European Chairs' Assembly

Day 7 at the ECA

On Wed, 19 August, 2015 - 20:17
Munisha's picture

This morning Triratna’s European Chairs held their business meeting, in which the main item was the allocation of their Development Fund for 2016. (See the photo-summary of these grants.)

The ECA’s Development Fund generally totals around £100,000 per year, donated by Triratna Centres and enterprises all over Europe, as well as by some Centres further afield. This year they’ve given £116,000 and, thanks to Amalavajra’s fundraising, there’s an additional £20,000 - and there could be another £30,000 too. So, two budgets were agreed, just in case.

As usual, grants were agreed to Triratna projects and bodies who benefit Triratna worldwide: Clear Vision, Windhorse Publications, The Buddhist Centre Online and Free Buddhist Audio, as well as supporting the College of Public Preceptors, a young people’s co-ordinator and the members of the ECA’s Development Team (Nandavajra, Munisha, Mokshini and Amalavajra), who are employed to provide central services including fundraising, media, communications and liaison with other Buddhist groups. They also agreed £5,000 for translations of Triratna books, and a £5,000 Growth Fund for grants to help new groups and centres anywhere in the world, except India, which has its own fund. (Applications open in the New Year.)

Amalavajra (ECA Development Team fundraiser) presented his annual Generosity Awards. Paris won the prize for donations in the Small Centre category; Stockholm in the Medium Centre category and Cambridge in the Large Centre category; but the London Buddhist Centre consistently outclasses them all with even larger donations. Thank you!

The ECA is grateful for all donations, including those made by some Centres far beyond Europe. (For historical reasons the ECA is at present the only Triratna body well enough developed to collect and disburse funds in this way. However, there is a relatively new overarching International Council, composed of representatives of Centre Chairs, Order Convenors and Public Preceptors.)

The Chairs also heard a short presentation about their responsibilities for safeguarding children and vulnerable adults, as well as reports on the International Council, plans for the next Urban Retreat in November, and on the success of this year’s Buddhist Action Month.

Having finished their business earlier than expected, the Chairs spent the afternoon listening to impromptu 10-minute talks on matters ranging from “German humour” and “Diversity” to “Old people as the future of our Movement”. (Think rebirth!)

We finished with a closing circle in which people expressed much appreciation of each other and their way of doing business in the context of friendship.

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