Dhammayietra 22
Oddar Meanchey Province
Samrong
Starting on the 12th March 2012 at Wat Prasat Racha, Samrong Town
Ending on the 18th March 2012 at Wat Kiri Mongkol O?Smach, Oddar Meanchey.

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?We need to remember that our temple is always with us.
Our temple is within us.
One step at a time, one step at a time?.


1. Introduction

Cambodia?s rich culture, traditions and natural resources are world-renowned. After a protracted civil war, Cambodia has slowly achieved peace.

There has also been progress in developing the country especially infrastructure development. Currently, people?s quality of life continues to be affected by poverty and damage to the environment, which is affecting the forests, wildlife, fish and water resources as well as diseases such as HIV/AIDS
and tuberculosis, use of addictive substances and other poverty related diseases. Currently there is a new threat from bird and swine flu that needs to be addressed.

These conditions cause suffering for the people, widows and orphans in communities.

Since 1992, Dhammayietra volunteers, in response to people?s suffering, have been inspired by theVenerable Preah Maha Ghosananda?s great compassion to walk in the countryside for peace. Maha Ghosananda was the much loved and widely respected leader of Dhammayietra both in Cambodia and internationally. His teachings live on beyond his death in 2007. Following his philosophy and example, Dhammayietra volunteers continue his annual Dhammayietra Peace Walk.

On February 22nd 2003 Maha Ghosananda said that a Dhammayietra center exists in every temple and under every tree, just as the Buddha was born under a tree, found enlightenment under a tree, and passed away under a tree.

Maha Ghosananda also preached that the five precepts are to be found in every temple in every community. He taught that these precepts need to be taught in every village, commune, district, province, country, and to the whole world. If we would do this, he said, the spirit of peace would dwell all the time.

In 2012, Dhammayietra volunteers will conduct the 22nd annual Dhammayietra, beginning on the 12th March. The walk will depart from Wat Prasat Racha, Samrong town, passing through Samrong and ending on the 18th March at Wat Kiri Mongkol O?Smach,Oddar Meanchey province.

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2. Goal and Objectives of Dhammayietra 22
Goal:
To promote peace following the teaching of the Venerable Maha Ghosananda as expressed in his peace
prayer:

  •  The suffering of Cambodia has been deep.
  •  From this suffering comes Great Compassion.
  •  Great Compassion makes a Peaceful Heart.
  •  A Peaceful Heart makes a Peaceful Person.
  •  A Peaceful Person makes a Peaceful Family.
  •  A Peaceful Family makes a Peaceful Community.
  •  A Peaceful Community makes a Peaceful Nation.
  •  A Peaceful Nation makes a Peaceful World.
  •  May all beings live in Happiness and Peace.

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Objectives:
1) To walk in peace with villagers and promote peace in their hearts with prayers and water blessings.
2) To increase community and students? understanding of:
   a) The Five Precepts;
   b) The dangers of use of addictive substances and alcohol;
   c) The need to keep the environment clean from plastic bags and poisonous wastes in communities, rivers and lakes;
   d) The need to preserve and protect the forests, wildlife, fish and water resources;
   e) The need for compassion for people living with HIV/AIDS;
   f) The prevention of domestic violence, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, bird & swine flu and other illnesses.

Objective 1 Activities
To walk in peace with villagers and promote peace in their hearts with prayers and water blessings:
a) by walking 12-20 kilometers every day for 8 days (total of 135 kilometers walking in Samrong town and 5 communes)
b) by praying and giving water blessing to all villagers greeting the walk along the road
c) by inviting villagers to join the walk as it passes through their area
d) by distributing leaflets during the walk about the Dhammayietra, The Five Precepts, HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, bird & swine flu, and protecting the environment
e) by providing books and printed materials to libraries at schools and temples
f) by discussing about the value of trees and planting trees at schools and temples
g) by meeting daily to monitor progress and make any necessary changes, and to solve any problems that arise

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Objective 2 Activities
To increase community and students? understanding by teaching and facilitating discussions in 31 schools and 8 wats about:
a) teach the Five Precepts; domestic violence; HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, bird & swine flu, and prevention of other illnesses, the harmful effects of addictive substances and alcohol use, not committing violence by using illegal fishing equipment, poisons, explosive weapons to destroy the environment, wildlife, fish or water resources.
b) teaching rural school children in 31 schools about care of the environment, reforestation and the Five Precepts and meditation
c) distributing leaflets in schools and wats about the same topics
d) setting an example by collecting garbage, plastic bags and other waste and showing people how to burn and dispose of garbage in a proper way
e) increasing community awareness through discussion to identify local problems and solutions
f) planting trees along the way at wats and schools
g) by reminding elders about the importance of teaching Buddhist principles to the youth


3. Pre walk preparation:
Dhammayietra 22 will walk in the town of Samrong and 5 communes of Oddar Meanchey Province from 12-18th March 2012. The following activities will be conducted prior to the walk
1. Prepare map route and daily walk schedule (done in August – December 2011).
2. Obtain permissions and notify wats and schools about the upcoming Dhammayietra (done 2011).
3. Distribute Dhammayietra 22 proposal to potential participants and donors
4. Identify donors to contribute funds to cover the Dhammayietra expenses
5. Select and print leaflets, banners, t-shirts and books
6. Plan and conduct a one-day workshop for walk facilitators who will be teaching during the
Dhammayietra on 10th March at Wat Prasat Reachea Samrong town
7. Plan and conduct a one-day workshop for all walkers on 11th March at Wat Prasat Reachea,
Samrong town

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5. Regulations of Dhammayietra 22
Dhammayietra 22 will display the Dhammayietra symbol, a yellow flag with an eight spoke wheel representing
the eightfold path of Buddha?s teaching:

  • Right or perfect view 
  •  Right intention 
  •  Right speech 
  •  Right action 
  •  Right livelihood 
  •  Right effort 
  •  Right mindfulness 
  •  Right concentration

1. Monks, nuns, achars, lay people and students must join a pre-walk workshop to learn about Dhammayietra objectives and regulations. People who join the walk, who have not participated in the pre-walk workshop should meet with the Dhammayietra committee, who will explain the objectives and regulations of the walk.
2. Volunteers joining the walk must be fit and healthy enough to walk 12-20 kms. per day. During the walk people from the local communities will also join the daily activities. Monks must have written permission from the chief of their wat before they will be permitted to join the walk.
3. Dhammayietra food is provided by people in the villages. Walkers sleep as a group in wats or schools along the way. Dammayietra walkers keep the environment around them clean.
4. During the walk it is strictly forbidden for lay people, monks or nuns to accept money from the local communities, to carry weapons or explosives, or to ride in cars or on motorbikes. (Those who are ill are provided with a ride.)
5. Volunteers are forbidden to listen to radios, cassette players, watch TV, drink alcohol or use other addictive substances. Volunteers should respect Cambodian culture and traditions and behave respectfully towards people of all nationalities, religions and all the Dhammayietra participants.
6. During the walk volunteers should remain neutral, non-violent, compassionate, honest, and demonstrate respect for human rights.
7. The Dhammayietra walks for peaceful minds. At break times every morning and evening, volunteers will chant and pay respect to Buddha and practice meditation.
8. For violations of the regulations, the Dhammayietra committee will advise the offending volunteer and issue a warning. If the volunteer continues to break the regulations, s/he will be asked to leave the walk.

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Time Table
November 2011 to February 2012:
Four volunteer monks and Ms Van Syvorn survey the route of the Dhammayietra 22, discuss the walk with the abbots of the
selected pagodas to identify issues and ask for the approval from local authorities and the Provincial Religious Affairs
Department. Write proposal to seek funding. Prepare all documents and publications.

10 March 2012:
One day workshop to prepare 80 monks and lay people to teach in schools along the way during the walk.

11 March 2012:
One day workshop for 100 participants monks and lay people to teach about the objectives and regulations of the Dhammayietra.

12-18 March 2012:
Dhammayietra 22 begins.

April to May 2012:
Write report to donors.

Sustainability
1. Dhammayietra reaches out to people of all religions in all provinces, cities, districts and rural communities to teach the Five
Precepts, meditation, care of the environment and to discuss HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis, bird & swine flu etc.
2. Communities, monk and students utilize the information, booklets and leaflets from the Dhammayietra to provide information to members of their community who did not participate in the walk.
3. The Dhammayietra volunteers request other NGOs working for peace to invite Dhammayietra volunteers to participate in workshops and meetings to share experiences and learn from each other.
4. Dhammayietra volunteers will seek opportunities to participate in workshops and meetings in neighboring countries to share experiences and learn from others.

Summary
Dhammayietra has walked with communities for the last 21 years to promote peace and to decrease violence that arises from HIV/AIDS, use of addictive drugs and alcohol, and damage to the environment. Dhammayietra volunteers are committed to continue walking with communities and to continue to learn new skills and knowledge that will help to better support communities.

Dhammayietra is ever ready to learn from past experiences and adapt and strengthen Dhammayietra activities according to the needs of communities. The Dhammayietra Peace Walk has survived because of the support of the communities with whom it walks. It will continue because of the communities support, and because of the hope and compassion that Dhammayietra brings to communities.

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?We need to remember that our temple is always with us.
Our temple is within us.
One step at a time, one step at a time.?


Monitoring and evaluation plan

During the walk the Dhammayietra volunteers request villagers, schoolteachers and students to give feedback about the Dhammayietra activities, monks note the villagers? and schools? ideas for future walks. The Steering Committee holds a daily meeting to evaluate activities, exchange ideas and improve activities till the end of the walk. On the last day of the walk the Dhammayietra committee meets to analyze and evaluate the walk. After the walk a report is written for donors, Provincial Departments, Ministries and the Royal Palace.

Participation
Monks, nuns, achars, students, teachers, lay people, foreigners and local authorities are welcome to join in the walk. People along the way welcome the walkers and provide food and drinks to the walkers. Wats along the route of the walk provide accommodation and water for bathing. This walk is supported by NGOs, charities, small companies, pharmacies, districts and provincial departments.

Activities after the walk are:
1. post-walk evaluation with steering committee
2. preparation and dissemination of Dhammayietra report
3. selecting site for Dhammayietra 23 Resources:
Dhammayietra volunteers are comprised of a small group of dedicated monks and lay people. Their motivation is to promote peaceful communities. The organization of the walk is a voluntary activity. Dhammayietra is not an NGO, but an informal group who are inspired by Venerable Maha Ghosananda?s example of compassion and love for all people.