. I have travelled to almost sixty countries and find younger people coming to me with their problems which are always similar worldwide. We are truly sisters and brothers, after all, aren’t we?
Getting involved in life around you, I find helpful in keeping alive and alert. It was natural for me to become an activist involved in such things as, while visiting Florida, to sit in the back with the Blacks a few years even before Rosa Parks. Or join with others protesting atomic testing, atomic energy plants, walking with Peace Pilgrim, that remarkable lady who gave up her name, her past and spent her last days walking across the U.S. for Peace. Peace…my only life long prayer! To protest the Vietnamese War, I created an international pageant, Fashions For Peace that was performed across America during the war years.
We all can do something in our own communities. Such as getting involved with kids and helping in their sports, schooling and other activities, or driving elderly people to doctors or marketing or perhaps reading to the blind. There may be immigrants in your area who surely can use help in many ways in adjusting to a new way of life.
However, one must feel good oneself in order to help others. Therefore I advise taking care of oneself first (Bapak stresses this). We need health and energy to really help others. Since my early twenties, I have tried to get as natural food as possible, not as easy at that time as now, and of course exercise. Then, keeping one’s thoughts positive, fixed on what you want out of your life and never neglecting the irreplaceable gift of the Latihan.
Lastly, be quick to forgive and give thanks and don’t forget to keep the little flame of love and joy that was our birthright burning. My rewards and hopefully yours: health, enthusiasm, living one day at a time without fear and accepting whatever comes.
Integrated Health Trust joins SDIA
The Integrated Health Trust (IHT) has a big vision, to reform the way that medicine is practiced to ensure complementarities between Western and alternative medical practice. The approach combines both western and alternative medical practices.
Started by experienced Subud members in their 80s and 90s including Lambert Coles (Vice Chairman), Howard Paice, Fritz Koerner and Ian Travers-Smith, IHT is structured as a not-for profit charity in the UK. They work with an unbeatable team of collaborators that includes Robert Coker, Peter Wallace, Tracy Merrett and Medical Director, Dr. Rosy Daniel (MD), and have launched their activities by giving training to health practitioners in Integrated Health Care.
Dr. Rosy Daniel, an Integrative health specialist, is working to create and teach a learning programme with five modules, taught over five days and now have given out sixteen diplomas.
The IHT project has the endorsement of both SIHA and SESI. Congratulations and best of luck to the Integrated Health Trust!
2010 Volunteer Camp in Mexico
Young volunteers at the
International Volunteer Camp
Youth are increasingly active and engaged in making our SD Projects successful and contributing to the development of their communities. The second International Volunteer Camp has now been completed, thanks to the support received from Guerrand Hermes Foundation for Peace (GHFP), SDIA and the contributions from the volunteers themselves. The camp was sponsored by SDIA and SYA, the volunteer working group and Osanna Favre and Rasjidah Flores who led the two-week camp at Usaha Mulia Abadi (UMA), Mexico. Fourteen volunteers participated: three Subud international volunteers from Colombia, Portugal, and Australia, three Subud volunteers and four other volunteers from Mexico as well as four people connected to the UMA project. Osanna writes:
A boy painting at UMA
The first week we supported the work of UMA: Got in touch with nature by clearing the forest, made compost bins for recycling waste, got creative and designed/built gardens for the grounds and built the water collection system for one of the buildings to re-use rain water. The second week we ran art workshops with the local children about the 4 elements, taught them how to respect and care for them and the volunteers dressed up and put on a play about the spiritual origins of creation (i.e. the elements, the different human races). Intertwined throughout the camp were self-development activities that helped volunteers reflect on their journey, their lives and the volunteer experiences. Volunteers came away with very strong feelings of friendship with everyone, discovered things about themselves for their lives and discovered love for one another and the community. Overall the camp had many unexpected surprises, one of them being the discovery of the power of the human force within each and everyone of us and its ability to love every human being!
Three New Project Members Join SDIA
In addition to Integrated Health Trust (UK), both Mis Corazones Alegres (Colombia) and CEDERI-Madimba (DR Congo) have been accepted as associate members of SDIA.
In the last eNews we featured an article on Mis Corazones Alegres, an elderly care home in Medellin run by two Subud members. The Medellin group is now mobilised to support the project leaders and help them in their work.
CEDERI-Madimba's maternity and infant Health workshop.
CEDERI-Madimba is an Integrated Rural Development Centre in the Democratic Republic of Congo on the Kinshasa-Matadi highway near Inkisi. It serves the Madimba region of the lower Congo which has a population of 378,567 inhabitants. The project is run by Executive Director Ferdinand Bisalu Mvuama. It was started in 1990 and legalized as a non-profit organization in 1995. The overall objective of the centre is to work for the socio-economic development of the rural communities. Its four intervention areas are training and capacity building, health promotion, drinking water supply and sanitation, and reforestation.
The Centre has several pieces of land, with buildings, houses and other production equipment. It is self-financed by agricultural production of manioc, market gardening and poultry farming. Its other activities include reforestation and providing medical services such as a dispensary, maternity ward and pharmacy. The CEDERI-Madimba team hopes their development results can be improved with additional international support.
YUM Organic Farm Project
YUM Organic farm project at Cipanas, West Java.
Yayasan Usaha Mulia (YUM) is pleased to announce that it is currently developing its organic farm at the Cipanas YUM Village on 5,000 square meters of farm land. YUM wishes to develop this land into an ongoing, sustainable, income generating farm enterprise and training facility.
The Village is located in the hills, about 2 hours from Jakarta and is one of YUM’s biggest and longest running projects. As the majority of people living in surrounding communities are poor farmers who have a limited range of skills to seek employment opportunities, YUM believes that one of the key activities to address this issue is developing a viable Organic Farm and Permaculture Training Facility to promote health and nutrition knowledge, economically efficient farming practices and environmental awareness. As a first step, the farm needs to progress from its present state in order to raise production by increasing efficiency. Once this is achieved, the organic farm will serve as a demonstration site and teaching facility where certified training courses in Permaculture/Organic Farming for farmers and home gardeners can be run.
Included in its long term plans, YUM also wants to develop the farm into an ‘Eco Tourism’ enterprise offering guided tours to the many tourists who come to the Cipanas area from Jakarta every week-end and are looking for family activities. Investment made towards the Cipanas Village project will in turn help YUM to run the many other Community Development activities of the Village, and contribute to the continuance of the Village’s activities. We invite you to join and be part of this project! For further information on this project, please check our website. More information on YUM and its activities can be found at www.yumindonesia.org, or you can write to email@example.com
News from the SD Nationals
Report from Chile on Earthquake Relief
Renato Sotelo and Sebastian Martinez of the committee on Chile Earthquake Relief sent a report on how the funds donated to help three Subud families severely affected by the recent earthquake were used.
We received USD 11,657 which makes a total of CLP 6,108,268 (Chilean Pesos). Immediately after the money was received, we settled on an assistance plan. Our priority was one family who needed immediate help for a 12 month rental agreement and then transferring the money to the last two families affected based on agreed needs. The final fund transfer process involved the following steps: quantifying damages and asking for estimates; defining with both families the legal and logistic terms of this aid; electronic transfers to each family representative’s bank account and confirmation from both representatives of money receipt. As we decided in advance, the remaining relief fund was donated to the well-known charitable foundation dedicated to Chilean earthquake relief “Un techo para Chile” (A roof for Chile www.untechoparachile.cl). The total amount transferred was USD 1,087 (CLP 569,824). A thank-you letter was received from the foundation chair person.
On behalf of all Chilean Subud members and, of course these three families we thank everyone who participated in this process. It has been an extraordinary gift from heaven and we hope it transcends from a material aid into a deeper, more loving connection with God.
New SD National Chairs
SD Suriname: Mahala Marianne Saleh-Tirtosentono replaces Arvin Misran as chairperson of firstname.lastname@example.org.
SD Spain: Irene Sanchez replaces Luz Guerin as the chairperson email@example.com
Thanks to all for helping to put ideas into practice!
Update from SD France
(SUN for LIFE)
The SD France AGM took place at the French Congress on Sunday May 23rd in Sète on the Mediterranean seaside, in great harmony despite time constraints.
During the meeting the 2010 budget was unanimously approved. This budget has continuity with the 2009 budget but also emphasizes the importance of a community health centre project in Lemba Imbu (DRC) as a joint venture with Médecins d'Afrique and the SDIA international network.
Other matters discussed included the importance of developing communication within SD France and with Subud members in France, including English-speaking members; developing cooperation with other NGOs such as Médecins d’Afrique; and encouraging and promoting the humanitarian initiatives of Subud members.
(Puppeteers Without Borders)
These initiatives include the association L’Embellie which Hermine Aitken runs in order to give support for those caring for people at home, the creation of a sewing workshop in Vietnam in liaison with SD Vietnam and French members, and a taxi in Mali and a baked brick-making workshop in the DRC, both supported and supervised by French members. A serious reflection on a Place for Living (a proposed residential home with permanent inhabitants of various ages, each having their own place) has also started again.
Two SDIA project members are managed by Subud members based in France—Puppeteers without Borders run by Erica Sapir (teaches the use of puppets to convey a social message) and Sun For Life run by Zoy Freitag von Horthy (solar cookers for 1Euro and promotion of the nutritious and ecologically vital moringa oleifera tree in Madagascar). Other French members carry out social development activities as part of their daily lives or professional activities, and it should not be forgotten that this too is part of “doing Susila Dharma”!
Subud Portland Support to SD USA
Subud Portland has committed to contributing an average of $300.00 a month to SDUSA (annual donation of $3,600.00). The idea is to provide some kind of predictable level of donation from the Subud Portland Center. There are many different donation styles and this seems to be one that they like in Portland. The treasurer will keep track of the money sent to SDUSA over the year and they will fill in the gap between that total and the $3,600.00 with a check written at the end of December.
Congratulations to Subud Portland for this commitment to the work of SD USA!
Spotlight on SD National Development
A team of SDIA Directors, Raphael Bate, Haris Wolfgang and Romina Vianden-Prudent, are working to strengthen the links and learning between SD Nationals. Towards this aim they are publishing a series of articles called ‘Spotlight on SD National Development.’ Read Spotlight on SD Nationals: Building a Board and Spotlight on SD Nationals: Communications on line.
These Spotlight articles are intended to focus on issues facing SD national boards and to raise discussion between interested members. So, please send any thoughts and experiences to: Raphael at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WSA Care Support Team Appointed
Annabella Ashby (UK) replaces Rayner Sutherland (Canada) as coordinator of the Care and Support Group, which is an activity of the World Subud Association. Arnaud Delune (France) replaces Kumari Beck (Canada) heading up the Subud Education Fund, with the help of Renata Dunn (Canada). Sarah Becker (Chile) takes over as coordinator of the Subud Emergency Fund for individuals in need (formerly the Almoners) with Sabariah Van Beek (Netherlands) and Hakeem Naibi (Nigeria).
Millennium Development Goals (MDGs)
UN-DESA has published a report on the world’s progress with the Millennium Development Goals which you can read here.
Myra Margolin (USA) represented SDIA at a June meeting in New York on the UN and Civil Society and Private Sector. The purpose of the meeting was to give input to the September MDG Summit in New York. Read Myra's report.
Civil Society Update on MDGs and Human Rights
Governments that pursue development hand-in-hand with human rights stand a better chance of reaching the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Please help spread this message so that governments, civil society and the UN community can understand better why the outcome document of a UN MDG Summit in New York this September must include a human rights dimension.
The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has produced two videos (on Goal 5 maternal health and Goal 7 combating HIV) available on its website.
A second information note on The Right to Development—Framework for achieving the MDGs is available here.
We encourage you to use and distribute them as widely as possible. In particular, please share it with relevant policy makers, government ministries, development experts and others who can help shape the outcome document of the MDG Summit.
For further information, go to the UNHRC website.
Check out the UN published DESA News May 2010, where you can read 3 interesting articles on affordable Transportation and Safer Use of Chemicals, e-Government and the UN forum on Indigenous Issues.
Katherine Carré, representative to the UN in Geneva, has also written a report on the third Expert Mechanism on the Rights of the Indigenous Peoples that you can read here.
Educational inclusion relates to all children accessing and meaningfully participating in quality education, in ways that are responsive to their individual needs. The terms ‘inclusion’ and inclusive education’ are often used in relation to children with disabilities and/or special needs and emerged partly out of debates to reduce their segregation from mainstream schooling. Read more here.
From the SDIA Office
Eslair Somavila reading SDIA's In Context.
SDIA Publications Being Read
Illene Pevec sent us this photo. This is Eslair Somavila reading the SDIA magazine In Context by the church where the women gather to work together in Santo Angelo, RS, Brazil. She was thrilled to see her own photo printed there!
SDIA Annual Report
The Annual Report is the accounting to Subud members, to the Susila Dharma network and to donors, on what SDIA (the umbrella group of the Network and an affiliate organization of the World Subud Association) has done in the last year and how funds were used. It is a way of generally taking the pulse of our common progress and introducing to new readers SDIA as the charitable arm of the international Subud organization.
The cover is from the project Yayasan Tambuhak Sinta (Indonesia) and illustrates our growing emphasis on building the capacity of our SD organizations and the people we work with. There is a summary of the 2009 activities of the international Office and Board that shows how SDIA supported the Susila Dharma network—24 SD National organizations and 48 projects in 28 countries—and highlights some of the results of these efforts. We publish a financial report on the use of the $ 342,290 US donated this year (from SD national, individuals and groups, bequests, Foundations, Trusts and interest earned) and send big thanks to all those who support the work of SDIA in many different ways.
This year we are only printing a few copies due to costs and we hope that most members will read the Annual Report on the web or get it via email. If anyone wants to print it for their groups or gatherings, you can find a version in English or French on our website The Spanish version will be available soon.