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Cari amici,

come lo scorso anno, questa Lettera di Natale e’ stata scritta dagli studenti del P. A.  , da Ilaria e da Luigina.

 Valentino ha deciso di continuare il suo percorso di ricerca personale lontano dall’India , pur rimanendo sempre coinvolto in prima persona nella gestione e nella guida del Progetto,  affiancato da Ilaria che si e’ impegnata a proseguire nel coordinamentodelle attivita’ ed in particolare della parte amministrativa.

Insieme abbiamo cercato di ricordare quanto e’ accaduto in questi mesi passati cosi’ velocemente da indurci a riflettere sul tempo che scorre e su quanto sia prezioso.

“Noi abbiamo cercato di usarlo al meglio, durante le attivita’ scolastiche, in famiglia e nel tempo libero.

Nella precedente Lettera di Natale, avevamo accennato al nuovo grande edificio  ed al suo ampliamento. Tutti i lavori progettati ( nuove aule, servizi, laboratorio di chimica…) sono stati ultimati ed attualmente alcune classi hanno occupato questi nuovi spazi.

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Ampiamento del nuovo edificio                                   studenti durante l’assemblea del mattino

Nella scuola di Bodhgaya invece i lavori stanno ancora continuando”.

Tutto questo e’ stato possibile grazie all’ Associazione Shaining Hope che da due anni sta sostenendo il P.A.e, recentemente, ha promesso che continuera’ ad aiutarci a mantenere e consolidare quanto e’ gia’ stato fatto finora.

Con il contributo della Fondazione Zanetti di Treviso e’ stato messo in sicurezza il tetto di due aule e di due laboratori, precedentemente coperti da lamiere e paglia, danneggiati dall’ incendio del  dicembre 2014.

Sono state ristrutturate anche alcune camere e dei bagni attigui, attualmente usati   da alcuni ragazzi Chakma, residenti presso la scuola di Sarnath.

“ Il nostro Preside ha un nuovo ufficio, situato nell’ edificio di fronte a quello appena ultimato. Ora quasi tutte le classi sono concentrate nella stessa area, circondate  da numerosi alberi che purificano l’ aria e ci permettono di respirare e meditare meglio.

All’ interno della scuola si puo’ percepire un’ atmosfera pacifica che favorisce una maggior attenzione econcentrazione durante le ore di lezione ed anche un buon rapporto con i nostri compagni ed insegnanti.Insegnanti disponibili a ripetere le lezioni quando si presentano delle difficolta’ e non si irritano se chiediamo loro ulteriori spiegazioni.

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na3Pensiamo inoltre che l’ atmosfera serena intorno a noi, tutti gli insegnamenti che  riceviamoe la nostra pratica quotidiana abbiano quasi azzerato episodi di bullismo , molto frequenti ed in continuo aumento nelle altre scuole.

L’ educazione spirituale che stiamo ricevendo ci aiuta ad andare oltre le diversita’  (tradizioni, caste, situazioni economiche, religioni…) per ottenere la vera pace del cuore.

In questi mesi alcuni rappresentanti di diverse tradizioni religiose hanno visitato la nostra scuola ed incontrato noi studenti.

In dicembre , prima di Natale, sono venuti a parlarci Padre  Amal e  Swami Varishtanand  della RamaKrishna Mission di Varanasi . In gennaio i residenti hanno incontrato Lama Zopa Rimpoche e Lama Monlam. Poi Lama Osel ha parlato a tutti noi.

Successivamente  abbiamo avuto la visita di un Jainista, di un rappresentante dell’ ASS.

Gayatri Mantra , Bhagwan Singh Yadav e del Maulana Mohammad Riyajuddin.

Qualche giorno fa e’ tornato a trovarci P.Tiziano Tamussi , dei Ricostruttori nella Preghiera che si fermera’ per un periodo anche presso la scuola di Bodhgaya .

Ognuno di loro ha parlato dei valori universali , secondo le tradizioni che rappresentano e nei loro insegnamenti abbiamo trovato delle “ radici comuni”: non uccidere, non rubare, non mentire, rispettare non solo le persone ma anche gli animali, le piante…

Noi siamo tutti  interconnessi, come gli anelli di una lunga catena ed abbiamo la stessa Natura Divina.

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Nella nostra scuola, oltre le normali materie ( hindi, inglese, matematica…), pratichiamo lo yoga, la meditazione, recitiamo i mantra che sono parte del Programma Speciale.

Abbiamo seguito  numerose lezioni di Valentino ,nel periodo trascorso a Sarnath. Ci ha insegnato in modo semplice ed interessante come funziona la mente, ci ha spiegato le proiezioni, come prevenire o ridurre il problema del bullismo.

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Diverse sono le meditazioni che pratichiamo, alcune piu’ semplici ( meditazione sul respiro e della pace ), altre piu’ complesse ( Trataka, Tong len, Nadi Purification meditation).

Noi vorremmo ricordare soprattutto: Mente silenziosa, Mente meravigliosa .

image024A febbraio sono iniziati gli esami e gli studenti della X e XII classe li hanno superati con ottimi risultati.

Gli studenti della scuola di Sarnath e Bodhgaya , da febbraio a meta’ marzo, hanno partecipato alla recita di 125.000 Gayatri Mantra che si e’ conclusa con la Puja del Fuoco, celebrata da un Pandit della G.M.A.,  e’ seguita una grande festa a cui hanno partecipato studenti ed insegnanti.

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image030A marzo e’ tornata Madame Samia Coupat, psicoterapeuta francese.Quest’ anno ha iniziato un corso di formazione sulla sessualita’, rivolto agli insegnanti , per facilitare poi il loro lavoro con gli studenti.

Gli insegnanti hanno molto apprezzato la sua proposta formativa.Madame Samia ha poi trascorso qualche giorno presso la scuola di Bodhgaya, dove ha lavorato con gli insegnanti per aiutarli a capire e migliorare il rapporto con se stessi e gli studenti.

 E’ stata con noi, per due mesi,  Erika di Venezia che ha affiancato l’ ins. di inglese , sia in classe che in ufficio.

Vorremmo ringraziare queste persone che con generosita’ hanno offerto tempo e  professionalita’al nostro progetto.

In giugno circa 45 insegnanti di Sarnath e Bodhgaya hanno seguito un training durato una settimana, tenuto dal Preside Awanis Mishra , da Sudhakar e Mohan.

Siccome il numero delle classi e’ aumentato, sono stati assunti tre nuovi insegnanti.

image032Il 21 giugno, (international yoga day ), presso la scuola di Sarnath e’ stato organizzato un incontro, aperto a tutti, per illustrare questa disciplina, la sua filosofia ed i benefici che derivano dalla sua pratica.Le numerose persone intervenute hanno poi seguito con interesse sia la parte teorica che pratica di questa antica disciplina.

Durante l’ estate abbiamo saputo che e’ venuta a mancare Madame Jvonne, un’ insegnante in pensione che viveva in Belgio. Nel 1999 aveva trascorsoun mese presso la scuola di Sarnath, insieme a Madame Valeria Selleri e  a Padre Andre’ Marie . Poi era tornata per una breve visita.

image034Ha insegnato ai vecchi studenti come sviluppare la concentrazione attraverso la costruzione di un Mandala, una pratica che coltivavagia’ da anni e che ha voluto condividere con noi. Dopo aver offerto una parte dei suoi risparmi per l’ acquisto di un terreno adiacente al primo edificio scolastico, aveva espresso il desiderio che al centro venissecostruito un mandala di fiori.

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Naturalmente il suo desiderio e’ stato rispettato e da allora i fiori piantati in cerchio ci ricordano e ci ricorderanno sempre Madame Jvonne, una persona gentile e generosa che ha creduto nel Progetto Alice e lo ha sempre sostenuto: grazie Madame Jvonne.

Recentemente e’ venuto a mancare anche il papa’ di Subash, un rgazzo Chakma, residente presso la scuola di Sarnath. Purtroppo sapevamo della sua grave malattia iniziata alcuni anni fa.

Dopo queste tristi notizie vorremmo condividerne con voi alcune molto belle: Bipin e’ diventato papa’ di un altro bambino. Sudhakar di un’altra bimba e Yogendra della sua prima figlia. A tutti loro le nostre felicitazioni.

In Italia:

Da alcuni anni ormai, presso la Cascina dei Ricostruttori nella Preghiera di P. Tiziano Tamussi, si organizzano dei campi estivi, rivolti ai bambini e ai genitori.

Le “ ricostruttrici” , dopo aver preparato il programma della settimana formativa, anche questa estate lo hanno proposto , attraverso vari laboratori .Sia il campo estivo che gli incontri mensili con gruppi di bambini hanno come obiettivo quello di aiutarli a conoscere il loro mondo interiore, per migliorare il rapporto con se stessi, gli altri e l’ ambiente circostante, seguendo soprattutto il Percorso del P.A.

Ilaria, rientrata a giugno dall’India, ha accompagnato Valentino durante il suo soggiorno in Italia:

“La sera del 26 luglio la piazza di Zero Branco si e’ vestita a festa per celebrare il ritorno di Valentino, dopo 7 anni di lontananza. Amici arrivati da vicino e lontano, parenti e concittadini si sono radunati per partecipare alla serata a lui dedicata e organizzata dall’amico di lunga data Toni Gasparoni. Valentino e’ atterrato all’ aeroporto di Venezia il giorno seguente, trovando un’accoglienza calorosa  e sinceramente commossa. Il suo ritorno ha segnato l’inizio di un periodo intenso,connotato da grande interesse per il Progetto ed importanti riconoscimenti per il lavoro svolto. Il 29 luglio il sindaco di Zero Branco, Mirco Feston, gli ha conferito il premio Zerotino dell’anno “per l’attivita’ svolta nel campo dell’educazione e dell’istruzione in India”.

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Valentino con il sindaco ed’assessori e con I vecchi alunni             a Firenze durante il workshop

L’incontro e’ stato occasione di uno scambio sincero e accorato sulla nostra attualita’ e sul ruolo dell’educazione per risolvere i problemi che la affligono. Pochi giorni dopo e’ stata la volta della cena con gli ex alunni della prima classe nella quale Valentino sperimento’ il Progetto Alice in Italia negli anni ’80.

Un gruppo di uomini e donne ormai qurantenni hanno aspettato con trepidazione il loro maestro in pizzeria per poi immergersi con lui nei racconti di vita significativi di come quelle “lezioni un po’ strane e tanto speciali” li hanno aiutati negli anni in un percorso di consapevolezza e di superamento dei momenti difficili. Una testimonianza commovente ed intensa che ha donato un’ulteriore conferma dei benefici del metodo di Alice. In particolare ha colpito il racconto di un’ex alunna colpita da sclerosi multipla che ha potuto superare la paralisi alla parte sinistra del corpo grazie all’utilizzo di esercizi di concentrazione imparati alle elementari con il maestro Giacomin.

Nelle settimane seguenti Valentino si e’ dedicato ad incontri, corsi e conferenze. A luglio ha tenuto il corso di formazione sulla visione e sul metodo del Progetto presso la Comunita’ dei Ricostruttori nella Preghiera , a San Pietro Vara, nell’ entroterra ligure. Cinque giorni di immersione totale nella filosofia e nelle tecniche di Alice con lezioni sia teoriche che pratiche con i bambini. Fra i numerosi commenti una partecipante ha detto: “meravigliosa formazione informale e generosa  sulla visione del Progetto Alice. Un’occasione per insegnanti e genitori per aprire mente e cuore!”.

Dopo una parentesi di circa un mese presso la scuola di Sarnath per continuare la formazione con insegnanti e studenti e per affiancare nel suo lavoro Patrizia di Edoardo, un’insegnante che sta preparando una guida pratica per insegnanti per l’applicazione del metodo di Alice in classe, Valentino e’ tornato in Italia dove ha viaggiato in diverse citta’ per parlare di Alice. Un prezioso contributo all’organizzazione di numerosi eventi e conferenze e’ stato dato dalla scrittrice e amica Gloria Germani che da anni aiuta a divulgare il Progetto Alice in Italia. Di inaspettato successo  la serata organizzata presso il cinema Odeon di Firenze,  con la proiezione dell’ultimo documentario sul Progetto ed intervento di Valentino davanti ad una sala gremita di gente. Importante anche lo spazio concesso al Progetto Alice presso lo stend di Terra Nuova durante la fiera “Didactica” dedicata alla scuola: una giornata di workshop ed incontri con un pubblico molto motivato ed interessato.”

Un grazie particolare ad Ilaria per il lavoro che sta svolgendo , con tanta dedizione, in condizioni non sempre facili.`

Come da parecchi anni ormai sono stati richiesti dei corsi di formazione sul percorso del Progetto Alice in diverse citta’. Hanno partecipato insegnanti, educatori, genitori, operatori sociali ma anche persone interessate ad iniziare o ad approfondire un percorso interiore. Questa richiesta di formazione, la partecipazione el’interesse nei confronti del nostro Percorso ci fanno pensare a quanto sia importante un’Educazione Integrata. Le donazioni raccolte durante questi corsi formativi come la vendita dei libri, la lotteria … aiutano un po’ a continuare il Progetto Alice in India.

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Grazie a tutti i nuovi amici ed a coloro che da anni, in modi diversi, sostengono le scuole in India. Auguriamo a tutti voi ed alle vostre famiglie un sereno Natale ed un Felice Anno Nuovo.

Con riconoscenza,

Luigina

Sarnath, 21st November 2017

 

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Dear Friends,

Like last year, this Christmas Letter is written by A.P. students together with Ilaria and Luigina.

Valentino has decided to continue his program of inner research far from India, although he is constantly in touch and personally involved in running and leading the Project together with Ilaria, who is in charge of coordinating the activities and in particular looks after administration. .

Together we have tried to recall the events of the last few months which have passed so quickly to induce us to reflect about time how fast it runs and how precious it is.

“We have tried to use it as well as we could, during the school activities, at home with our families and in our free time.

In last year’s Christmas Letter, we have already told you something about the new big building and its enlargement. All projects have been successfully completed (new classrooms, toilets, chemistry laboratory…) and at present some classes are already inside and using them.

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Enlargement of the new  building                                 Students  during morning assembly

In Bodhgaya School instead, worksare still inprogress”.

All this was made possible thanks to the Association Shining Hope which has been supporting A.P. for two years and recently promised to keep on helping us with maintenance and consolidation of everything has been done so far.

With the contribution of Fondation Zanetti of Treviso we repaired and made safe the roofs of two classrooms and two laboratories, damaged by the fire accident of December 2014, which were only covered by iron sheets and straw.

We have also renovated a few rooms with en-suite toilets, at present used by some Chakma boys, residents at Sarnath school.

“Our Headmaster, Awanish Mishra has a new office located in the building, facing the one just completed. At present almost all classrooms are concentrated in the same area, surrounded by many trees,which make air good and allow us to breathe and meditate better.

At our school you can perceive a peaceful atmosphere which favours better attention and concentration during our lessons and also good relationships with our classmates and teachers. Teachers, who are usually available to repeat the lessons when difficulties arise and don’t get angry when we ask for further explanations.

We also think that this peaceful atmosphere around us, all the teachings we receive and our daily practice have reduced almost to zero bullying episodes, very frequent and constantly increasing in the other schools.

The spiritual education we are receiving here helps us to see beyond diversities (traditions, castes, economic conditions, religions…) and get thetrue peace of heart.

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ch4In the last months some representatives from different religious traditions  have  visited our  school and met us students.In December, before Christmas, we received the visit of Father  Amal and  Swami Varishthanand  from Rama Krishna Mission in Varanasi. In January the residents met Lama Zopa Rimpoche and Lama Monlam. Then Lama Osel spoke to all of us.

image018After this we met a Jainrepresentative ,RatnaJain, a representative of ASS.Gayatri Mantra,  Bhagwan Singh Yadav ( who also celebrated a fire puja after reciting  mantras ) and  Maulana Mohammad Riyajuddin.

A few days ago Father Tiziano Tamussi ,from Ricostruttori nella Preghiera came back to us and he will spend some time also  at our  school in  Bodhgaya .

Each of them spoke about universal values, following the traditions they represented  and in their teachings we have found some “ common roots”: don’t kill, don’t rob, don’t lie, respect  not  only  people but also  animals and  plants…

We are all interconnected, like the rings of a long chain and we have the same Divine Nature. In our school, in addition to the normal subjects (Hindi, English, Mathematics…), we practice yoga, meditation and recite the mantras which arean important part of the Special Program.. 

image019We have also followed several lessons given by  Valentino, during the time he spent in Sarnath. He taught us in a simple and interesting way how our mind works, he explained the projections, and how to prevent or reduce the problem of  bullyism.image022

As for meditation, we practice many different kinds, some are simple (breathing meditation and peace meditation), others more complex (Trataka, Tong len and Nadi Purification meditation) .We would mainly like to remind: Silent Mind, Wonderful Mind .

In February exams have started and the students of classes X and XII have passed them with very good results.

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Students of Sarnath and Bodhgaya schools, from February until mid March, have participated in reciting 125.000 Gayatri Mantras,  which ended up with the Fire Puja , celebrated  by a Pundit of  G.M.A. and a big feast was offered to the students and teachers.

In springwe organized numerous open air games and we had a very good time.

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image030In March Madame Samia Coupat, the French psychotherapist, came back to Sarnath.

This year she started a training  course  about  sexuality  for   the teachers,  to  make  their  work  with  students  easier.

The teachers have greatly appreciated her training proposals. After that she spent a few days at Bodhgaya School, where she worked with the teachers to help them understand and improve the relationship with themselves and the students.

Also Erika from Venice spent two months with us.  She has helped the English teacher both in class and in the office.

We would like to thank these people who offer their time and knowledge to our Project with great generosity.

In June about 45 teachers from Sarnath and Bodhgaya followed a training course for a week given by Headmaster Awanis Mishra , Sudhakar and Mohan.

Since the number of the classes has increased, three more teachers have been enrolled.

image032On 21st June, (international yoga day), at Sarnath we organized a meeting open to everybody to illustrate this discipline, its philosophy and the benefits which derive from its practice. The numerous people who took part have then followed with great interest both theory and practice of this ancient discipline.

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During the summer we came to know that Madame Yvonne, a retired teacher who lived in Belgium, was no more with us. In 1999 she spent a month at Sarnath schooltogether with Madame Valeria Selleri and Father Andre’ Marie. After that she came again for a short visit.

At the time she taught the older students how to get more concentration by making a Mandala, a practiceshe had been doing for years and that shewanted to share with us. After offering a part of her savingsto buy some land near the first school building, she expressed image036the will thatwe should build a flower mandala in the centre of it.

Of course we accomplished her wish and since then the flowers grown in a circle have, and always will, reminded us of Madame Yvonne, a very kind and generous person who trusted Alice Project and has alwayssupported it:  Thank you Madame Yvonne!

Recentlythere has been another death: the father of Subash, a Chakma boy residentat Sarnath school. We knew that unfortunately he had been suffering from a bad disease for years.

After this sad news we have something very joyful to tell you:  Bipin has become father of another boy while Sudhakar of another daughter and Yogendra had his first daughter. Congratulations to all of them! In Italy:

Starting from a few years ago, at the community  of Ricostruttori nella Preghiera of P. Tiziano Tamussi, they organize some summer camps for children and parents.

Like previous years, also this summer the “ricostruttrici”, a group of women, expert in different educational skills , after preparing the program of the formative week, organized a summer camp for the children, parents and teachers. These summer camps and the monthly meetings with groups of children are aimed at helping them to get to know their inner world and improve the relationship with themselves, the others and the outer world,mainly following the teachings and program of A.P.

Ilaria, back from India in June, was with Valentino duringhis stay in Italy:

“On the evening of 26th July the whole town centre of Zero Branco (TV) was celebrating and warmly welcoming Valentino, who was back after 7 years. Friends from everywhere, relatives andfellow citizens have gathered together to take part in the special feast for Valentino organized by his lifelong friend Toni Gasparoni.  The next day Valentino landed at Venice airport where he was warmlywelcomed in a touching atmosphere.It was the beginning of an intense period of time, characterized by a remarkable interest in the Project and importantappreciations for all the work done. On 29th July the mayor of  Zero Branco, Mirco Feston, gave  Valentino the Zerotino year’s award “for his activity in the field of  education  in India”.

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On that occasion they had the opportunity to exchange opinions and share their concern about current events and the role of education in solving the consequent problems..

A few days later Valentino had a dinner with some former students of the first class in which he started experimenting the Alice Project in Italy, in 80s. Men and women nearly forty years old were really eager to meet their old teacher in the pizzeria where they recalled significant episodes in their lives to say how those strange and very special lessons helped them to achieve inner knowledge and awareness and overcome difficult moments.An intense and touching experiencewhich represents a further confirmation of the validity and benefits of A.P. methodology. It was very interesting to listen to a former student girl suffering from multiple sclerosis.  She said she could overcome the paralysis of the left side of her body thanks to the visualization exercises learnt at the elementary school from teacher Valentino Giacomin.

In the following weeks Valentino was very busy with meetings, courses and conferences. In July he gave a training course on views and method of Alice Project at the “Comunita’ dei Ricostruttori nella Preghiera”, in San Pietro Vara, in the region of Liguria. It was a five day full immersion in the philosophy and methods of Alice, with theory and practical lessons with the children of the Community. One of the participants said: “Marvellous informal and generous training on the views of Alice Project. An opportunity for teachers and parents to open up our heart and mind!”

Then, after a period of about a month at Sarnath school where he continued the formative training for teachers and students and helped Mrs Patrizia di Edoardo, a teacher who is  preparing a practical guide to help  teachers to use Alice methodology  in class, Valentino went back to Italy  and stayed in different cities to talk about Alice Project. The writer and friend Gloria Germani has generously contributed to organize events and conferences in some cities in Tuscany. In fact Mrs Germani has been trying to spread Alice Project for years in Italy. Particularly successful the evening at Odeon cinema in Florence, with the projection of the latest documentary film on Alice Project and Valentino’s intervention in a really crowded hall.   Alice Project was also present at Terra Nuova stand in Florence during “Didacta”, a fair dedicated to  School: meetings and workshop with a number of really interested people.”

A particular “thank you” to Ilaria for all the work she has been doing so far and is keeping on doing, with great dedication and often facing uneasy situations.

As usual many training courses on Alice Project have been requested and done in different cities. They have been attended by teachers, educators, parents, social workers and also people interested in starting or continuing a personal inner work. Those requests for training, the wide participation and the interest in our Project have convinced us of how important Integrated Education is. The donations received during these training courses, from the sale of our books, the lottery … a little help to continueAlice Project in India.

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Many thanks to all the new friends and to the old ones, who in many different ways have been supporting our schools in India for years. We wish you and your families a Joyful Christmas and a Happy New Year.

With a lot of gratitude,

Luigina

Sarnath, 21 November 2017

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NEWS FROM ITALY

We dedicate this newsletter to the activity of Alice Project in Italy in September, after the returning of Valentino and Ilaria from India (September 11th).
There several events have been organized to introduce the Project, its vision and methodology. One of the most important has been the soiree organized by the writer Gloria Germani in her beautiful cinema in the center of Florence, on the occasion of the Dalai Lama’s visit, on September 18th.
The latest documentary about Alice’s Schoolswas projected and Valentino presented the Project to an audience who were very careful and truly interested. The cinema was almost full, as you can see in the photos. We have just one comment that summarizes the public’s feeling. Maria  Teresa Miraglia writes: -“Where do you find someone else like Valentino who after the video on Alice Project in Florence says very interesting things, which alone explained the the topics that would be treated the next day by the Dalai Lama and then concluded saying … “I’m just talking!” (Applying very well the principle of Alice School)! It is true, he was “chatting”, but about sensational things!

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Photo: Valentino and Gloria Germani at Oden Cinema, Florence.

On September 20, Gloria Germani presented to Ilaria, Agata Montevecchi (The responsibles for the Friuli NGO) and Valentino to the friends interested to know about Alice Project and engaged in the research of alternative forms of education.
On the 21st of September, Valentino, Ilaria and Agata met a group of teachers and parents of the small village of Barcola, in the province of Trieste. Valentino illustrated the basic concepts of Alice’s research, stimulating a heated debate among the audience who agreed with both the methodology and philosophical vision proposed by Alice.
Here’s the comment of Laura De Bortoli, the conference organizer:“The woman who left the money for Valentino’s was Elena. She has been with Don Elio (who passed away six months ago) for the last 18 years. She just had to leave before the end of the conference and asked to me to thank you with all her heat. She said, “Valentino is really a wonderful and charismatic man!” I add my heartfelt thanks for leaving her with a smile full of love and joy that I did not see since long time. And not only smile was in her face. To give the hope for a better world is not something small. Thank you so much for everything. The topic of the conference was defined “interesting” by all the people who were present; so people from every level of culture and age appreciated it. They requested to be informed about other possible meetings. Everyone was so excited.

Thanks to Valentino for having shared with us all the educational method of Alice Project. Thanks Ilaria, Agata and all the participants … Thanks for this wonderful trip into the Alice’s world! “ 
Elena Vogrini: “Beautiful experience! Great person and great organizer! I hope to have another conference soon! “ 

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Photo: Laura De Bortoli, Valentino and  AgataMontevecchi.

Immediately after Trieste, Valentino and Ilaria went for a few days to San Pietro Vara, in Val di Vara, in the province of La Spezia, at the Community of Reconstructor in the prayer.

Father Tiziano Tamussi, the founder of the community and supporter of the Alice Project since several years, was waiting for them. Valentino had already held an upgrade course at the Reconstructor’s community  afew months ago. The purpose of the visit was to lay the foundations of a private school set up on the Alice’s model.

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Photo: Father Tiziano outside a beautiful old Church after after having celebrated Mass for only eight people! Right: view of the … paradise where are the parishes entrusted to the Reconstructors.

They visited the villages in that beautiful valley, interacting with the few survivors of the exodus towards the cities.

With Father Tiziano they have … dreamed of reviving, through the educational proposal of Alice, the valleys, recovering not only ancient structures at risk due to degradation and abandonment, but also the culture and the humanity that characterized those places immersed in the green and in the silence.
They also met the group of Alice animators who are already engaged in schools in different cities to define a common action plan to promote a more incisive presence of Alice.

Finally, Valentino spent time giving advises to the parents of “difficult” children who could not find right support at school.

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Mr. Valentino Talking to the parents of the difficult children during his meeting

 

For more updates, information, suggestions or comments and latest news about Alice Project, please feel free to log on our webpages, Facebook id or contact us

With best wishes and regards

 

Volunteering association “Progetto Alice Onlus” BancaPopolareEtica- Filiale di Treviso,

 IBAN CODE: IT43 I 050 1812000 000000116204

SWIFT CODE: CRTIT2T84A (From abroad Italy)

Fiscale code of the No profit organization, if you want to give 5X1000 to Alice Project: F.C. 94059510266

Ref: Luigina De Biasi – e-mail: luiginadebiasi@libero.it , tel.0438 893325

 

“Progetto Alice Universal Education School ONLUS” (Friuli) ITALY

BancaPopolare di Vicenza – FilCividale del Friuli (UD)

IBAN CODE:   IT41 N 05728 63740 731570528546

BIC / SWIFT CODE: BPVIIT22731   (From abroad Italy)

Fiscale code of the No profit organization, if you want to give 5X1000 to Alice Project: F.C 94103860303

Ref: AgataMontevecchi – e-mail: progettoalicefvg@alice.it , aghifly@libero.it , tel. 0432 731021 – 339 4840132

 

Bank account details in India

Awakening Special Universal Education – Bank of India, branch Bodhgaya, Gaya (Bihar)

Swift Code BKIDINBBCOS – Fcra: BKID0004479 – A.N. 447920100000010

 

 Contacts:

Email: v_giacomin@hotmail.com ; valentino1@rediffmail.com, sudalice@gmail.com

Mob. 0091/ – 9670806060 Web:  www.aliceproject.org , www.aliceproject.it

The Alice Project team

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Dear Friends,

Here we are with the recent updates about the Alice Project, we hope you will love it.

COPYRIGHT OF ALICE IN INDIA!
We are very happy to inform you all that after being recognized in America, now it’s the turn of India, thanks to our sponsors of Shining Hope we have our copyright. We dedicate this achievement to all of you friends, with whose untying help and support we are growing more and more.

Sharing this joy the Director of Alice Project Schools, Mr. Valentino Giacomin says: “This is a great achievement for our Society and our research project! We are becoming more and more… professional. We dedicate this new success to all our Alice’s friends.”

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The copy of the certificate issued by the government of India, which has been issued recently.

I AM AT THIS LEVEL ONLY THANKS TO ALICE PROJECT-          Sanjay Kumar

Recently the Independence Day was celebrated with joy and happiness.  On this occasion Mr. Sanjay Kumar ( Sanjay is one of our ex-students about whom we have been sharing in our previous newsletters, who was found by us in a juvenile house and now he has become a yoga therapist)hoisted the national flag as the chief guest and shared his experiences with us:

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Sanjay Kumar the chief guest; addressing to the students and hoisting the flag on the Independence Day 

“It is a great honour for me, an unforgettable moment of my life.  I am feeling a deep gratitude and respect to Mr. Valentino ji, Miss Luiginaji, to all my teachers and every single member of Alice Project family for your kindness, love, care and the teachings that I received from you all. Today I have completed my Bsccourse in Yoga therapy and now I am able to help many people and cure those who are suffering from several disease through yoga.  It is a great achievement for me, but this would have never happened by your kind guidance that I received as a student here at the AP.School.  Thank you very much for accepting me as your student and carving me in such way.”

“WE WILL MAKE OUR SCHOOL TEASING AND BULLYING FREE!!!”

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This is a promise which all the students of the AliceProjectSchool made to each other during the lessons of special program. Actually time to time we make an anonymous test with our students how are they feeling at AP. We are conscious about the problems of the modern students which they are facing in the so called VIP schools. We found that the rate of teasing and bullying at the AP school is really very low. They feel happy, loved, and respected.  This is another proof that the meditation, chanting the mantras, yoga, moral and ethical teachings which we are giving to the students is working and it strengthening our belief that education cannot be completed without love, kindness and moral and ethical teachings.

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The students of AP School interacting during the special program lessons with Mr. Valentino

A Meeting with the president of the AliceProjectSchool and the teachers from Alice Project Arunachal Pradesh Branch – how to improve the school at Arunachal Pradesh

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A meeting was recently organized in the presence of the president of the ASUE, the school principal, Miss Ilaria Gambino, and teachers of AP School in the leadership of Mr. Valentino Giacomin.  It was a successful meeting where the new strategies were made for the school and making the future steps to promote the AP methodology in other schools of India and other parts of the world.

A new guide book for the teachers about the Alice Project Methodology:

This is going to be another mile of stone for us. We are happy to share with all of you that Miss Patrizia Di Edoardo a  primary school teacher that worked for a long time in a very famous experimental school called “Pestalozzi” has come to the AliceProjectSchool. She found that the Alice Project is really doing something extraordinary. After visiting several times here at AP, this year she decided to compose a guide book for teachers about how to use and implement the AP methodology. 

Third recognition for Alice:

The recent good news for Alice’s friends: on the 9September, the Alice Project is going to receive the third prestigious award from Sampuranand Sanskrit University of Benaras. The Motivation of this event will be : ” The value and commitment of Alice’s researchers in a thirty-year search – unique and successful – for the creation of a new educational paradigm capable of integrating the traditional school curriculum with secular ethics based on a proper vision of the Reality (beyond dualism – maya) “.We we’ll keep you informed.

The volunteers:

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Group of volunteers: Helen, Ilaria Gambino, Patrizia and DavideMagistroni

We would like to introduce you to Mr. DavideMagistroni and Miss Helen, you can see them in the picture above. They are two new members of our team. They both are young, talented and very much devoted volunteers who want to help the Alice Project now only just as volunteers but they want to be an active part of the team. We are very thankful to both of them and welcome them from the bottom of our hearts for dedicating their help, support and collaboration.

As well as we want to thank all the volunteers who are here and have been helping AP. with their skills and talents, teaching to the students drawing and painting skills, shooting the documentaries, making school videos, supporting us in doing new experiments according to  the AP methodology. You all have been doing a great job. We thank you all from the bottom of our hearts for your presence.

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A group of volunteers, Daniello, Francesco and Ilaria,(left)              Students learning body painting (right)

New Experiment on Math with the students – No books, some lights and two dozen rocks…Valentino

We are making a new experiment with two groups of kindergarten students. Out of these two there is a class where the teacher proposes a traditional teaching while the other one is working with a teacher who is working with them according to the AP methodology. The tests were carried out (attention, memory, concentration) at the beginning of the trial started a few weeks ago. The purpose of the research is to demonstrate the effectiveness of visualization and meditation to achieve cognitive objectives and cross-cutting behaviour very quickly.

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Three weeks later, when we checked the classes, there was a significant difference between the two groups.

To be noted, the zero cost of experimentation. It is not necessary for students to purchase teaching materials to be used individually or books.

Thanksto our Taiwanese Friends for their solidarity and support to Alice Project:

We would like to thank all our Taiwanese friends for their solidarity and the immense help that we are continuously receiving from them. Here we would like to share with all of you friends that our friends from Taiwan are lay people, most of them are workers who do very hard work for their livelihood. Some of them are retired people, and we know how difficult life becomes especially when you are retired. But even after this, these people make contribution and collect annual funds for the Alice Project students. This is why all of our friends from Taiwan have a special place in our hearts.

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Mr. Valentino with Mr. Pan, Ching Hui  and Mrs Shih, Hui – Chen

Here we would like to express our gratitude to Mr. Pan, Ching Hui   and Mrs Shih, Hui – Chen, who have been supporting us in all these years. Last year they had a big accident where they lost their house and entire things in it. It was a difficult time for them. But even in this difficult time they did not forget the AP school, and this year, like all these years, they made a contribution to us which shows their great love, faith and solidarity with us.

New teachers at the Alice Project Schools:

We would like to welcome all the new teachers who joined the Alice Project family this year. We appointed three new teachers (one male and two female) to teach in the primary and senior classes. As this year we admitted many new students (about 148 students) so there was a lack of teachers. Therefore three well qualified teachers were appointed at the school. We welcome all of them in our family.

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A pleasant moment with the group of all the teachers together with samosa and snacks

We would like to thank all of our teachers for their collaboration, without them the Alice Project would have been only in the books and newsletter. It is only because of all of their untiring effort, patience, the love and care that they are giving to the students and their solidarity that the school is becoming bigger year by year and every year hundreds and hundreds of students are getting chance to have a better education.

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Finally the residential students of our hostel: 

The hostel of the Alice Project Sarnath has become bigger now, actually the students of Bodhgaya branch have arrived here at Sarnath School. We have organized an intensive lesson program for them, so that they can do a better preparation for their exams which is going to happen soon. They like this new way of teaching here, and they are confident for their success in the board exams.

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The other children are also doing well; all of them are growing under the guidance of their teachers, hostel wardens and the care takers. We thank all our sponsors and donors who are specially supporting hostel projects. It is because of their help and regular donations that we are able to cater more than 80 hostel students in all of the three branches of AP School.

So dear friends, now we leave you with some of these images of our kids, we will be back in our next newsletter with some more updates.

With infinite thanks

Alice Project team

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Volunteering association “Progetto Alice Onlus” Banca Popolare Etica- Filiale di Treviso,

 IBAN CODE: IT43 I 050 1812000 000000116204

SWIFT CODE: CRTIT2T84A (From abroad Italy)

Fiscale code of the No profit organization, if you want to give 5X1000 to Alice Project: F.C. 94059510266

Ref: Luigina De Biasi – e-mail: luiginadebiasi@libero.it , tel.0438 893325

“Progetto Alice Universal Education School ONLUS” (Friuli) ITALY

Banca Popolare di Vicenza – Fil Cividale del Friuli (UD)

IBAN CODE:   IT41 N 05728 63740 731570528546

BIC / SWIFT CODE: BPVIIT22731   (From abroad Italy)

Fiscale code of the No profit organization, if you want to give 5X1000 to Alice Project: F.C 94103860303

Ref: Agata Montevecchi – e-mail: progettoalicefvg@alice.it , aghifly@libero.it , tel. 0432 731021 – 339 4840132

Bank account details in India

Awakening Special Universal Education – Bank of India, branch Bodhgaya, Gaya (Bihar)

Swift Code BKIDINBBCOS – Fcra: BKID0004479 – A.N. 447920100000010

 Contacts:

Email: v_giacomin@hotmail.com ; valentino1@rediffmail.com, sudalice@gmail.com

Mob. 0091/ – 9670806060- Web:  www.aliceproject.org , www.aliceproject.it

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Retreat of Mr. Valentino:  We would like to share that Mr. Valentino is doing a special retreat called Nuy Ne in France.  It will last for seven months. The purpose of the practice is: of course the personal benefit but the reason which is higher than his personal benefit is for the Alice Project to remove obstacles and interference. It was a pleasure for him to meet Father Titiano, who personally went there to meet him. Here is what he says after meeting him:

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Valentino meeting Father Tiziano(a jesuit priest) and Ilaria Gambino (Co-ordinator Alice Proect)

A few days ago, I had the pleasure of receiving a visit from father Tiziano Tamussi, a priest from “I Ricostruttori nella Preghiera“.” Father Tiziano came to visit the schools of Sarnathand Bodhgaya two years ago. Students welcomed him with a lot of sympathy and admiration for his simplicity, his humility and, especially, for his guitar with which he taught some songs to our students.”

Good luck ceremony for the students of class X and XII: On 4th March the school organized a farewell  for the students of class X and XII. Actually instead of saying a farewell ceremony, we call it the good luck ceremony. Because we believe that there is never a farewell for a student form his/her school. The students are always welcome to the school and they will find us welcoming them with open hands and open hearts. Children thanked the school and the teachers with nice songs and poems for all they received from us. Some of them shared their experiences as well.

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Different moments of the ceremony and the group of students with the class teacher

This is what our students say about us:   “We will always miss Alice Project School and all

our teachers”- Sanjay Kumar.

“Today we are not just leaving our school but I feel as if I was leaving my own home. I do not know how the world will be after this… I request all my teachers, who are as our guardians not only teacher,to bless us so that wherever we go in the world people know us not by our name but with the name of  Alice . Once again thank you for all.”-  Rahul Singh

“We will never forget this school. We thank all the teachers and staff of our school, who always helped us and supported us.” – says Manoj Patel

Examination at the school :

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Dear friends, what do you think of this picture? Actually there is a very short story behind it. On   31st    of   March   the   results   were declared at the Alice Project School. On that day one of our teachers found this girl with shining face. Her smile attracted him and out of curiosity he asked her, “How many marks did you get?” This is what she answered: ” Thiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiis much!”

We are happy to inform you that this year also hundred percent of our students passed in the annual exams at the school level. While the students of class X and XII are going to complete their exams soon. We wish all the best to all our students.

Starting of the new session: On the 1st April the new session started with the prayers and morning assembly. Students and the teachers both were very enthusiastic. The students found new teachers and the teachers also found new students. Some of them changed the classrooms and therefore everything was very new for them.

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Students during the morning assembly on the first day of the educational year

Construction of new laboratories for the students: We are very happy to share with you that the new laboratories for the senior high school students are under construction. We have planned to make three laboratories for them, the work has started and soon it will be completed.

Games at the School:  After the exams we organized games for our students, where students of all the classes participated in several games like race, long jump, high jump, slow race …… Actually, the reason why we organized these games at the school is very interesting.

Some of our friends, said that it seems that our students are good in studying and meditating, but what about games and other physical activities? Wonderful results were found out. We found that the practice of Yoga and meditation helped the students to be more aware and concentrate and they could easily get their goal. You can see here in the images how concentrate and happy they were.

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Students participating in slow race and some others enjoying their time during the games

Alice project organizes a 5 kundiya Gayatri Maha yajna

” It was an incredible moment for me, unforgettable.” – Miss Ilaria Gambino

On 15th April 2017 Alice project organized a 5 kundiya Gayatri Maha Yajna (fire puja) for world peace, well being of all the sentient beings and universal brotherhood.

Under the guidance of the Acharyas from Gayatri Shakti Peeth this auspicious mantra was chanted for 125.000 times by all the students and the teachers of the schools which are run by the society, Universal Education School and Sarvbhaumik Shikshasharam Sanskrit Mahavidyalaya.

On this occasion the Acharya Mr. Bhardwaj ji, explained to the students about the values of traditional Gurukul system of teaching and the importance of performing the fire puja in the Guru’s Ashram. By this inspirational Bhajans and teachings he inspired everyone to keep mother earth and the environment clean.

We would like to inform you that the director of the society Mr. Valentino Giacomin has said this on many occasions that India, which has adorned itself as the Vishwaguru, already has the solution of all the modern crisis in itself. But because of following the western way of living we have lost the key of this treasure. And gradually we are getting far and far from our roots.

Only the spirituality is solution of all the of our sufferings. And by getting inspired of this Indian tradition Alice Project started the Gayatri Mantra Chanting retreat and established a Gaytari peeth  (a  temple  dedicated  to  Goddess  Gaytari)  in 2003.  From that  time continuously this mantra is being chanted uninterrupted by the students and the teachers of the project. Weekly fire puja is organized at the school, in which the students and the teachers participate                                   with great happiness. Miss. Ilaria Gambino, from Italy who is the in charge of the school was also participating this ceremony. For her it was the first time she participated in some program like this. She was very moved to see this. She said: “It was an incredible moment for me, unforgettable…I am feeling so fortunate…”

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Teachers and students of Alice Project School during the fire puja

The residential students of Alice Project:  The residential students are doing well. 5 of them appeared in the board examinations this year. Three of them: Suneel, Masoom and Rinchen were in class X, while the other two Amar and Kappin were in class XII. After the exams they have the plan to go back to their villages to meet their parents and the family.

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Different images of our Sarnath residential students during different activities at school

While other residentials also passed their classes with first division, all of them have been promoted. Some of them like Punyjoti and Karma Choizom, have been promoted to the Junior High school. Soman, Dolma, Junaki, and Chonga the, senior residential girls successfully promoted the class IX and now they are in class X.

Erika a volunteer:  Greetings from the school to Erika, a guest who wanted to know India living in contact with our students. She chose to explore the philosophy of Alice Project, teaching English and editing our books that have not been published yet: a precious and qualified contribution that enriches our catalog of new titles.

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Erika (the first one on the left)                                                                     Samia (the first one on the left)

I learned more than what I taught here at Alice Project: After leaving Sarnath,

Erika sent us this inspiring message:

Only two weeks have passed since I left Alice School in Sarnath and I miss it so much. Teaching English as a volunteer in India has always been one of my dreams, but Alice Project gave me the opportunity to go beyond my expectations. I have seen independent children of different ages collaborating together, meditating and praying. I have seen them singing while preparing their food, laughing and enjoying simple things while here in Italy kids (and adults) have too much and don’t know how to appreciate life, be happy and grateful. There is an incredible need of exporting this method of education in the western world, where happiness and the important values have been lost, while materialism is overwhelming us and leading us to the wrong path. The kids of Alice Project taught me that you don’t have to look for love, you have to give love. If you give love, it will find you. Indeed they don’t take anything for granted. Today my love and thoughts go to those little girls and boys who can smile even though life is hard and sometimes unfair. I thank them for teaching me more than I could ever expect or I could learn from any books or from spoiled western fake friends. As someone said: “What you keep for yourself is lost. What you give is yours forever. It’s in giving that we receive”. Before going to India I felt like I did not fit in the world where I was born. Instead of complaining, I understood that the only thing you can do is helping to create a new one. Alice Project is the answer! It has changed my life and now I see everything from a different point of view. Would like to thank all the people working for Alice School (Yogendra, Ilaria, Judith, Luigina), the Principal and all the teachers (a special THANK YOU to the supportive and always positive Mr Sudhakar Prasad), for making me feel so welcome, loved and part of this big wonderful family. You will always be in my heart and I will never forget you!                                                                                      

                                                                                                                                                                                                        – Erika

The Alice Project thanks to Madam Samia for her help : We would also like to thank Madam Samia, a highly qualified psychotherapist and counselor from France, for her immense help and contribution to our school. She has been coming to our school for the last three years. This is her third visit. In all her visits she has worked with the school teachers, training them here in Sarnath and in Bodhgaya. We would like to thank her also for giving her precious time in counseling and giving suggestions to the students. The project will be very grateful for her contribution.

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Teachers of Sarnath (left in the photos) and Bodghaya (on thr right) during the training of Madam Samia

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“Do not always think about the ‘self’, the ‘I’. Think for the greater interest of everyone. Dedicate yourself for the welfare of everyone.You are learning language, you are learning meditation; whatever you are learning here, it’s for the numberless human beings, numberless universe, numberless animals, numberless asura beings, numberless hell beings to help to freedom from suffering of samsara to cause happiness-ultimate happiness, everlasting happiness, Nirvana. Then, that’s kindness, a form of motivation. Thus, your body, speech and mind is pure.


Alice Project is different from other schools. They (other schools) never learn about true life, they never learn about meditation and mind. One year ago, I met children outside the stupa. They were very young. However, I could see the difference in them from other schools’ children. Their mind was more conscious than those of other schools’ children
“.

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Lama ZopaRimpocheaddressing  to Alice Project’s residential children during his recent visit

MINDFULNESS AND MORAL ETHICS – The secret of a successful Education.
Speech of Monlam Lama to Alice Project’s teachers:  Only Scholastic education is not important for the development of a student’s mind. There must be the moral Education together with it. As the Education about mindfulness and moral and ethical values can make his learning complete. As if a person will not know these things, how the mind is working and what are the effect of mental afflictions on one’s mind one can never know the real nature of the mind. And knowing this is very important because if a student will know all these, the negativeness of himself will be less and he will not do something wrong. As if we see now a days all the people those who are harming others, and killing and doing violence most of them are highly educated but there is the lack of moral and ethical teachings, they are not mindful at all. This is why they are doing all these. So if we want to change this we should develop the mindfulness in our students since very begging. So that these seeds many flourish in their personality and they can be a better citizens of this world.”

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Lama Zopa, Lama Monlam, (in the image on left) Lama Osel (in the image on right)students and the staff of the school

“I GOT EMOTIONAL!”  – Lama Osel
Lama Osel who paid a visit to the Alice Project School while speaking to the students Lama said:

Virtuous actions are very important. One should try to utilize the time which one has as a human to use it as much as possible to do good actions. So that one can find the real happiness in his life. As we see now a days everyone is busy in the external world, trying to find happiness in the worldly things and this is why the greed , desire, pride and such things are increasing in the persons mind and instead of getting happiness the person is getting more and more unhappy.
It does not matter how big is our virtuous action as soon or later it will be fruitful. Because whatever action one does in his life, he is putting a seed and as the seeds will be same fruits we will get. Therefore we should always be aware and try to put the positive seeds as many as possible. As the real happiness cannot be found in the external world it is inside us.
Now a days we as human have become self-centered, and we are working only to make happy to our oneself. This is the reason that we get unhappiness. This is why it is very important that we get our of this bondage of selfishness and we work for the well being of all the sentient beings. As if we are doing this, we are sowing a seed.This seed is for the nourishment of Humanity. This kind of teachings we have been reeving for thousands of years so now this is our responsibility to act in positive way so that we can develop the vast humanity. What you are doing here is also sowing the seeds of positive actions.

“This is why I get so emotional to see all of you, so peaceful, so beautiful, so amazing.”

108,000 times Gayatri Mantra Chanting retreat:

All the students, teachers, staff and every member of the Alice Project family got such a wonderful opportunity to chant 108,000 times Gayatri Mantra for the well-being of all the sentient beings and world peace.

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Students and the teachers chanting the mantra during the morning assembly

Gayatri Mantra is highly powerful mantra which improves the cognitive and intellectual level washing away the sins and purifying your mind, body and soul. Enchanting this mantra makes you feel relaxed thus increasing concentration power. The first word of the mantrastarts with Om. The pronunciation of this ‘Om’ word creates a sound sending vibration through your lips, tongue, back of your throat and skull, which calms down your mind releasing the relax hormones to make you feel relaxed…….

Growing Alice Project:

The construction of 6 new classrooms for senior high school students and repairing of the classrooms of thejunior students is going on.

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The classrooms before repairing and after

After the fire incident in the year 2014 the classrooms of the junior students were damaged and their repairing was highly necessary. Thanks to the Alice Project friends and supporters,FondazioneZanetti,who sent their immense help. Now we are makingrooms are ready for the students.

While 6 new rooms together with laboratories are under construction, we are very much hopeful that the school is going to the affiliation of plus two in the few months. So these rooms will be very helpful for our senior high school student. We thank to the Shining Hope Association for the construction of the 6 new classrooms. Not only for this, also for involving in the Alice Project deeply, and promising to help us in future also.

The Editorial Project:

We are very happy to inform that thanks to the kind help of Khyense foundation, we are successfully going to complete the printing of two of our Books; Beyond the boundaries and Treasury of wisdom. Beyond the boundaries a collection of stories and Treasury of wisdom, is one of our didactic material for teaching philosophy moral and ethical values to the students.

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Our recent publications (Treasure of wisdom, Kshitigarbha Mantra , Kutuzangpo mantra and beyond the boundaary book) 

Beside these two books we have successfully printed Cards with Kshitigarbha mantra and Kuntunzangpo prayer booklet (the Great Perfection.

Sanjay Yogi:

This is Sanjay (please see the image down). We used to call him Sanjay Jailer but now we call him Sanjay Yogi. As many of our friends already know about him through our previous newsletters, he has an extraordinary story. We found him in the juvenile house; where he was brought as an orphan.

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Sanjay  receiving his Bsc Yoga certificate (on left)Sanjay Yogi

As we found him from the juvenile house and after he was brought here after a long struggle, and we had some other Sanjays here, so we started calling him, Sanjay Jail.  This is was how we were recognizing.

But after all these years from 2006 to 2017, he found the inner Yogi which was in him. Now he has recently completed his BSc course in Yoga from the famous university in south Indai, Swami Vivekanand Yoga Anushandhan Kendra. This is why we call him Sanjay Yogi now. He wanted to go on with his studies and now he is doing his Master degree there. We hope all the very best for him.

The volunteers:

We thank Miss Ilarai Gambino for all her help and effort which she is providig to the Alice Project in the absence of Mr. Valentino Giacomin. She is managing and co-ordinating the school. We also thank to Judith Soussans who is helping the school in finding sponsors,  contacting them, organizing the teachers training and supporting the Project , as well as she is the in charge of Alice Project France.

We would like to thank also to Paola Gallerani, an old friend of Mr. Valentino and Lugina who has been financially supporting the school, for her kind visit at the Alice Project Saranth and Bodhgaya schools. We hope to see you in future again.

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(Judith and Ilaira during the visit of Lama Zopa)              (Paola in the middle, with her husband an Ilaria)

We warmly thank you all the  helpers, supporters, volunteers, the visitors and all the Alice Project friends who are  helping the project at their levelsand for your precious help in going on with our educational work. Without your help the project would not have been going on so smoothly.

The Alice Project team

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Cari amici,

questa lettera di Natale è stata scritta “a più mani”: dagli studenti del Progetto Alice, da Ilaria e Luigina ed insieme vorremmo raccontarvi quanto è accaduto nel corso di quest’anno. Non è stato facile ricordare tutti gli avvenimenti, le persone che sono venute a visitarci, le nuove esperienze… e ci scusiamo se qualcosa mancherà.

Valentino, dopo tanti anni di permanenza continua presso le scuole in India, ha deciso di prendersi una pausa di alcuni mesi per dedicarsi con più calma alla sua ricerca personale.

 Ilaria, che viene dal Piemonte, ed è già stata presso le nostre scuole come volontaria lo scorso anno, fungerà da coordinatrice in questi mesi.

“A gennaio alcuni di noi studenti hanno partecipato alla Bhumi Puja organizzata per benedire le nuove costruzioni di Sarnath e Bodhgaya che ospiteranno i numerosi studenti della scuola secondaria e superiore. Attualmente la nostra scuola è riconosciuta fino alla decima classe ed in futuro fino alla dodicesima, per cui è indispensabile avere aule di determinate dimensioni ed i laboratori di fisica e chimica.”

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Nuova ala –  scuola Sarnath           Bhumi pujaNuova ala       –       scuola  Bodhgaya

L’Associazione Shining Hope, che sta aiutando il Progetto Alice dallo scorso anno,non solo ha contribuito al completamento dell’ ultimo grande edificio della scuola di Sarnath ma ha anche permesso un suo ampliamento e la costruzione di nuove aule  nella scuola di Bodhgaya.

image010                                       Nuovo edificio presso la scuola di Sarnath

Grazie al loro supporto economico, due delle vecchie aule della scuola di Sarnathsono state ristrutturate ed ora sono diventate quattro camere che potranno accogliere eventuali ospiti. Altre sono in fase di ristrutturazione e saranno parte del Progetto Guest House. Progetto che, insieme alla Pizzeria, speriamo possa alleggerire il carico delle spese sostenute dalle tre scuole.

image012Graziella Zanoletti, dell’Associazione svizzera Friends of Humanity, che sostiene da anni il Progetto Alice, ha contribuito personalmente all’arredo di alcune stanze ed in particolare della library.Graziella era venuta alla scuola ad agosto insieme Oystein Rakkenes, regista norvegese che nel 2004 ha ricevuto diversi premi con il film sull’attività di Kiran Bedi ( In Gandhi’s footsteps : Kiran Bedi) e che sta girando un documentario sul Progetto Alice.

 

Graziella Zanoletti insieme ad Oystein Rakkenes

Alla fine del febbraio 2016 Yogendra, ex studente che attualmente lavora per il Progetto, ed Ilaria hanno affrontato un viaggio di tre giorni per raggiungere l’Arunachal Pradesh allo scopo di visitare la scuola e di incontrare le famiglie dei ragazzi Chakma che da anni vivono negli ostelli di Sarnath e Bodhgaya. Così raccontano la loro esperienza: “La nostra prima destinazione è stata Deban, un piccolo villaggio di montagna circondato dalla foresta e totalmente incontaminato da qualsiasi forma di inquinamento e tecnologia. Gli abitanti di Deban vivono in palafitte costruite con il bamboo e sopravvivono grazie ad un’economia rurale di sussistenza. Nel villaggio c’è la scuola del Progetto Alice: un piccolo edificio in stile tradizionale costruito con il contributo di tutto villaggio. Abbiamo potuto osservare come il metodo del P.A. venga applicato anche qui con buoni risultati e parlare con i genitori e con il capo villaggio sulle questioni inerenti al Progetto e su ciò che è necessario per migliorare. Dopo aver passato alcuni giorni alla scuola siamo partiti per visitare le famiglie residenti nei villaggi circostanti. Ci spostavamo con l’aiuto di due ex studenti chakma che guidavano le moto su strade pressochè inesistenti.

image-2Yogendra e Ilaria incontrano il rappresentante di un villaggio e una famiglia

 Quando raggiungevamo la casa di uno studente ci sedevamo nella veranda e, con il supporto di qualche foto ed un video, iniziavamo a spiegare la visione della scuola, l’organizzazione, la vita che fanno i residenti e, ovviamente, davamo notizie dei ragazzi. Molte famiglie non vedono i loro figli da almeno un paio di anni e, non essendoci una buona connessione telefonica, possono sentirli molto raramente. L’accoglienza è stata molto calorosa e abbiamo scoperto un popolo gentile, timido, ospitale e con un alto senso della dignità. Questo viaggio ci ha permesso di capire meglio gli studenti che vivono nelle nostre scuole e la loro condizione. Seppur vivano in un ambiente incontaminato e spettacolare dal punto di vista naturale e paesaggistico, questa comunità soffre di problematiche molto profonde che, a nostro avviso, ne condizionano anche le scelte e lo sviluppo. I Chakma hanno sovrapposto il trauma dell’emigrazione a quello del non pieno riconoscimento nel Paese in cui risiedono. Per questo motivo, secondo noi, il senso di precarietà supera quello di appartenenza e, negli anni, ha portato al disboscamento di estese aree e alla fuga dei ragazzi dai villaggi alle grandi città in cerca di riscatto. La nostra impressione è che il lavoro del Progetto Alice in una zona come questa sia veramente importante e che il ruolo delicato dell’educazione debba tenere sempre presente queste condizioni così peculiari della popolazione locale che necessita un supporto ed una guida per uno sviluppo consapevole, in armonia con la propria identità e la propria cultura.image018

In seguito a questa piccola spedizione, una delegazione composta dai due responsabili della scuola e dal Mukhiya locale (capo-villaggio) è venuta a Sarnath per discutere della situazione attuale, della soluzione di alcuni problemi e di eventuali prospettive future.

Mukhiya ji

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A marzo è tornata a lavorare con noi la psicoterapeuta francese Madame Samia Coupat. Ha proposto un corso sulle tappe evolutive del bambino, dalla nascita all’adolescenza, a cui tutti gli insegnanti hanno aderito dimostrando molto interesse. Ha inoltre seguito alcuni residenti che presentavano qualche difficoltà.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Samia, Ilaria e Luigina

L’anno scolastico è terminato a marzo ed il nuovo è iniziato ad aprile. A fine maggio siamo andati in vacanza. Durante l’estate è arrivato il monsone che quest’anno è stato particolarmente abbondante. Le forti piogge hanno fatto esondare il fiume Gange che ha allagato gran parte della città di Varanasi. image022L’acqua ed il fango hanno invaso anche il Bal Ashram che si trova sulle rive del Gange. I bambini dell’ostello ed alcuni insegnanti sono stati ospitati presso la scuola di Sarnath per due settimane.

 

La scuola di questo Ashram segue da anni i contenuti e la metodologia del Percorso del Progetto Alice.

 

Alcuni bambini ospiti del Bal Ashram con un insegnante

La maggior parte di noi studenti è di tradizione Hindu, i Chakma e i Mompa sono Buddhisti ed una minoranza è Mussulmana, Cristiana e Jainista, ma essendo il Progetto Alice un progetto interreligioso, in settembre è stato invitato il Maulana Mohammad Riyajuddin a parlarci dell’Islam. Abbiamo capito che ogni religione prega lo stesso Dio anche se viene chiamato con nomi diversi e che tutte le tradizioni hanno una base di insegnamento comune.image3Ci hanno fatto visita anche due Pandit dell’Associazione del Gayatri Mantra. Si sono soffermati soprattutto sui benefici che derivano dalla recita di questo antico mantra in un’epoca in cui prevalgono il materialismo e il consumismo che non portano felicità nel cuore delle persone. Inoltre hanno spiegato quanto sia importante recuperare le nostre tradizioni e le nostre radici.

In ottobre è arrivato un gruppo di francesi che insieme ad alcuni italiani hanno partecipato ad un corso di formazione tenuto da Valentino, durato dieci giorni.

Quasi tutti avevano seguito lo scorso anno un corso-base in Italia ed in Francia con Luigina.Questo training è stato molto apprezzato da tutto il gruppo che al termine del corso si è così espresso:

Questo training ci ha aiutato ad approfondire la filosofia e la metodologia del Progetto Alice. Abbiamo condiviso con gli insegnanti e gli studenti le nostre e le loro tradizioni. Ci ha sorpreso la buona relazione tra gli insegnanti e gli studenti e la loro forte capacità di attenzione e concentrazione durante le lezioni. Inoltre, abbiamo riscontrato una buona collaborazione e aiuto reciproco tra i residenti che ci hanno fatto sentire a nostro agio durante la permanenza presso la scuola. Il training ha aperto la nostra mente e ci ha aiutati a conoscerci meglio. Quando torneremo nel nostro Paese potremo aiutare i bambini e gli adolescenti in difficoltà”.image4

Il gruppo che ha seguito il training con Valentino ed alcuni studenti

Durante i giorni del training un gruppo di studenti ha partecipato con entusiasmo ed interesse a dei laboratori (teatro, pittura e bijotteria) proposti e condotti da alcuni corsisti.

image032A metà giugno è tornato Sanje dal Karnataka (sud India) dove ha seguito un corso di tre anni per diventare esperto in Yoga Therapy. In attesa di trovare un lavoro attualmente aiuta sia in ufficio che nella scuola di Sarnath.

Anche quest’anno alcuni gruppi sono venuti a visitare la scuola:

Mauro De March con un gruppo internazionale.

Denis con il gruppo Dharma Nature.

Lucio con alcuni italiani dell’Associazione Freedom for Children che ha successivamente offerto l’arredo di un’aula.image5

Lucio con il gruppo Freedom for children, Mauro de March e Denis con il gruppo Dharma Nature.

Ringraziamo tutti loro per l’interesse dimostrato nei confronti del nostro Progetto e per le generose donazioni effettuate.

Un grazie particolare anche alla Fondazione Zanetti di Treviso che ha offerto un contributo per mettere in sicurezza il tetto di una parte degli edifici danneggiati dall’incendio scoppiato due anni fa.

Hanno trascorso un periodo con noi Riccardo di Padova, che ha insegnato inglese e lavorato in ufficio e Cristina di Genova che ha svolto una ricerca finalizzata alla sua tesi sul Prgetto Alice. Francesca e Simone di Tortona hanno aiutato nel corso del training ed in particolare Simone ha effettuato le riprese delle lezioni di Valentino che potranno essere utilizzate per preservare e approfondire i contenuti del nostro Percorso.

In Italia:

come lo scorso anno, nel mese di agosto, è stato organizzato un campo estivo,presso la cascina dei Ricostruttori nella Preghiera di Padre Tiziano, che ha coinvolto una ventina di bambini ed i loro genitori. Questa esperienza, preparata e condotta da alcune “Ricostruttrici”, è stata apprezzata per i contenuti proposti attraverso varie attività, momenti di riflessione, laboratori…I temi svolti sono parte del percorso del Progetto Alice.

A settembre, a Vaiano in provincia di Prato, all’interno dell’evento “Tutta un’altra scuola”, è stato presentato per la seconda volta il Progetto Alice.Gloria Germani, autrice del libro “A scuola di felicità e decrescita: Alice Project” ha introdotto il Progetto; Agata Montevecchi, responsabile della Onlus del Friuli ha proposto una meditazione seguita dagli studenti del P.A.; Alice Lugnan, rimasta per sei mesi presso le scuole di Sarnath e Bodhgaya per la redazione della sua tesi, ha parlato della sua esperienza in quel periodo; Silvia Diolaiuti, psicologa tirocinante per sei mesi presso il Progettoe Patrizia Di Edoardo, insegnate elementare, che durante l’estate ha trascorso un periodo a Bodhgaya, hanno presentato il Percorso ed i risultati della sperimentazione relativa alla matematica integrata.

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Anche quest’anno sono stati organizzati alcuni corsi di formazioni sul percorso del Progetto Alice, a volte preceduti da una conferenza. Buona la partecipazione di insegnanti, educatori, genitori e persone interessate ad iniziare o approfondire un percorso interiore. In particolare un corso di formazione è stato organizzato da alcuni discepoli di Thich Nhat Hanhpresso un loro centro e successivamente anche un laboratorio presso l’Università di Verona.

L’interesse nei confronti del Percorso del Progetto Alice e la numerosa partecipazione ci incoraggiano a continuare con queste proposte formative.

Vorrei ringraziare tutti i nuovi amici e sponsor e coloro che da anni supportano questo Progetto attraverso donazioni individuali o con diverse iniziative organizzando: corsi di formazione, conferenze, mercatini, asta fotografica, giornate dedicate allo yoga, vendite di dolci, partecipando alla lotteria…

Tutte le donazioni raccolte dalla Onlus di Treviso, di cui sono responsabile, contribuiscono a coprire una parte delle spese che il Progetto deve annualmente sostenere.

Ringraziamo di cuore tutti voi che ci aiutate a proseguire in questa esperienza educativa e vi auguriamo un buon Natale.

Luigina

Sarnath, 21 Novembre 2016

Associazione di Volontariato “Progetto Alice Onlus” Banca Popolare Etica- Filiale di Treviso,
Codice IBAN: IT43 I 050 1812000 000000116204
Codice SWIFT: CRTIT2T84A (Solo dall’estero)
Codice Fiscale della Onlus, se volete destinare il 5X1000 dell’ Irpef  al Progetto Alice: C.F. 94059510266
Ref: Luigina De Biasi – e-mail: luiginadebiasi@libero.it , tel.0438 893325

“Progetto Alice Universal Education School ONLUS” (Friuli) ITALIA

Banca Popolare di Vicenza – Fil Cividale del Friuli (UD)

Codice IBAN :   IT41 N 05728 63740 731570528546

Codice BIC / SWIFT: BPVIIT22731   (Solo dall’estero)

Codice Fiscale della Onlus,se volete destinare il 5X1000 dell’ Irpef al Progetto Alice: C.F. 94103860303

Ref: Agata Montevecchi – e-mail: progettoalicefvg@alice.it , aghifly@libero.it , tel. 0432 731021 – 339 4840132

Le coordinate bancarie in India

Awakening Special Universal Education – Bank of India, branch Bodhgaya, Gaya (Bihar)

Swift Code BKIDINBBCOS – Fcra: BKID0004479 – A.N. 447920100000010

 Contatti:

Emailv_giacomin@hotmail.com ; valentino1@rediffmail.com, sudalice@gmail.com

 Mob. 0091/ – 9670806060- 8858771850 Web:  www.aliceproject.org , www.aliceproject.it

 

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head

Dear friends,

This Christmas letter was written by many “hands”: students of Alice Project together with Ilaria and Luigina, who want to tell you what has happened this year. It wasn’t easy to remember everything, events, people who visited us, new experiences….. So please excuse us if something is missing!

Valentino, after years and years of uninterrupted presence in the schools in India, decided to have a few months break and devote some time to inner self- research.

Ilaria, who comes from Piedmont and spent some time in our schools last year as a volunteer, will be the coordinator during these months.

“In January some of our students participated in Bhumi Puja, organized to bless the new buildings in Sarnath and Bodhgaya, where a lot of secondary and upper secondary school students will be hosted. At present our school is recognized up to class X and in the future up to XII so it must have classrooms of a special size and chemistry and physics laboratories.

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New wing –  Sarnath school             Bhumi puja                         New wing –  Bodhgaya school

The society ‘Shining Hope’, who has been helping Alice Project since last year, not only contributed to the completion of the last big building of SarnathSchool but also to its enlargement and, in Bodhgaya, to the building of new classrooms.

image010

 New building in Sarnath school

Thanksto their sponsorship, two of the old classrooms in SarnathSchool were restored and now have become four bedrooms to host future visitors. Other rooms are being restored as part of the Guest House Project, which we hope, together with the Pizzeria, will contribute towards the expenses of the three schools.

image012GraziellaZanoletti, from the Swiss Association ‘Friends of Humanity’, who supports Alice Project, has contributed personally to the furniture of some rooms and in particular of the library. Graziella came to the school in August together with Norwegian film director OysteinRakkenes, who,  in 2004,  received many awards for his film about KiranBedi’s activities.  (In Gandhi’s footsteps:KiranBedi) and is now making a documentary film about Alice Project.

 

GraziellaZanoletti with OysteinRakkenes

At the end of February Yogendra, a former student now working for the Project, and Ilaria went on a three day long journey to reach Arunachal Pradesh in order to visit the school and meet the families of the Chakmas who have lived in Sarnath and Bodhgaya hostels for years. Here is what they say about this experience: “Our first stop was in Deban, a small mountain village in the forest, totally unpolluted and free from any form of technology. The people in Deban live in bamboo pile dwellings and survive thanks to a subsistence rural economy. In the village there is one Alice Project School: a small traditional building made with the contribution of all the people in the village. We could see that also here the Alice Project education system is used with good results and we could talk to Chakmas’ parents and the village head about the Project and what is necessary to improve. After spending a few days at the school, we left and visited the families living in the nearby villages. We could reach these families thanks to two former Chakma students driving their motorbikes on roads almost non-existent.

image-2

Yogendra and  Ilaria meeting a representative  of a village and a family

When we arrived at one of the students’ house, we used to sit outside and, showing pictures and a video, we talked about the views of our school, how it works, how the residents live there and, of course, we informed them about their children. A lot of families have not seen their children for two or more years and, since telephone doesn’t work well there, they can rarely talk to them. They welcomed us very warmly and we could see that they are very kind, shy and friendly people with a high sense of self-respect and dignity. This journey made us better understand the students who live in our schools and their condition. We understood that, although they live in an unpolluted and amazingly beautiful place, they suffer from problems so hard to solve that all choices and development are deeply affected. Chakmas suffer from both emigration trauma and from not being fully recognized in the Country where they live. In our opinion, this feeling of precariousness, rather than the feeling of belonging, has taken, over the years, so deep roots that it has led to deforestation of wide areas and escape of young people looking for revival, from villages to big cities. We find that Alice Project works in this area is really important and our education program here must take account of the specific conditions of these people. In our opinion they need to be supported and guided, in order to achieve awareness that development must respect their identity and culture”.

image018
After our visit there, a group of two people in charge of the school  and the local Mukhiya (village head) came to Sarnath to talk about the present situation, how to solve some problems and possible future prospects.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
 Mukhiya

image020

In March the French psychotherapist Madam Samia Coupat came and worked with us again. She gave a course on the age of development of children, from birth to youth. All the teachers took part and showed great interest. She also helped some local people to overcome problems and difficulties.


Samia, Ilaria and Luigina

“The school year finished in March and the new session started in April. At the end of May we went on holidays. During the summer the monsoon arrived image022and this year it was particularly abundant. The heavy rain made the river Ganges overflow and many parts of the city of Varanasi were flooded. Water
and mud invaded alsoBal Ashram located on the banks of river Ganges. The children and some teachers living there were hosted in SarnathSchool for two weeks”.

The school in that Ashram isfollowing the Alice Project contents and methodology from years.

 

Children from Bal Ashram with a teacher

“Most of our students are Hindu. Chakmas and Mompas are Buddhist, few are Muslim, Christian or Jain, and so, since Alice Project is an inter-religious project, in September we invited MaulanaMohammad Riyajuddin to talk about Islam. We understood that in every religion people pray the same God even if God has different names and that all religious traditions have a common teaching base.

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We also received the visit of two Pandits from Gayatri Mantra Society. They mainly emphasized the benefits we can get from reciting this ancient mantra in our present time, a time of materialism and consumerism, which do not bring happiness to peoples’ hearts. They also stressed how important it is for us to rediscover and recover our roots and traditions.

In October a group of French people arrived in Sarnath and, together with some Italians, took part in a ten-day training course given by Valentino”.

Most of them had followed a first level course in Italy and France last year with Luigina. The training course in Sarnath was greatly appreciated by everybody in the group. This is what they said at the end of it:

“This course helped us to know more about the philosophy and methodology of Alice Project. We shared our traditions, teachers and students. We were surprised to see how good is the relationship between the teachers and the students who hada great ability to pay attention and concentration during the lessons.  Besides, we saw how well residents collaborate and help each other. They really made us feel very comfortable during our stay here at the school. The course has opened up our minds and led us to a better knowledge of ourselves. Back to our countries we will be more able to help children and young people who are in difficulty.

image4The group at the trainingcourse with Valentino and some students

During the training course a group of students took part, with interest and enthusiasm, in some laboratories (theatre, painting and costume jewellery) proposed and given by some trainees.

image032In the month of June Sanje came back from Karnataka (south India) where he followed a 3 year course to become an expert at Yoga Therapy. While he is waiting for a job, he is helping both with office work and at the Sarnath School.

Also this year some groups of people came and visited our school:

Mauro De March with an international group.

Denis with the ‘Dharma NatureGroup’

Lucio with some Italians from association‘Freedom for Children’, who then paid for the furniture of a classroom

image5Lucio with the group ‘Freedom for children’;  Mauro de March;  Denis with the‘Dharma NatureGroup’

We thank everybody for their interest they showed in our Project and for their generous donations.

A special thank to FondazioneZanetti of Treviso who donated money to make roofs safer in some of the buildings damaged by fire two years ago.

Other people spent some time with us: Riccardo from Padua, who gave  English lessons and did office work; Cristina from Genoa who did research for her degree thesis on Alice Project; Francesca and Simone from Tortona helped during the training course, in particular Simone filmed all Valentino’s lessons so that they can be used and investigated in the future.

In Italy:

As last year, in August, they set up a holiday camp at farmhouse “RicostruttorinellaPreghiera” of Father Tiziano, with about twenty children and their parents. The camp was organized by some “Ricostruttrici” and was greatly appreciated for the contents of the many activities, for the moments of reflexion, the laboratories… A major part of the contents used for these activities were all taken from the Alice Project Program.

In September, at Vaiano near Prato, during the event “Tuttaun’altrascuola”, they presentedthe Alice Project for the second time. Gloria Germani, who wrote the book “A scuola di felicità e decrescita: Alice Project” introduced the Project; AgataMontevecchi, responsible of Onlus in Friuli, proposed a meditation practised by the students of  A.P.; Alice Lugnan, who spent six months in the  schools of Sarnath and Bodhgaya to write down her degree thesis, talked about her experience there; Silvia Diolaiuti, trainee psychologist for six months with us and Patrizia Di Edoardo, elementary teacher, who spent some time in summer in Bodhgaya, illustrated the Alice Project Program and showed the results of the integrated mathematics teaching method.

image6

   Gloria                      Agata                           Alice                          Silvia                        Patrizia

Also this year there have been some training courses on Alice Project Program, sometimes subsequent to a conference. Many were the teachers, educators, parents and people interested in starting or going on working for self-consciousness. We mention one in particular which was  organized by some ThichNhatHanh followers in one of their centres and also a workshop at Verona University proposed by Dr Antonia De Vita.

The wide participation and interest in our Project encourage us to go on proposing our Education Program.

I would like to thank all the new and the old friends and sponsors and all those who support the Project by giving money individually or through activities like training courses, conferences, local markets, auction sales of photographs,  yoga meetings, sales of cakes, lotteries…

All donations collected by Treviso Onlus, including those raised from training courses, are used to contribute to the general expenses of the Project.

We warmly thank you all for your precious help in going on with our educational work and wish you a Happy Christmas.

Luiginaand Valentino

 

Sarnath, 21stNovember 2016

Associazione di Volontariato “Progetto Alice Onlus” BancaPopolareEtica- Filiale di Treviso,
Codice IBAN: IT43 I 050 1812000 000000116204
Codice SWIFT: CRTIT2T84A (Solo dall’estero)
CodiceFiscaledellaOnlus, se voletedestinareil 5X1000 dell’ Irpef  al Progetto Alice: C.F. 94059510266
Ref: Luigina De Biasi – e-mail: luiginadebiasi@libero.it , tel.0438 893325

“Progetto Alice Universal Education School ONLUS” (Friuli) ITALIA

BancaPopolare di Vicenza – FilCividale del Friuli (UD)

CodiceIBAN :   IT41 N 05728 63740 731570528546

Codice BIC / SWIFT: BPVIIT22731   (Solo dall’estero)

CodiceFiscaledellaOnlus,sevoletedestinareil 5X1000 dell’ Irpef al Progetto Alice: C.F. 94103860303

Ref: AgataMontevecchi – e-mail: progettoalicefvg@alice.it , aghifly@libero.it , tel. 0432 731021 – 339 4840132

Le coordinatebancarie in India

Awakening Special Universal Education – Bank of India, branch Bodhgaya, Gaya (Bihar)

Swift Code BKIDINBBCOS – Fcra: BKID0004479 – A.N. 447920100000010

Contatti:

Email: v_giacomin@hotmail.com ; valentino1@rediffmail.com, sudalice@gmail.com

Mob. 0091/ – 9670806060- 8858771850 Web:  www.aliceproject.org , www.aliceproject.it

 

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image001

Christmas Letter 2015

Dear Friends,

Alice is now an adult, according to the past parameter of the age of majority. 21 years old! 21 candles to mark a long and sometimes difficult path. From the 75 initial students to the 1100 present one. From the tiny three-classroom school building in Sarnath to the present three-school structure. The schools are located in three different states of India: Uttar Pradesh, Bihar and Arunachal Pradesh from five teachers at the beginning to fifty-three now. Our concern is still the same:  Can we guarantee a good future to such a big structure? Will we be able to offer a good quality education with trained teachers according to Alice’s philosophy and methodology? We will come back later to this question.  For the moment, let’s say that the year we are going to leave behind has been full of events, some positive and some traumatic…

II

Students rummaging in the rubbles looking for… a miracle. On the right: meeting with the Ambassador of Italy in Delhi.

Let’s remember the night of the 8th of December 2014, when a fire destroyed bothLuigina’s and my room and the office too. We suffered serious material and moral damage. Practically 20 years of Alice’s story went up in flames. Fortunately, some months before, we had secured some important documents related to Alice property and research (stories, tales, unpublished books). Miraculously, all the students living in the hostel survived out, thanks to Luigina’s prompt intervention,who woke up at 1 a.m., when the flames were going to reach her room, she managed to raise the alarm. In that tragic situation the students demonstrated excellent courage and ability to coordinate, working together with the fire fighters to contain  fire and save the school. After three hours, a gas cylinder exploded, but everyone was already safe. Once the fire was completely extinguished, the students expressed their sympathy to Luigina, with affection and discretion. Also our neighbours were very supportive, first they intervened immediately to help extinguish the fire and then they put up resident children till the next morning. We were very moved by the visit of our Ambassador and his wife. They came to the school to express their sympathy, talking with the children and us. When they went away, they were moved by the sensitivity of the girls and the boys living in the hostel. Many people over the next days supported us with words as well as with endowments. We thank everybody for this wonderful proof of friendship. The reconstruction of the destroyed building has not started yet, however the project is ready and will be carried out as soon as possible, thanks to the generous endowments from “Friends of Humanity”, which should cover all the expenses, including furniture, the repositioning of two septic tanks, the reconstruction of the adjacent resident kitchen damaged by the gas cylinder explosion. Since we are talking about Alice’s diplomatic friends, we would like to thank deeply Mumbai Consul General, Dr.UgoCiarlatani, for his assistance and precious contribution for the issue of Tourist Visa to a group of Tibetan friends, who went to Italy to promote our projects. We thank also Kolkata Consul General, Dr.CesareBellier, to have been a friend of Alice’s for several years. We would like to greet the new ambassador, S.E. Lorenzo Angeloni, with the hope to welcome him heresoon …

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From the left: Dr. Ugo Ciarlatani, Dr. Cesare Bellier, S.E. Lorenzo Angeloni

Speaking of projects, an association from Luxemburg, Shining Hope, has proposed to help Alice for three years, financing some urgent works to ensure the security of some crumbling buildings in Bodhgaya and the construction of a modern school for the children of the nearby villages. A school where students can have the facilities that can be normally find in schools for rich people, reducing the gap between privileged and poor people.

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Students of the school in Bodhgaya and sponsors from Shining Hope.

The new school will be built in accordance with the rules of the State of Bihar as we did in Sarnath.

Sarnath School has been recognized by the state of Uttar Pradesh, while Bodhgaya school will be recognized in a few months. It is a major step forward for us in Alice. It has been thanks to a huge economic effort and to a great commitment from the supervisors that we have achieved all these results. And for this reason, we want to thank once again all our friends who have supported us up to now. Another important project has been completed in recent months: a solar panel plant in SarnathSchool, financed two third by the province of Trento, through the association Asoka from Molina di Ledro (Trento) and one third by the no profit organization of Treviso.

Asoka no profit organization cooperated with us for some years, through several events to sensitise local people and raise funds. The solar panel plant will enable us to reduce the cost of electricity that affects significantly our budget. We hope we can find a solution for Bodhgaya too. Our sincere thanks to Asoka group. A special thanks also to the friends who are supporting in particular to our Chakma Project. For fifteen years we have hosted Chakma girls and boys from Arunachal Pradesh, that belong to an ethnic group coming from Bangladesh, who live in needy circumstances, because they are not recognized as Indian citizens. There are several students who got their high school diploma in our schools and now are studying at university, or some have already found a job as a teacher, in the army, as an employee in call centres, or as trustworthy people in various companies around India. What are the most important things that they have received the education in our school. Here is what SubhaMangalChakma wrote us in a recent mail: “The most important contribution you have made in me is “critical thinking and creativity” which is fundamentally essential. Which I feel differ from the other Chakma students today.”

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From left: Graziella Zanoletti; friends from Taiwan who are crossing bridges between sponsors and the school; Rosario Rizzi.

 

Five years ago, we set up a primary school in a remote village deep in the mountains in the state of Arunachal Pradesh, thanks to the association “Friends of Humanity”, whose person in charge, the dynamic GraziellaZanoletti, not only ensures the continuity of the school, but is also present when the Alice Project School goes through difficult times, giving economic contribution (Friends of Humanity) and also precious suggestions full of enthusiasm and wisdom. We offer her to be part of an international group of supervisors of Alice Project, to ensure one future to the schools, regardless the founders.

We will never get tired to thank a group of friends from Taiwan. For many years, with discretion, they have supported generously and constantly to our Chakma Project. They are very extraordinary people for their simplicity, sensitivity and courage to support us howsoever. They are also financing the construction of Maitreya statue.

Another group who deserves to be mentioned is the Azienda Flora of Rosario Pizzi. All the company employees tax themselves monthly to help our Chakma Project. (The initiative is similar to the one that has been realized for twenty years by the Cooperative CDM in Florence). A touching example of solidarity! In the end, one special thought goes to Luciana Usellini, and important point of Reference for Alice. With regard to school activities, our research and experimentation go on especially in the field of didactics of English language, Mathematics and History. Since it is not easy to find teachers with a good basic preparation, our school tried to bypass teachers’ difficulties by means of technology. Thanks to some sponsors, we equipped our schools with projectors and computers that we use to show the students short documentaries relating to the various subjects. In particular, two volumes have been published about learning of the English language accompanied by selected video material, after a three-year research. The books were financed mainly by the non profit organization Anjali of Treviso and Shining Hope. There are three more small volumes about simultaneous learning of English, Hindi and Italian.

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We are caring out an interesting research on the use of visualization in math teachings in the first grades of primary school, linked to attention and concentration (see picture above). The results achieved up now are amazing and they have been published for the first time, by Antenna 3, a local TV channel in Italy in the region of Triveneto, during a special one-hour program on “Alice’s Family”. Link:https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=v9B2lxgle04

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To the right – Second line: Natalie Re, with all the staff of Alice’s teachers, who work on the research. Photo on the right: the guests of Antenna 3 during the transmission dedicated to Alice.

Some Important news: the first teachers’ trainer from our school.

For the first time, after 20 years’ activity, Mohan, a former student of Alice, now a teacher in Bodhgaya and Sarnath, has led, with a great success, a training course for new teachers in Sarnath and Bodhgaya.

He shared his knowledge about Alice’s didactics relating to the teaching of History (“circular reading” and not linear), visualized Maths (using simple tools like coloured stones and lights), English (by singing and Special Program – Philosophy of the Wise Rabbit).

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Mohan in the History room of Bodhgaya School

Another confirmation of the validity of Alice’s methodology comes from Nathalie Re, a French scholar of Neurosciences, who visited our schools for a few-week research. She writes: “Neurosciences confirm that the educational intuition of Alice is correct”.

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Students of class XI and XII in Sarnath

The didactic vision of Alice Project not only is confirmed by scientific researches but also by our students’ academic results: this year they obtained brilliant results in the state exam, 100% passed, 90% got first division qualification (excellent). Positive signals for Alice’s philosophy and methodology come from different places, not only in India but also in other countries. This interest raises some questions to the people in charge of Alice: Should we accept the risk of enlarging our project? Here the two different souls of Alice turn up: one who slows down and suggests caution, the other who on the contrary is willing to accept the risk. It’s understandable that there are different visions, but the aim is to ensure a future to the schools, where everyone works in the respect of students, teachers and people who help us and trust us. We can guarantee that all the endowments to the school are used according to the intention of the sponsors. We would like to inform that none of the people directly in charge of the schools get any compensation for the work done in those 20 years. All the incomes from trainings, conferences, books sail etc. are devolved to the three schools, so that they can go on.

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Judith Soussans, in charge of the NGO, in the studios of the French TV. On the right: Father Tamussi with the children of primary school in Sarnath.

We were talking about expansion. After a 15 minutes transmission on the French national television about Alice Project, a large number of people showed a big interest in our research and asked for more information. So, a new Alice NGO was born in Paris, with the aim of spreading our pedagogy, through training courses, publication of books and conferences, and in future the foundation of a private school based on Alice’s vision.  In May and June Luigina held a training course in Paris and in September – October in Rome.

In a previous Christmas Letter we spoke about Father TizianoTamussi, from the “Re- constructors in Prayer”. In his community in Liguria, some training courses on Alice Project and some “re-constructors” particularly interested in this educational proposition, they put effort in going deeper through this experience. This year they have been invited to present Alice Project to a school in Genoa and after to work with a group of teachers. In the end of August they organized a summer camp for about 25 kids, following the inner path of Alice Project. The results obtained were positive.

There are many requests from university students to realize their thesis on Alice.

These days, a student in Educational Science from Bologna University is completing documentation on the holistic vision of Alice Project and the didactics of mathematics in relation to visualization and attention. At present a psychologist from Urbino University is doing her training in the school of Bodhgaya to obtain the enrolment in the Italian register of psychologists in Italy. She is writing a didactic guide for western teachers who want to know and practice our methodology.

What does it Alice mean in those difficult times? Here is what Giorgia, a former volunteer wrote to us, after the tragedy in France: “Only now, I canunderstand how Alice Project is precious and how it has changed me. In front of the French tragedy, I couldn’t help thinking of you and what you teach in your schools: forgiveness, thoughts control, awareness, to obtain mind and world peace”.

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On the left: Mauro Scardovelli; in the middle Sushuma, “mother of the residents”; on the right Madam SamiaCoupat, French psychotherapist.

A qualified and unexpected comment comes from the famous psychologist Mauro Scardovelli who wrote a review for the book by Gloria Germani on Alice Project, on Youtube(https://www.yotutube.com/watch?v=RUN52pxh1x0). He has textually said: “Alice Project is the school of future, the education that deserves to be saved”. In the meantime the writer Gloria Germani keeps on promoting Alice in several conferences. One of the most important was organized in September in Vaiano, Prato, from TerranovaMagazine, on “the School that is changing”, to which over a thousand people took part. Recently, two Chakma teachers from Bodhgaya school went to South India, in the state of Karnataka, to attend a course of yoga. Also Sanjay, a boy who has been adopted by the school, is in the south, in Bangalore, to complete a three-year course on Yoga Therapy.

Inthe school of Bodhgaya there are at present 21 Chakma boys, and in Sarnath the residents are 31: girls, boys and children. Last April, Sushuma arrived at the girl hostel. She is a 35 years old lady, mother of four children with a difficult family situation. With her, there is Deepu, the younger son who is studying in our school. In March-April the French psychotherapist MadamSamiaCoupat, who has worked for many years in her country and in Africa, proposed some labs to the students of middle and high school. Furthermore, the presence of Madam Samia has been very useful for managing some difficult cases in our hostel. We thank Assessor Verso (Psych synthesis of Florence) to propose and support this experience.

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Swami Varishtanand, Lama Monlam. Photo below: Maulana Mohammad Riyajuddin and father Aloisio

During this year the representatives of four different religious traditions came to talk with our students and teachers: Lama Monlam (who lives in Nepal and for many years has followed Alice Project), Father Aloisio (Franciscan fromVinayalayaAsharam in Sarnath), Maulana Mohammad Riyajuddin and Swami Varishtanand (pediatrician and psychologist).

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The meeting with those wise people has made us reflect on the universal values which are at the root of all religious traditions.

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H.H. Karmapa (Onthe photo during one visit in Sarnath school), who has visited our schools four times, is an important religious leader and his Trust has decided to help our project in the belief that Alice will be – as said the psychologist Scardovelli – the school of future. Two former students, Ajay (picture above) and AbheyChakma, teach the monks of theirmonastery. Ajay is also in charge of the association Chakma Rural Development, to which are part many former students of Alice’s. Recently the volunteers of the group built the street for the people of villages in Arunachal Pradesh (see picture on the right).

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Sudhakar’s  daughter and Bipin’s twins

And now some family life news from our former students, now teachers in Alice schools. Sudhakar, English teacher and in charge of the office, two months ago had a beautiful child, called SudhaGound. “She sleeps peacefully and she doesn’t cry” says the mum Sadhna, smiling, while she shows her in front of a poster in Bodhgaya School. “My two twins, one boy and one girl – says BipinSukla, in charge of the school in Bodhgaya –sleep all theday and cry all thenight!”Bipin has a 7 years old daughter also, who was longing for a brother. In May, Yogendra Pal (picture below), another former student in charge of the administration, got married to Minu, a university student from a good family, as they like to stress here. It was a big party for the formerschool mates and hostel residents. For him we invert the traditional wish which was used to be said to young married couple in my place: “Wishes and..daughters!”. Infact, now-a-days, thanks to the new policies of the governments, girls enjoy more privilege than boys and they have bigger opportunities to find a state job. The wheel turns, isn’t it?

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We hug two very dear friends, Lorenzo Bonaventura and Camilla Previato (picture above, surrounded by orphan children of their Ashram), who left India after 7 years of social work in Bal Ashram of Varanasi, where they also founded a school inspired to the Alice’s philosophical and didactic techniques. Camilla and Lorenzo are an important reference point for me since we have shared many things. The “Little Treviso” that used to meet from time to time in a famous pizzeria on the Ganga in Varanasi, recharged me and gave me the strength to face the daily challenges with enthusiasm. By the way the two friends will carry on working in the field of education and engaged themselves to be testimonials for our project, together with Luigina, in Italy and abroad.

We would like to remember three people who passed away in 2015: the Former Minister of Education RajbaliTiwari, Roberta Scandellari and Marina Sequi. RajbaliTiwari, in the past, came regularly to the school in Sarnath to teach the students moral values through stories. A man of big intelligence and even bigger heart. Roberta Scandellari for years visited and supported our project, putting us in contact with precious people for Alice.

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Raj Bali Tiwari, Roberta Scandellari and Marina Sequi.

Martina was very affectionate to the students of Bodhgaya school and she didn’t forget them in her will, leaving them a generous offer. We remember the three of them with infinite gratitude. However their lack, doesn’t leave a hole in the family of Alice, because they live in our memories and in all the people who benefited from them. One for all: the child of the photos below.

You can see, in the picture, a child with sad eyes, who shows deeps scars. He is the nephew of Bodhgaya cook. His story is dramatic. Months ago, his mother had once more an argument with the alcoholic husband. In an act of desperation she poured some Kerosene oil and set herself on fire in front of her children. The youngest tried to put out the fire hugging the mother and he got seriously burned.

After around 15 days of medical treatments in a local hospital, he was dismissed. The dust, the lack of hygiene of his very poor house, caused an infection which put in danger his life. We arrived just in time. None of the local hospitals wanted to accept the child in (for the fear he would die). We carried him urgently in the best hospital of Varanasi and we saved his life. Now he studies in Bodhgaya, where the teachers try to help him to elaborate his terrible trauma (see third picture) and the smile has come back to his face (even if sometimes he silently cries, whispering “I want my mum!”). So, we dedicate that smile to all our sponsors. In that smile all our dead friends keep on living.

I would like to conclude this on-line letter dedicating to all our friends the abstract of a nursery rhyme which I wrote some years ago. It is Alice’s answer and solution to hate and wars. A message of hope for this Christmas 2015: we can change hate in love, through an inner change: the birth, indeed, of the Divine Child in our heart. Says the Old Wise Rabbit to Alice’s student:

Remember: all, therefore, depends on your judging;

From there emotions of joy and sorrow have beginning.

It’s you that paint thoughts of every colour,

Triggering emotions of joy, anger and rancour.

 

That I want to say, when I talk of I-Creator.

Our mind works like a projector:

It throws out there, unconsciously, its own inventions

Taking them for true and not for pure illusions.

 

“I’m curious: what is out there, beyond the understanding?”

“There’s who believes that all exists and who says: nothing!”

Better remain with the certainty of phenomena of percipience

The true cause, I repeat, of all the problems of existence

 

Think that it doesn’t appear to us like it is, the realness.

Because it’s mediated by the senses and the consciousness

The world created by filters is what I palpate

That is my reality that every day I reciprocate.

 

This is the moral: if you don’t feel good and you want to change,

React, without projections, to hate with the love and absolution.

To hit the source of pain is the only solution

The proud, the revenge and wrath of our I-Creator.

(Translated by Vittorio Lugnan)

I thank you, all my dear friends, from the deep of my heart for your support and Merry Christmas from the whole family of Alice.

Valentino

Just few lines to thank all the people, the associations, the schools, the volunteers, who have supported Alice Project for years through their work, their personal contribution, organizing training courses, conferences, markets, concerts…participating in the Lottery

I thank you all and Merry Christmas.

Luigina

Volunteering association “Progetto Alice Onlus” Banca Popolare Etica- Filiale di Treviso,
 IBAN CODE: IT43 I 050 1812000 000000116204
SWIFT CODE: CRTIT2T84A (From abroad Italy)
Fiscale code of the No profit organization, if you want to give 5X1000 to Alice Project: F.C. 94059510266
Ref: Luigina De Biasi – e-mail: luiginadebiasi@libero.it , tel.0438 893325

“Progetto Alice Universal Education School ONLUS” (Friuli) ITALY

Banca Popolare di Vicenza – Fil Cividale del Friuli (UD)

IBAN CODE:   IT41 N 05728 63740 731570528546

BIC / SWIFT CODE: BPVIIT22731   (From abroad Italy)

Fiscale code of the No profit organization, if you want to give 5X1000 to Alice Project: F.C 94103860303

Ref: Agata Montevecchi – e-mail: progettoalicefvg@alice.it , aghifly@libero.it , tel. 0432 731021 – 339 4840132

Bank account details in India

Awakening Special Universal Education – Bank of India, branch Bodhgaya, Gaya (Bihar)

Swift Code BKIDINBBCOS – Fcra: BKID0004479 – A.N. 447920100000010

 Contacts:

Email: v_giacomin@hotmail.com ; valentino1@rediffmail.com, sudalice@gmail.com

Mob. 0091/ – 9670806060- 8858771850 Web:  www.aliceproject.org , www.aliceproject.it

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To  all the friends and supporters of Alice Project ,

due to the fire last year was lost our mailing list . Some names have been recovered but others have been irretrievably lost .

For those who would like to receive the usual Christmas letter in hard copy , please send an e - mail to
luiginadebiasi@libero.it with :

Subject : Address for Christmas letter

Name, address , postcode .

Thank you for your continued support .

Luigina De Biasi
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