Than Hsiang Foundation - Annual Report 2011

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Chinese Compilation by Lim Cheng See / English Translation by H.S. Seow

Than Hsiang Foundation - Annual Report 2011

I. Cultivation Activities

1. We had group cultivation on every Saturday. Chanting sessions of Eighty-eight Buddha Great Repentance Verses were also held on every 1st and 15th day of the month on the lunar calendar.

2. A one day Eight Precept retreat was held on every 2nd Sunday of each month. There had been approximately 100 participants in each session.

3. 92 participants attended a Three Day Buddha Name Recitation Retreat (Fosan) while 195 devotees took part in the Intensive Seven Day Buddha Name Recitation Retreat Cum Novitiate Programme.

4. Annual Dharma Assemblies included:

i. Chanting on Chinese New Year Eve, One Day Retreat on Chinese New Year and lamp lighting activities during the Chinese New Year.

ii. A Three-Session Pure Land Cultivation (Sanshi Xinian) was held during Qingming (Cheng Beng) occasion.

iii. Buddha Day (Wesak) activities in 2011 included chanting and Buddha statue bathing, lamp lighting, blessing by Sangha members and ‘Turn on the Inner Light’ Buddhist Hymn Sharing concert.

iv. A one day Filial Piety Dharma Assembly with Three-Session Pure Land Cultivation comprising chanting of Amitabha Sutra and Ulambana Sutra was held in the 7th month of the lunar calendar.

v. We also had one Amitabha offering prayer every 7 weeks.

Dharma Talks / Seminars

The following talks were organised:

1. ‘Gateway to a Healthy Body and a Peaceful Mind ’by Venerable Jideng

2. ‘To Be At Peace with Life and Death’ by Venerable Jizun.

3. ‘Get Hold of the Present’ by Venerable Boon Kean.

4. ‘Pure Land Practice and the Stages of the Path to Enlightenment’, ‘Talk at the Three Day Buddha Name Recitation Retreat’ and ‘Talk at the Intensive Seven Day Buddha Name Recitation Retreat ’ by Venerable Wei Wu.

II. Education

Than Hsiang Kindergarten

Besides its main establishment on the 1st floor of Than Hsiang building, the kindergarten now has 1 branch each at 8 locations namely Sungai Ara, Sungai Petani, Bukit Mertajam, Simpang Ampat, Juru, Permatang Pauh, Kuala Lumpur and Farlim. Before and After School Care Centres are also run at Negri Sembilan, Sungai Petani branch and Jalan Mandalay in Penang. The total enrolment reached 850 in 2011. 70 kids participated in the tenth Kindergarten Camp organised by Than Hsiang Kindergarten (Main).

In view of promoting lively teaching and parent-child relationship, Than Hsiang Kindergarten organised a workshop on story telling which included a seminar and story telling activities involving parents and their kids. Many kindergarten teachers enrolled on the Early Childhood Education (ECE) post graduate course offered by the International Buddhist College (IBC) to upgrade their knowledge and skills. Besides, the kindergarten introduced its implementation of separate versions of the Ten Meritorious Principles for teachers, parents and children. Other activities included orientation day, birthday celebrations, camps, Buddha Day activities, outings, open day etc. This year Than Hsiang kindergarten held its 20th graduation ceremony cum parents’ day. 196 children completed their pre school education.

Sunday Dharma School

146 students enrolled in Than Hsiang Sunday Dharma School in 2011. Some reformative measures had been taken in order to enable parents and children to learn and grow together. Parents of children attending the Sunday Dharma School were required to attend the monthly class for parents. Parent-child activities included visits to old folks’ homes, alms giving, offering to the Sangha, seminars on parenting, interactive games for parents and children and family days. These events received overwhelming response and support from parents. Besides teaching the Dharma the SDS also implemented the Ten Meritorious Principles, encouraging students to practice the Dharma in daily life. In addition to the normal Sunday Dharma classes, the SDS organised 1 youth camp for secondary school students and 2 children’s camps for primary school students during school holidays. There were about 130 participants in each camp. In order to enhance religious cultivation, SDS organised a half-day cultivation activity for 33 Caring Family volunteers.

Than Hsiang Youth

Than Hsiang Youth (Tanqing) has about 30 members. Routine activities carried out on Sundays include members’ gatherings, serving senior citizens, movie sharings, and cultivation cum sharing for National Service students. In addition, Than Hsiang Youth organised a one day training camp for its members at Fabao Shan Monastery. It also held an Eight Precept Retreat for tertiary students. Its members had also participated in the State Government’s cleaning of Sungai Kluang River in Bukit Gedung. They were involved in activities and events organised or participated by Than Hsiang Temple including Chinese New Year caroling, Mid-Autumn celebration, Buddha day celebration, Wesak Day Float Procession, South-West District Buddha Day Float Procession, the 4th Convocation at IBC, the tree planting ceremony at IBC, the Mahasanghika Dana and the Vegetarian Food Festival. Than Hsiang Youth members also helped organise the youth camp and children’s camps as well as receive the National Service group from Balik Pulau.

Kalyana Mitra Centre

The Kalyana Mitra centres located near Universiti Sains Malaysia and Tunku Abdul Rahman College have ten residing students. To promote propagating Dharma through songs, Kalyana Mitra members organised a‘Turn on the Inner Light’ Buddhist Hymn Sharing concert during the Wesak celebration. In addition, they also organised the Eight Precept Retreat for Tertiary Students on September 24. A total of 29 students experienced a fruitful day of spiritual cultivation in precepts and mindfulness through Buddha name recitation. On October 1, a tea party was held to congratulate house mates who had just graduated. Ven. Wei Wu was invited to speak while graduated seniors who were former residents also shared their experiences after graduation.

International Buddhist College (IBC)

Courses on Buddhist Study

IBC offers BA, MA and PhD courses in Buddhist Study.

Meanwhile similar courses are also available in its E-Learning program where students can complete their courses in Buddhist Study via the Internet.

Total student enrolment at IBC main campus in Sadao:156 including
BA course in Buddhist study:30
PhD course in Buddhist study:6
E-Learning MA course in Buddhist study:120

Total student enrolment at IBC branch campus in Korat: 60 including
BA course in Buddhist Study: 33
MA course in Buddhist Study: 27

This year IBC held its 4th convocation at the main campus on August 31. There were 28 MA and 5 BA graduates. The ‘Planting a Thousand Trees with One Heart’ tree planting ceremony was held after the convocation. RM1 Million had been raised so far for IBC from this project which started in 2006.

Secular Courses

10 students took up the Diploma in Early Childhood Education course offered by Than Hsiang Temple in Penang.
The Kawaii Kindergarten at IBC main campus in Southern Thailand began its 3rd semester on November 1 with 31 students.

At our branch campus in Korat we had a weekend Dharma study group which included a primary class in English, a secondary class in English, an adult class in English and an adult class in Chinese. The total number of students exceeded 100. Meanwhile we had cooperation with local kindergartens in extracurricular teaching activities where 30 students participated on every Friday.

Other Activities

Regular activities at the Sadao main campus included Buddhist religious activities such as Wesak celebration and Kathina celebration as well as weekend Dharma classes in Chinese and English to instill knowledge of Buddhism to the locals. We also let our teachers and students attend seminars and forums so as to enhance their knowledge and to upgrade their skills. They were encouraged to study Thai and Malaysian cultures and to mingle freely with teachers and students from various countries. Such multi cultural exchange has become a characteristic of IBC. This year our teachers and students also experienced the true meaning of giving through their involvement in providing disaster relief for victims of natural disasters in Thailand, Northern Malaysia and Myanmar. Furthermore, Metta Mobile Free Clinic led by Brother Goh Guo Chiang provided free monthly medical service to the locals.

At the branch campus in Korat, North Eastern Thailand the Metta Mobile Free Clinic was received with fervent response in the three fruitful sessions of free medical service we held in February, June and September. The number of patients for each session exceeded five hundred. That was a rare opportunity for the local Thai people to experience the profound traditional Chinese medicine the seed of which is going to germinate here.

Academic wise the Korat campus organised ‘A Workshop on Research Methodology’ and ‘A Workshop on IBC Intranet and Internet’ on October 1 and December 19 respectively. In addition, it actively received various visiting religious leaders and organisations e.g. the delegate of professors and lecturers from Mahidol University, Thailand on July 25, the fourteen member delegation led by the Honourable vice Sangha Raja of Bangla Desh Ven. Gyanasree Mahathera on December 18 and the delegations led by Dr Ong See Yew, the president of Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia and Dr Pornchai Pinyapong on December 18. Knowledge and information regarding Dharma propagation and Buddhist research were shared in these exchanges for the benefit of the long term development of Buddhist education.

From July to November 2011 Thailand was hit by the worst flood in 100 years. The severe situation and heavy losses resulting from the disaster shocked the whole world. Backed by the strong support of fund raising move from Than Hsiang Foundation and the spirit and practice of Wisdom and Compassion of the Bodhisatva ideal, teachers and students from the IBC campus in Korat which is neighbouring disaster hit areas engaged themselves in the meaningful endeavour of disaster relief. This is a brief account of their activities:

1) Handing over 4,000 bottles of water and 3,000 boxes of cow’s milk while participating in the World Buddhist Kitchen and Medicine Programs organised by World Buddhist Fellowship of Buddhist Youth in Bangkok on November 8.

2) Handing over 48,000 bottles of drinking water to the Medical Department of the Royal Thai Arm Forces and helping to distribute the items at Klong Luang disaster area in Pathun Tahni on November 9.

3) Distributing 100 boxes of UHT cow’s milk and drinking water at the World Buddhist Kitchen Centre in Phra Si Temple, north of Bangkok on November 11.

4) Distributing 24,000 bottles of drinking water, large quantity of solid food, packed food and UHT cow’s milk at Mahachulalongkorn University in Wangnoi on November 14.

5) Distributing 24,000 bottles of drinking water, large quantity of solid food, packed food and UHT cow’s milk to flood victims at Kongthanou in Lophuri on November 26.

6) Cooking lunch on the spot with members of a big voluntary group from Pakthongchai and sharing the food with flood victims after distributing 12,000 bottles of drinking water, 300 sacks of rice plus solid food at Ayutthaya on December 4.

For details of the abovementioned please visit

The Phor Tay Schools

SMJK Phor Tay

In 2011, monastic members, full time employees and volunteers from Than Hsiang Temple were even more vigorously promoting the Ten Meritorious Principles at SMJK Phor Tay. We adopted multimedia teaching and taught Form One and Form Three students in one to one fashion. The Ten Meritorious Principles was the main subject taught in Form One. The curriculum included imparting the Ten Meritorious Principles, Buddhist etiquette, conducting assessment of students’ progress and examinations.

The Form Three curriculum focused on the Fourfold Grace and the Five Precepts. In view of familiarizing students with applications of the Ten Meritorious Principles in daily life, a series of activities including Buddhist hymn sharing, Dharma talks and visits to Than Hsiang Temple were tailored for Form Three students after they had finished their PMR examination.

Furthermore, in order to promote parent-child relationship and create a warm and pleasant school environment, we held a thanksgiving gathering every 3 months. Dharma teachers were invited to parents’ day gatherings to update parents on the situation of the Dharma classes and the progress of students. Through communication with parents, we arrived at the significant conclusion that parents were in favour of the Dharma classes. Reviews for teachers were also conducted regularly to enhance teaching quality.

Phor Tay Private High School

Monastic members, employees and volunteers from Than Hsiang Temple imparted knowledge of the Ten Meritorious Principles to students from Forms One, Two and Three by ways of movies sharing, Buddhist hymns singing and with aids of other relevant information. We also arranged regular visits and activities at Buddhist centres like Triple Wisdom Hall, Bodhi Heart Sanctuary and Po Oo Tong for members of the Buddhist Society so as to improve their awareness of Buddhism. During the thanksgiving, we provided parent-child seminars for parents. For the second time we helped organized the Children’s Dharma Camp at Phor Tay Private High School. We also had Buddha statue bathing ceremony and offering to the Sangha at Wesak celebration.

SJK(C) Phor Tay

The Ten Meritorious Principles was vigorously promoted at SJK (C) Phor Tay too. We had a cleansing ceremony in the school at the beginning of the year.

Fellowship of Fuzhi Teachers

The Phor Tay schools, Than Hsiang Kindergarten and Than Hsiang Sunday Dharma School jointly set up the Fellowship of Fuzhi Teachers. The objective of setting up this group is to provide an exchange platform for teachers who are teaching the Ten Meritorious Principles. The fellowship held its first meeting at the beginning of October with the participation of more than 30 teachers. It will also organise a training camp for Dharma class teachers in 2012.

Other Activities of Phor Tay Schools

This year Phor Tay Kindergarten, SJK(C) Phor Tay, SMJK Phor Tay, Phor Tay Private High School and Phor Tay Alumni Association jointly organised several activities which received encouraging support from kind donors. These activities were:

1) Striking the Bell in Aid of Phor Tay Private High School

This was open to the public to perform the customary practice of bell striking and vow making for themselves and their loved ones during the first nine days of the Chinese New Year. At the same time they would donate to Phor Tay Private High School. RM 2,000 was collected from this activity.

2) Bodhi Night

2,600 LED candles were lit to commemorate the 2,600th anniversary of the Buddha’s enlightenment. RM 50,000 was collected for Phor Tay Private High School.

3) Above Full Moon Musical

Artistes from the Musical on Stage troupe were invited to perform Above Full Moon, a Broadway style musical portraying the life of Li Shutong (later Venerable Hongyi). The performance raised RM 800,000 for SMJK Phor Tay Building Fund.

III. Welfare Activities

Than Hsiang Mitra Welfare Association

In 2011 Mitra Line phone counselling hit a record with 1,400 cases while face to face counselling and email/mail counselling had 550 cases and 12 cases respectively. Predominant cases were those regarding mental health problems and parenting issues. We therefore specially provided 20 group counselling sessions where individuals facing similar problems were grouped together so that they could support each other to overcome the difficult situation.

Besides providing lecturers for extrnal seminars upon request, the Community Education Section offered workshops with various themes and topics for the public. This year we had seminars which were different from those of past years e.g. Mum and Dad Give Me Your Love, sharing on SOCSO (insurance for employees at work), financial management and movie sharing etc. In addition to recruiting new volunteers the Welfare Section invited Social Welfare Department officers to talk on How to Utilise Social Resources to Help Cases. Caring volunteers send their warm blessings to about 30 cases every month.

Than Hsiang Welfare Wan Ching Yuen and Sungai Ara Wan Ching Yuen

There are 31 and 20 residents at Than Hsiang Welfare Wan Ching Yuen and Sungai Ara Wan Ching Yuen respectively.

Wan Ching Yuen is faced with shortage of manpower. We would like to express our gratitude to volunteers who had given their strong backup support. Than Hsiang Youth members and students from SMJK Phor Tay Buddhist Class jointly set up a voluntary group who rendered their service to Wan Ching Yuen residents on every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month. We are especially grateful to Matron Jenny Yong who had worked tirelessly to help recruit nurses and bring in Indonesian mates to serve the residents.

Once a month Than Hsiang Youth members organised a birthday party for Than Hsiang Wan Ching Yuen residents whose birthdays fell within that month. Members of Than Hsiang Welfare Group provided haircut service for the residents every month. Fayin choir group and Relau Old Melodies group also visited Wan Ching Yuen on a monthly basis to entertain the residents with songs.

Residents at Than Hsiang Wan Ching Yuen received spiritual counseling from Venerable Zhenru, Venerable Zhenti and Venerable Wuguo every Friday while residents at Sungai Ara Wan Ching Yuen received similar guidance from Venerable Zhenru and Venerable Zhenti during the 1st week of every month. We will like to express our gratitude to monastic members of Than Hsiang Temple for their compassionate efforts in spiritual guidance. May the senior citizens at Wan Ching Yuen have a fruitful spiritual life.

IV. Focused Activities in 2011

1) South West District Buddha Day Float Procession in conjunction with the celebration of the 2,600th Anniversary of the Buddha’s Enlightenment

The South West District Buddha Day Float Procession was organized on May 21 in commemoration of the 2,600th anniversary of the Buddha’s attainment of enlightenment. The procession which started at 7 p.m. comprised six floats namely Than Hsiang Temple, Jiuhua Chan Monastery, Jieshanyuan Buddhist Society, Phor Tay School Alumni Association, Triple Wisdom Hall and Than Hsiang Jingyuan. 2,000 devotees took part in this event.

2) Wesak International Film Festival

The biennial Wesak International Film Festival was held at Komtar, Penang from June 10 to June 12. This event was jointly organised by Than Hsiang Temple and Young Buddhist Association of Malaysia Penang Liaison Committee with assistance from various Buddhist organisations in Northern Malaysia. It aimed at arousing awareness of Buddhism through offering free viewing of movies with Buddhist themes to the public. Venerable Wei Wu, abbot of Than Hsiang Temple called on Buddhist groups to pool resources to jointly produce Buddhist movies not only for Buddhists but also for the general public especially movies enthusiasts. Such endeavours would be beneficial in promoting Buddhism.

3) The 2nd National Chinese Buddhist Hymn Singing Competition

Than Hsiang Temple and Kwong Wah Yit Poh co-organised the 2nd National Chinese Buddhist Hymn Singing Competition. Preliminary rounds were held in Penang, Alor Setar, Gerik and Kuala Lumpur to raise funds for Metta Free Clinic, Kedah Buddhist Association, Hospice of Compassion and Children’s Home of Ipoh Bao En Si, and Petaling Jaya Mitra Welfare Association respectively. There were more than 100 participants. The final round was held in Penang to raise fund for Than Hsiang Mitra Welfare Association.

V. Branch Activities

Than Hsiang Welfare Association (K.L. and Selangor) / Tham Wah Wan

Tham Wah Wan Kindergarten had an enrolment of 44 students in 2011. The Sunday Dharma Class took in 30 students. Tham Wah Wan continued to offer MA course in Buddhist Study on behalf of International Buddhist College. Cultivation wise we had the following regular activities: chanting the Great Liberation Sutra on every 1st Sunday of the month, chanting of Amitabha Sutra on every 2nd and 4th Sunday of the month, Eight Precept cultivation on every 3rd Sunday of the month, chanting of Pumenpin and birthday celebration on every 1st and 15th day of the lunar month and life-releasing ceremony on every 2nd Saturday of the month. In addition we had a Yoga class on every Wednesday, a Taiji class on every Thursday, a Chinese class on every Saturday and an English class every fortnight. The Buddhist camp we organized on November 27, 2011 received favourable response.

Than Hsiang Mitra Welfare Association (K.L. and Selangor)

More activities were organized by the association in 2011. Public talks were held on a monthly basis. We organized ‘The Intimate Journey’ workshop and ‘Hand in Hand towards Tomorrow’ workshop focusing on pre marriage preparation. Huang Longjie, a psychotherapist from Taiwan was invited to hold the ‘Bring Back Your Smile at Work’ workshop and a training course on suicide prevention persuader for volunteers. We co-organised seminars with Sin Chew Jit Poh and 3 independent Chinese schools in Klang to raise awareness of the public in stress management and suicide prevention. In addition we provide counseling services to about 70 cases in either interviews or play therapy, and about 50 cases in telephone counseling every month. In the social welfare aspect volunteers extended their service to other areas such as the National Service, visits to refugee camps and hospitals besides carrying out their routine case follow ups.

Wan Ching Yuen, Petaling Jaya

There were 29 residents aged between 62 and 101 at Wan Ching Yuen, Petaling Jaya. They lived a peaceful life under the attentive care of staff members and volunteers. A Parents’ Day celebration was held for them in the middle of June 2011. In the beginning of November the Ding Tai Feng Group from Taiwan organised a demonstration on making vegetarian Xiaolongbao to celebrate the 9th anniversary of PJ Wan Ching Yuen with the residents.

Than Hsiang Chan Yuan, Bukit Mertajam

Than Hsiang Chan Yuan, Bukit Mertajam carried on with its cultivation and education activities in 2011. Besides Buddha name recitation on every Tuesday, one day Buddha name recitation, and refuge taking ceremony, Buddha Day Yufo Group Cultivation was organised for the first time during Wesak celebration. Education wise we set about the further deepening of awareness of environment protection and recycling in addition to the learning of Buddhist teachings and interactive activities in the regular Sunday Dharma School. The SDS also organised the 2011 Quiz on Buddhism for Caring Family. Outdoor educational activities included visits to Vivekavana Solitude Grove, Than Hsiang Wan Ching Yuen and Balik Pulau nutmeg farm. At the end of the year we had the speech day together with Than Hsiang Sunday Dharma School at Than Hsiang Temple.

Than Hsiang Kalyanamitra Centre, Pajam

Than Hsiang Kalyanamitra Centre, Pajam continued to promote education and cultivation activities at its centres in Seremban and Kajang. There were 50 students at the before school care centre. The Sunday Dharma School had 20 members. Than Hsiang Kalyanamitra Centre, Pajam had been organising youth activities such as camps and Buddhist courses for some time. In 2011, 350 students participated in its children’s camp and youth camp while 400 students participated in the meditation retreat for tertiary students which was jointly organised with Buddhist societies from UPM and UKM. Cultivation activities included chanting of Amitabha Sutra on every Monday and Wednesday. The regular Eight Precept retreats had an average of 80 participants in each session. Other cultivation activities included Chinese New Year celebration; Wesak Day Buddha statue bathing; and Refuge Taking ceremonies, Buddha statue bathing and Dharma talks for National Service students.

Than Hsiang Jing Yuan, Klang

The building of Than Hsiang Jing Yuan, Klang was purchased in March 2011. This double storey bungalow on a piece of half-acred land has 11 rooms, 11 toilets, 2 kitchens and a spacious garden. Its fine environment is suitable for holding education and cultivation activities. It had started operation in June.

Address: No. 1, Solok Loyang, Taman Melawis, 41100 Klang, Selangor

Than Hsiang Jing Yuan, Sungai Petani

Cultivation, education and welfare activities carried out at Than Hsiang Jing Yuan, Sungai Petani are as follows:

1. Cultivation Activities

1.1 Regular Activities

1) Chanting practice at 8 p.m. on every Thursday.

2) Group cultivation and Dharma talk at 8 p.m. on every Friday.

3) Eight-precept retreat on the 3rd Saturday each month. There were ten retreats this year.

4) Grand offerings on the 1st day and 15th day of each lunar month, Guanyin’s Birthday, and commemoration days of the Buddha’s enlightenment and Parinirvana.

1.2 Other Cultivation Activities

1) Buddha name recitation on Chinese New Year Eve to usher in the Chinese New Year, Chinese New Year auspicious lamp lighting ceremony and offering on the 1st day of Chinese New Year.

2)A series of activities in conjunction with Wesak Day (Buddha Day) celebration including lamp lighting and Buddha statue bathing etc was held for kindergarten kids, parents, students of the Friday Dharma School and the public from May 10 to May 17, 2011. A Refuge and Five Precepts taking ceremony was held on Wesak Day (May 17).

3)We participated in the South West District Buddha Day Float Procession with a mini float designed and decorated by our volunteers moving in front of a group of 40 devotees including 2 Wan Ching Yuen residents.

4) We held 3 Pre Examination Prayers for students from the teachers’ training college and secondary schools in 2011 to boost their self confidence.

5)About 300 people were present at the celebration cum cultivation activity for Mid Autumn Festival on September 9. Programme items included Buddha name recitation to usher in the Festival, singing performance by Wan Ching Yuen residents, songs and dances performed by Kindergarten kids, poem recitation by students of Friday Dharma School, a group singing performance, plus riddle solving and a lantern procession.

2. Education

2.1 Than Hsiang Kindergarten, Sungai Petani

The enrolment for Than Hsiang Kindergarten S.P. reached 117 pupils in 2011. In order to upgrade teaching quality we sent 4 teachers to Than Hsiang Temple to take up the MA course in Early Childhood Education offered by IBC. The expenses were borne by the Kindergarten. This year we organised a 2-day-1-night camp with the theme ‘Learning to be Independent and Grow Happily’ for 6 year old children.

2.2 Friday Dharma School

There were about 40 students in the Friday Dharma School. Besides learning Dharma and the Ten Meritorious Principles students also took part in mind stimulating activities such as story telling competition, Buddhist hymn singing contest, visits to Theravada and Mahayana temples in Penang and visit to an orphanage in Sungai Petani. A Dharma camp was also organized for secondary students during the school holidays in August.

2.3 Dharma Courses

1) We had completed Book 1 to Book 3 of A Preliminary Buddhist Reader in the class which ran from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. on every Wednesday.

2) Members of the Study Class which had been reading and sharing Liberation in the Palm since 2009, were studying the chapter containing the lecture of the 11th day.

2.4 Other Educational Courses

1) This year the Friday Dharma School and the kindergarten jointly organized a course on efficient parenting which contained 10 lessons. The course which focused on parent-child communication and interaction attracted 20 participants from the Friday Dharma School volunteers and parents of kindergarten students.

2) Brother Leong Kok Hing was invited to give a talk on World Cultural Heritage through Buddhist Stamp Collections. 40 people came for the talk.

3. Welfare Activities

3.1 Than Hsiang Wan Ching Yuen, Sungai Petani

Than Hsiang Wan Ching Yuen, Sungai Petani had 29 residents aged between 62 and 101. On April 16, 2011 Than Hsiang Jing Yuan organised a vegetarian food fair to raise fund for Wan Ching Yuen. With collective efforts of volunteers and support from the public the food fair collected RM20,000.

3.2 Than Hsiang Jing Yuan Welfare Section

The Welfare Section organised 2 blood donation cum health screening campaigns in 2011 where 80 packs of blood were donated. It also started its family visits in June.

3.3 Exchanges for Volunteers and Pre Examination Prayer for Students of Teachers’ College

We had an exchange with students from the teachers’ college who were interested to be involved in welfare work. Venerable Zhenxin briefed them on volunteers’ responsibilities and attitude. She also held a pre examination prayer for them. May they excel in their study and welfare work.

4. Recycling Activity

Than Hsiang Jing Yuan, Sungai Petani had recycling activities on the 1st and 3rd Saturdays of each month. It needs more volunteers to come forward to assist in this area.