SGI-Bolivia Youth Organize Student Seminar in Puerto Palias, Santa Cruz, Bolivia
On February 24, 2007, at the request of Colegio Andrés Ibanéz high school in the town of Puerto Palias, SGI-Bolivia organized "Challenges of Youth," a student forum based on Discussions on Youth, a book of SGI President Daisaku Ikeda's encouragement to youth concerning family, friendship, love, dreams and goals and self-confidence, all matters close to the hearts of young people. Following Encuentro Radiante, a 15-minute video, students broke into ten groups to discuss "What is true happiness?" After presentations by each of the groups, SGI-Bolivia Young Men's Leader Marcelo Oroza Montellano, who served as moderator, explained the Buddhist concepts of absolute or lasting happiness versus relative or temporary happiness and how these relate to one's state of life.
Colegio Andrés Ibanéz Principal Eliza Champa thanked the SGI-Bolivia youth for inspiring the students with hope for the future. She said, "I express my wholehearted appreciation to SGI-Bolivia for remembering the marginalized citizens of Puerto Paila and presenting such a beautifully clear and concise explanation of humanism to our youth."
On the same occasion, Puerto Pailas Town presented Mr. Ikeda with a certificate in recognition of his contributions to advancing peace, culture and education and fostering youth. The citation also recognized the social activism of the SGI-Bolivia members: its youth who have been engaged in wide-ranging efforts such as environmental preservation projects and educational seminars together with other youth groups; and its women who have collaborated with other women's organizations to sponsor peace forums and family education seminars. Mayor Elizabeth Montero thanked SGI-Bolivia members for their involvement in the community, in particular for sponsoring friendship exchanges and activities among the youth, which have helped heighten awareness among young people of various social and environmental issues.
On the following day, SGI-Bolivia collaborated with local youth in a "city beautification" project and planted trees in one of the town's public areas.
National El Torno High School and United Nations High School, both in El Torno, Santa Cruz State, also hosted SGI-Bolivia student seminars in February. United Nations High School students said the seminar strengthened their awareness that they each have a mission to create a better Bolivian society.
[Adapted from articles in the March 6 and 13, 2007 issues of the Seikyo Shimbun, Soka Gakkai, Japan]