Good News

Heartbeats of Africa

A visit to the international website of the Theosophical Order of Service is a veritable breath of fresh air

It brings reports on a surprising variety of activities that show the commitment of Theosophists to service and their belief in the transformative value of Theosophy in the world.

Here is a report on just one of the projects supported by the TOS in Tanzania:

One out of every 200 children born in developing countries suffers from a repairable congenital or rheumatic heart defect. In Tanzania, at any given time, more than 7,000 children and adolescents await surgery. This African state is wanting in specialised paediatric cardiac facilities. Left untreated, the children die before their 21st birthday. There is an urgent need to send them abroad for open heart surgery.

Read more: Heartbeats of Africa

The Theosophical Library in Amsterdam

The Theosophical Society is very fortunate to have some outstanding libraries. The ones in Adyar, Sydney, and Wheaton are well known to all, but there is another, probably lesser known, that certainly deserves our attention.

In our category ‘Good News’ this month the spotlight is on the Theosophical Library in Amsterdam.

When travelling through Holland, next to visiting the beautiful International Theosophical Center in Naarden, a visit to the National Headquarters of the Dutch Section in Amsterdam is a must. It is located in de Tolstraat 154, close to the river Amstel, the river after which the capital of Holland was named, and in the middle of de Pijp, a picturesque city district. A few years ago the headquarters building was fully renovated; it houses the three main departments of the Dutch Section. The library, the administration of the TS, and the bookstore are all situated on the ground floor. All three departments are fully integrated. When you are in the library, for example, you can easily walk into the TS office where the bookstore is also operating; all departments are freely accessible, which gives an open and truly holistic feeling.

Read more: The Theosophical Library in Amsterdam

Renovated auditorium

This past winter staff volunteers at Olcott, the national center for the Theosophical Society in America, in Wheaton Illinois, pitched in to prepare the auditorium for renovation, tackling the demolition phase with relish and enjoying the opportunity to shift roles and do some physical work instead of sitting at their desks. Every staff member contributed to the overall success of this project, and it was a great team-building exercise–coordinated by the maintenance department. Designed to make the space more welcoming and accessible for guests, the renovation included demolishing a large non-loadbearing post, ripping up old carpet, and tearing out the old fixed stage.  Now the finished project sports new carpeting, improved audio visual equipment, a new moveable stage, and increased seating capacity. Funded through the contributions of many members for this purpose, the project brought new life to all the activities held in the renovated auditorium. Staff and visitors alike have been touched by the fresh and inspiring feel of the clean, expansive space. At first, many of the staff would walk up to the third floor every day or so just to be sure it was still there, and it is one of the first places to take visitors to see.

Mr. Birendra Bhattacharyya, National Director of the TOS in India

Can you imagine being a member of a country with over a hundred active TOS groups? Our Indian sisters and brothers can because they are members of one! Total individual membership of the TOS in India is over 6,000 and growing. The National Director, Mr Birendra Bhattacharyya, spends several months each year on the road visiting groups to oversee and support them in their activities. Even with a team of some 18 regional secretaries to help him, his hands are still very full.
Most of Birendra’s work is done out of the limelight. Many Theosophists around the world know of the sterling work done in or near the international TS HQ at Adyar in Chennai: the Social Welfare Centre, the Animal Dispensary, the Olcott School and the HPB Hostel for boys attending the school. Many now know of the fine environmental, medical and relief work done by the local TOS team in Chennai under the leadership of Mr Harihara Raghavan and more recently under Dr Sunita and Mr C.V.K. Maithreya. How many know of Mr Bhattacharyya’s tireless travels in the outlying regions of India, however; of his meetings with hundreds of local workers, many of whom cannot afford to travel to Adyar themselves?

Read more: Mr. Birendra Bhattacharyya, National Director of the TOS in India



Caloocan City North, Metro Manila, Philippines

The Golden Link School is now renamed Golden Link College with the opening of its modest college department with two course offerings: Bachelor of Secondary Education and Bachelor of Elementary Education. The first batch of college students consists of 12 freshmen and 7 sophomore students. Most of them have applied for scholarship grants as they mostly come from very poor families. There were many other applicants who applied but did not meet the minimum entrance qualifications of Golden Link.

The philosophy of the college department is the same as that of the primary and secondary divisions. Based on the belief that individuals must discover the core values of their lives for themselves free from fear, coercion and prejudice, the college is committed to producing educators who see schooling as a preparation for life and not just as a means to earn a better living. Through innovative teaching methods that respect and nurture the individuality and creativity of the students, it integrates the physical, emotional, intellectual and spiritual aspects of their growth in a well-rounded program. Teaching students to embrace their common humanity and to recognize their place in the web of life, the college strives to honor many faiths. It holds the conviction that individuals who are at peace with themselves will ultimately create a world at peace.

Photo above is the newly finished wing for the college department of Golden Link.

Readers of Theosophy Forward who are interested to find out more in this fine project should

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