Cohere Love with Hope: The DILA held Community Empowerment Forum on November 25, 2016

“Cohere Love with Hope,” the “Community Empowerment Forum” was held by the Master Program of Community Empowerment of the Dharma Drum Institute of Liberal Arts (DILA) at DILA’s International Conference Hall on November 25, 2016. With blessings from New Taipe City mayor Eric Chu, DDM Abbot President Venerable Guo Dong, DDM Community University President Tseng Chi-Chun, as well as Chang Chang-Pang, President of the DDM General Association of Dharma Supporters, the Forum included eight leaders of long-term research and devotion to community involvement, such as Venerable Huimin and Stanley Yen, to share their viewpoints.

Venerable Guo Dong, Abbot President of DDM, thanked Mayor Chu as well as approximately five hundred other participants for their involvement, and their concern about cherishing and sustaining the available resources. He reminded the audience that it would take lengthy consideration of people’s diverse backgrounds and beliefs for a common consensus to be reached in terms of community empowerment and development. Also, it would take patience and perseverance, to learn to cherish every predestined relationship, whether good or bad. Echoing the Forum’s theme of “Cohere Love with Hope,” Venerable Guo Dong then encouraged each other with words like “expectations are unavoidable, but desires are controllable,” “maintain perspectives on future instead of entertaining wild wishes,” and “never lose hope, never lose courage; always maintain hope, then life will be promising”.

In awarding the certificate of appreciation to this Forum in recognition of its outstanding contribution to “community empowerment and social cohesion within social groups,” Mayor Chu first of all expressed his thankfulness to the DILA and DDM Community University for their long-term devotion to community development. He indicated that this ageing society should put more emphasis on long-term care, and therefore municipal service programs such as “Elderly Eating Together,” “Social Clubs for the Elderly,” and “Elderly Daycare Centers” had been implemented one after another. Mayor Chu noted that recently, tens of thousands of citizens, senior and junior alike, have served as volunteers, showing that this society is abundant with goodwill and energy. However, there still room for improvement in several areas, such as care for children and the disadvantaged, as well as the environment and security. He therefore hoped that the DDM as well as other organizations would continue to work hand in hand with New Taipei City for community empowerment in the future.

The DILA was glad to see its first Community Empowerment Forum attract eager participation from so many borough chiefs, officers and individuals, and receive so many positive and favorable responses from various organizations such as the New Taipei City Government, the National Taiwan University Hospital Jin-Shan Branch, the Hondao Senior Citizen’s Welfare Foundation. On behalf of joint organizers, President of DDM Community University, Tseng Chi-Chun stressed that this Forum’s core essence was protection of the spiritual environment and humanitarian care. It combined both theory and practice to help build community social groups with innovative multi-learning activities, in the hope of protecting the spiritual environment, and to turn the public eye back to the value of human nature by putting emphasis on the relationship between human and environment, environment and space, space and life, and life and people.

All the eight forums were equally brilliant in terms of speakers and themes. Whether it were Venerable Huimin, President of DILA, or Stanley Yen, Chairman of the Alliance Cultural Foundation, talking about the Dharma and sharing viewpoints on life, or Venerable Kuo-shiang’s topic on “Farming practices of spiritual environmental protection,” Yang Wei-Fan’s ideas on “Subtraction care,” Fang He-Sheng’s “Sharing economy brings happiness,” Chen Kuo-Chi’s “Hometown, here I am,” Lee Jo-Chi’s “Old dreams never die,” or Cheng Sheng-Shi’s experience sharing on business establishment, every speech was met with much applauded participation. Chang Mei-Ying, Director of DILA’s Master Program of Community Empowerment, said that she hoped this Forum would serve as a food for thought to all the participants, so that they could bring home seeds of love and hope, so as to share the happiness with others. Videos of all the lectures will be uploaded to DILA’s official website to share with the public.

Reporter: Chang Yaochung(張曜鐘)
Photographer: Shih Chuntai(施純泰), Lin Yaying(林雅櫻)
Edited by DDM Australian Translating and Editing Team

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