Dear Followers and Supporters of our humanitarian project Sewadars and Kundalini Yoga,
We arrived in Luanda, the capital of Angola, on November 30th. During these two weeks of physical and psychological readjustment to the country and reacquainting with Lamsa’s Angolan family, we already made major first steps for the realization of our vision.
What is chocking us the most here is the extreme divergence and contradiction between the rich and the poor society. An average taxi-driver or a house-cleaner earns USD $300 a month and an employee in a bank USD $3000 to USD $5000, while the rent of an average 4-rooms-appartment is USD $1500 a month. Therefore, many of the rich people have businesses by side and many of the poor people still live in the slums (see pictures slideshow).
Secondly, the governmental social projects are very limited, because the country is orienting its funds into the urban rebuilding. Indeed, Angola’s economy has undergone a period of transformation in recent years, moving from the disarray caused by a quarter century of civil war to being the fastest growing economy in Africa and one of the fastest in the world. We visited the only center that the State offers in Luanda for children and babies that are found on the street or abandoned by their families, Lar Kuzola (see first pictures slideshow). It counts for 260 children that are waiting to be relocated in some orphanage or hospital for physical or mental trauma treatment. It doesn’t include any psychologist, social worker or permanent Doctors; they have a complete lack of financial support and of qualified staff. Fortunately, some nuns (see picture) are giving their heart and life since ten years to run the center 24/7, frequently woken-up during the middle of the night to receive a baby found on a side-walk somewhere in the streets. For the moment, the organizations that are managing the best humanitarian work are definitely the private ones, like the churches, local leaders and some international NGO’s.
Our first step is to visit various humanitarian projects that are related to children and to understand the problematic issue caused by the war in order for us to know where to focus most of our energy and actions. We need to know what is needed! We continue our Sadhana (spiritual practice) persistently because we believe that Life and The Divine is the only force that can help; we as human can only be servants and channels of this force. We already found the possibility to teach Yoga in a center and will start next week. We trust that after this opportunity the evolution of our vision will continue to take it’s natural course.
As far as the progress of our Foundation Sewadars (“servants” in Gurmukhi language), we decided to extend the activity of it: it will no longer focus only on raising funds for already-existing projects, but we will also create a physical place here in Luanda, in the form of a spiritual school. We are presently looking for a hall to rent or to buy in the city, where we will be able to start the early-morning spiritual practices, the yoga and local traditional spirituality classes (invite local teachers), nutrition and natural medicine classes (including indigenous ways of healing), baby-massage classes and meetings for children and parental education of consciousness (traditional values on ecology, Angolan culture, the roles of woman, man, mother, father, etc.). This hall will be the city point of our vision.
At the same time, we plan to find a field in the countryside, close to Luanda, where we will extend the vision of the project. This place will be the base of the center. It will work on three aspects:
1. Natural Medicine
2. Spiritual Teachings
3. Humanitarian Work
The center is dedicated to providing the Angolan population with the:
I. Knowledge of healing and staying healthy naturally, coming from various traditions of the world but enhancing the local traditional medicine.
II. Knowledge of human psychology and spiritual teachings/yoga coming from all over the world, but most of all enhancing the local knowledge already existing in the Angolan tradition in order to heal the traumas of a post-war population and to create a strong spiritual, mental, emotional and physical generation. The purpose is to support Angola to lead by example for Africa, showing a powerful material AND psychological stability in a country which has been able to transcend from a state of suffering through oppression and war lasting for 430 years, into a state of peace, consciousness and healthy competitive productivity.
III. An example of how to "walk the talk" by promoting humanitarian work:
- run an orphanage which is incorporating the ethical values of the center
- grow and distribute food supplements such as Spirulina (a blue green algae, which has a high protein and mineral content) for programs to eradicate hunger and to increase the immune system of the population
- give education to children of the street and involve them in the businesses of the center. The experiences the students will gain while participating in this program will assist them in making the transition from school to work and will allow them to develop entrepreneurial skills that will be transferrable to any job in the future.
- create healing programs for post-war traumas and run them in the respective places: hospitals, social centers, private and governmental humanitarian projects, etc.
- valorize the old generation by giving them an efficient platform of expression (interviews, story-telling programs in schools) and by involving them in the actions of the center
One of the main business incomes of the center will be the production and selling of Spirulina. We contacted the beautiful spiritual community of Auroville in South India (see http://www.auroville.org/) to receive some advice about their powerful Spirulina program. I will take charge of the businesses related aspects of the center and Jasmine Kaur will be the manager for the center itself. Both of us will work on presenting the project and find sponsors at the same time as teaching at the school. The final local aim is to train and find teachers (yoga, nutrition, parental education, etc.) and managers so that the center can become independent. But for the moment, we are looking for sponsors who can help us to start the project.
Jasmine Kaur has started her work as a pilot here (see pictures); she is flying corporate for a private company. In one week, she already saw delightful landscapes of the country and eight different cities with their airports (some of them having astonishing runways J! See pictures). This morning she had to fly to Johannesburg South Africa. We will try to keep you informed as often as possible, at least once a month, of our progress and we are looking forward to receiving your support, comments, emails, suggestions, advice and your subscriptions as “Followers” of the blog (click on the bottom right). We send you our most genuine and warm greetings from a place of the world that is an intense example of the battle forces that are occurring during this worldly period of time, when Humankind has to do its sharp decision between continuing a path of ignorance or, finally, blossom itself into a flower of Consciousness.
SAT NAM (= “Truth is my Identity” in Gurmukhi),
Jasmine Kaur and Lamsa Claudio
Thought Meditation: Only in complete relaxation will you realize what is real and what is illusory. Physical and mental relaxation will reveal both. To see clearly, you need to be still and look inside. For us here in Luanda, it’s a perfect surrounding to practice this truth.