Dharma Vijaya has been part of the social fabric of Los Angeles helping whenever it can. During the Los Angeles riots, there was conflict between African Americans, Koreans and others. The monks were involved trying to bring the groups together, fostering mutual understanding of their cultural differences. The monks also participate with monks of other Buddhist traditions to help their congregations navigate the differences in American culture and their own cultural traditions. They also participate in interfaith dialogues to promote understanding of Buddhism in the religious community of Southern California.
The program Vision Vijaya was created to send eyeglasses to poor vilagers in sri lanka over the years, we have been able to send over 25,000 pairs of glasses. Working with optometrists we are able to give the gift of sight so that the poor vilagers are able to become productive members of society and provide for themselves and their families. We are working with an eye doctor in Sri Lanka who examins the vilagers and provides flasses to us ro dispence at a discouted rate.
The program Vision Vijaya was created to send eyeglasses to poor villagers in Sri Lanka over the years, we have been able to send over 25,000 pairs of glasses. Working with optometrists we can give the gift of sight so that the poor villagers are able to become productive members of society and provide for themselves and their families. We are working with an eye doctor in Sri Lanka who examines the villagers and provides glasses to us to dispense at a discounted rate.
Medical Student Scholarships
For over 25 years Dharma Vijaya has found sponsors who give scholarships to needy medical student in Sri Lanka. In Sri Lanka, education is free, however some students need financial help to pay for board, lodging, books and school supplies, which are not provided by the government. Thus far as a couple hundred students have graduated withe help provided by these scholarships.
For 15 years there has been a scholarship program for monks attending the university to study Pali and Buddhism in Sri Lanka. The fund was established by Dhammacari Panna with the help of her friends in the Vietnamese community. So far over 50 monks have been helped by this program.
Our temple monk, Ven. Bambarawane Kalyanawansa provides scholarships for 24 collage children in the Galle District who attend college. Another 10 students who attend university receive scholarships with the help of Oliver Namal Gamage and his compassionproject.net organization.
English Study Classes
Ven. Susila is a nun who was ordained at Dharma Vijaya. She funds w English study classes, providing teachers and supplies for the children of the village of Imaduwa, Walpola in the Galle District. Ven Susila also provides three medical scholarships.
"Give to Lanka"
Through this program we have raised money to provide 11 water purification machines for the Anururadhapura and Polonnaruwa districts where some people suffer from Kidney Disease. Each machine costs $1,200.00 USD
When the tsunami struck Southeast Asia in December 2004, Dharma Vijaya's members and their friends raised $260,000 USD to construct 38 new houses for survivors in the city of Ambalangoda, Kulegama, Galagodawatta. Funds were also raised to help repair 5 temple that were damaged. When hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans, the temple raised money to send to help some of the over looked immigrant communities, Money has been raised for survivors of the hurricane that hit Myanmar, the survivors of the recent flooding in Sri Lanka and the earthquake survivors in Nepal.
Serving the Sri Lankan Community and helping Sri Lankan Immigrants
Dharma Vijaya has functioned to serve as a shelter and refuge for many young Sri Lankans who arrive here with very little. Over 1000 have had food, shelter, support, and help under the DV visa lottery program, there are about 300-400 Sri Lankas who annually come to the United States with only their green card. Sometimes they have no marketable skills, limited English, and little money. When they need to find a place to live, get a job, go to the Social Security office and take their children to school, Dharma Vijaya has been there to help. The monks at the Vihara have always endeavored to serve the Sri Lankan community in ways that help them feel comfortable in their adopted home and its culture.
Metta from Us
Friends of Dharma Vijaya have worked to incoperate a non-profit charity to continue the social and welfare activities.
Working with the Thai Community
Ven. Piyananda has been involved with the Los Angeles Thai community, having helped in so many ways with religious counseling to help them deal with problems. They seek his advice on various matters, because he can find an answer based on this knowledge of the Tipitaka (Pali Canon).
Working with the Community
We work with Oliver Namal Gamage and his Compassion Project (www.compassionproject.net) to provide lunches for the homeless in downtown Los Angeles.