The launch of new computer lab in Giyani on 13 December 2013 proved a very valuable early Christmas present for the Giyani community. This fully-furnished computer lab with well-trained computer skills facilitators and state-of-the-art computers is situated in the rural Makosha village. The classes are offered free of charge. 15 computers were handed over to the Vongani Skills Development Centre in order to provide much-needed computer training to the previously disadvantaged people of the Giyani community.
Venerable Hui Xing, Nan Hua Temple’s Manager, blessed the occasion with his heartfelt speech, when he reminded the community that, the hardship, lack of skills, poverty and their desire to develop and grow both financially and personally, is felt by the people at the Temple 600kms away. In answer to this, the 15 computers were installed and the first 30 beneficiaries were graduating. He continued saying that, through the Buddha’s compassion and the willpower of the people of Giyani to acquire knowledge in the future, more and more centres like this will be opened and more and more people will have a chance to gain the knowledge, enabling them to kick-start their life. The crowd applauded joyfully and celebrated loudly. Lastly, he reminded the graduates to be role models for those who will follow and to encourage others to make use of this great opportunity to enable them to also give back to the community.
Mrs Mathonsi, founder of the centre, shared the history of Vongani Skills Development Centre and its dealings with Nan Hua Temple. She recalled her request for 20 wheelchairs, which were delivered in 2009 and another 15 wheelchairs, which were delivered earlier this year by the Temple. Through this unconditional assistance from the Temple, she realised that religious boundaries are mere illusions, as we all strive to reach the same goal; hence, she has so much respect for the Buddhism and what it stands for. She encouraged the community of Giyani to see for themselves what Buddhism can do for their community.
She reminded the community about compassion shown by the Temple and said that they should ask themselves that if, for example, their neighbour’s child wants to come and learn to use the computer in their house, would they allow that without worrying ‘what if this or that would’ happen. “Now look at the Buddhist community from far away, who just presented us with gifts without ‘what ifs’, she concluded.
Lastly, Chief of Homu, the traditional leader, on behalf of the community of Giyani, thanked the Buddha’s Light International Association (BLIA) for the wonderful gift presented to their people. He assured the Temple that the computers were in good hands; that the community will look after and cherished it. He also said that the community will be encouraged to not only learn from the heart, but also apply what they learn to improve their life lives rapidly. He welcomed the graduates back to the community and reiterated that they must use the skills they gained to be more useful to themselves as well as the community of Giyani as a whole.