Bhante Buddharakkhita was born in Uganda, Africa. He was ordained as a Buddhist monk by the late Most Venerable Sayadaw U Silananda in 2002 at Tathagata Meditation Center in San Jose, California. He then spent eight years under the guidance of Bhante Henepola Gunaratana at the Bhavana Society, West Virginia. 

 

Bhante founded the Uganda Buddhist Centre (UBC) in 2005, the first and only Buddhist Temple in Uganda. Besides spending time at UBC, he is an Adjunct Professor at Union Theological Seminary (UTS) in New York. He is a Spiritual Advisor to the Global Buddhist Relief in New Jersey. Bhante is also the Spiritual Director of Radiance Retreat Center in Magnolia, Mississippi, and has been teaching mindfulness meditation in Africa, United States of America and worldwide since 2005.  His book, “Planting Dhamma Seeds: The Emergence of Buddhism in Africa”, tells the story of his religious and spiritual work in Africa.

Bhante has established several projects and programs at UBC to help the local communities in Uganda. These projects include, but not limited to:

 

 

 

 

  1. Novice Ordination Program—The Novice Ordination program is in line with the goal of enhancing the quality of basic education by instilling Buddhist virtues, wisdom and mental development among the participants in this program. As a result, these young men and women will be able to adapt to the growing cultural and religious diversities in the country.

 

As the program strives to cultivate in these children the virtues of love, respect, politeness, discipline and punctuality, and wisdom through meditation, we believe that by giving these young men and women proper guidance and training will help them grow into responsible and respectful adults. Moreover, the basic virtues that they follow during their training become the grounds for them to improve the quality of their life and foster better performance in their academic work.

  1. Uganda Buddhist Centre Peace School—the Peace School is the first of its kind in Uganda established by Bhante Buddharakkhita to provide holistic education to children in Uganda. The School envisions “Peace for All”, which also doubles as the school’s motto. Peace School aims are:

    1. To provide education in an ethical learning environment so that children can become conscientious citizens,

    2. To provide direct financial support to children in need and orphans whose parents or relatives cannot afford school fees and basic needs

    3. To provide mindfulness-based education in order to contribute to individual peace, society and environment at large, and

    4. To create an environment where children, teachers and the community are involved in positive activities that ensure socio-economic welfare in the community.

    5. To provide African ethics and values such as the African philosophy of “Obuntu” and African socio-cultural values.

  1. Youth Economic Empowerment Project (YEEP)—in the village where the Uganda Buddhist Centre is situated, it is a fishing village. People depend on fishing for their living. However, recently, the government of Uganda imposed restrictions on fishing on Lake Victoria in its attempt to promote modern fishing methods. The youth have no alternative entrepreneurial skills, and their low education levels have caused a backlash in playing their roles at home and contributing towards their community development. UBC started a project to offer alternative entrepreneurial skills to youth. The project also provides avenues for youth to be allies in women’s participation in the socio-economic and political affairs of their community.

 

 

Currently, youth are being trained in carpentry activities so that they can develop crucial skills in carpentry. Bhante envisions the creation of a vocational training centre, where men and women come to learn critical entrepreneurial skills for job creation as well as improving the living standards of many people.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Women Economic Empowerment Project (WEEP)—the aim of WEEP is to train women in various entrepreneurial skills so as to enhance job creation and contribute to their economic freedom. Women have been trained in various skills including soap making, handcrafted shoes, an assortment of snacks and sweaters.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Water and Sanitation Project (WSP)—since 2006, Bhante has been providing safe and clean water to communities, and local schools in Entebbe. His vision here is to ensure that every individual in Bulega, where the Centre is located as well as the neighboring communities have access to safe, fresh and clean water.So far, Bhante has provided six (6) boreholes which are serving over 1,000 people a day.You can write to Bhante or Uganda Buddhist Centre at ugandabuddhistcentre@gmail.com

 

 

 

www.ugandabuddhistcenter.org