Wednesday, July 25, 2012

CDW Part 4: Tarayana Foundation

Karma Wangchuk, a programme officer at the Tarayana Foundation, attended the Curriculum Design Workshop as the lone representative of his organization. Since much of the workshop was based on group activities, he had his work cut out for him. But Karma showed dedication and enthusiasm for the work and carried on to present a very convincing final presentation that illustrated his grasp of the material. 

When we met up a week later to discuss the next steps that Tarayana could take, Karma was still very enthusiastic about the experience and said one of the most lasting impressions was Dr. Tho Havinh's use of the Four Noble Truths as a lesson planning tool. Dr. Tho is setting up a new GNH Center in Bumthang, by the way, a project to be watched!

It was a pleasure to have Karma at the workshop, he was an active participant, fully engaged, insightful and willing to go the extra mile. He developed an entire KUD on his own. Below is how he used the Four Noble Truths to address the issue of rural to urban migration. I think he raised some excellent Essential Questions, particularly the last one. We mustn't underestimate the capability of rural villages to understand the concept of systems that control them, and by understanding those systems they will be better equipped to find their own strength and resiliency. 

SUFFERING: Rural to Urban Migration

CAUSES OF SUFFERING: Often rural villages are not aware of their role and worth, there is growing lack of respect for the traditional way of living, mis-representation of town and city life in media, they don’t know the difference between need and want, lack of proper facilities (market, cooperatives, banks, hospitals, schools), new roads, media/television.

CESSATION OF SUFFERING/GOALS/OBJECTIVE: To support villages and rural communities in such a way that the youth don’t feel the need to migrate. Drawing attention to the fact that village life can be fulfilling and interesting.  Provision of facilities.

PATH: Providing relevant education and facilities not simply transplanting urban education and facilities, instead creating unique models of education, cooperatives, self help groups and promoting ecotourism.

Why money is not equal to wealth?
What will happen if all the rural communities migrate to urban areas?
What will happen if all farmers give up farming?
How will electricity change our lives?
How do roads change the community?
Does sending your children to government school affect the family and community? Is it always a positive?
What systems control our lives (environmental, family, government, corporate)?

Good Job Karma!

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