From Asia to Italy

Not many are aware that a significant part of ASIA’s work takes place in Italy, benefiting children, youth, and civil society as a whole. These activities stem from the aspiration to disseminate Chögyal Namkhai Norbu’s vision in Italy, contributing to the development of awareness about the interdependence that connects all living beings and the responsibility of each individual towards oneself, others, and the environment, with the aim of creating a culture of peace and tolerance that fosters the construction of a fairer and more inclusive society.

We initiated these initiatives many years ago with projects aimed at raising awareness about Tibetan culture and cooperation for development through exhibitions, conferences, publications, and experiential paths for students and civil society. We delved into a wide range of topics, from the traditions of Tibetan nomadic herders to traditional Tibetan medicine, from the delicate ecosystems of the Himalayas to contemporary expressions of Tibetan art.

Since 2019, we have expanded the focus of our projects to include, in addition to the intercultural aspect, awareness-raising on environmental sustainability and socio-emotional well-being. The main goal is to respond to the growing need for self-awareness, empathy, emotional regulation, and conflict management, particularly evident in children, youth, and the most vulnerable segments of the population, and exacerbated by the consequences of the SARS-CoV-2 pandemic.

Currently, we support schools of all levels in disseminating soft skills, such as relational competencies like emotional education, awareness of one’s inner world, and empathic communication, which are fundamental to individual psychophysical well-being.

We are happy and proud to implement these pathways in schools, including some activities taught by Chögyal Namkhai Norbu:

  • The “kumar kumari” for young students in primary schools has received great appreciation from school staff for its beneficial impact on children. The reduction of stress and aggression and the sense of grounding and calm improve the atmosphere of the entire class, making this activity one of the most requested by schools.
  • The “khaita” dances. With the ongoing “WE ARE ONE” project, we have been able to experience this activity with students at a primary school in Rome, and it has been a great success. The harmony and joy generated by the dances have captivated the children and improved their mood and sociability, two fundamental aspects in a period when emotional distress is widespread among young people.

“When I think about dancing, the sun comes in my head”, Anna Z.

Other pathways through which we disseminate the values of the Buddhist tradition, such as mindfulness, creative workshops for socio-emotional education, and environmental education, are also included.

From 2019 to the present day, we have been able to implement these projects thanks to funding from AICS (Italian Agency for Development Cooperation) and the funds of the Italian Buddhist Union. 7,354 people, including students and teachers, have benefited from these activities in schools and have come into contact with the teachings of Chögyal Namkhai Norbu and the values of Tibetan culture.

Unfortunately, very little attention is paid to this work that ASIA is carrying out in civil society in order to create a more harmonious world, and today, our activities for 2024 and 2025 are endangered by the lack of new funding.

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