The District of San Francisco New Orleans (SFNO) Office of Education has announced that the 2019 Vandhu Paaru Program will take place June 16 – July 12, 2019.
Co-sponsored by SFNO, Delegation of India, District of Colombo, and Lasallian East Asia District, Vandhu Paaru is an international immersion experience for current SFNO Lasallian educators established in 1999. Vandhu Paaru participants experience the Lasallian mission in developing countries, as well as provide fundamental services in partnership with fellow Lasallians involved in ministries there.
Host countries include India, Sri Lanka, and Myanmar. Possible immersion sites include Lasallian ministries in Genguvarpatti and Tuticorin, India; Mannar, Sri Lanka; and Maymyo or Yangon, Myanmar.
According to Young Lasallians director and Vandhu Paaru coordinator Kenenna Amuzie, the service and immersion program was inspired by a Lasallian mission gathering held in Rome in 2013.
“I am reminded,” she wrote, “of the words of Brother Álvaro Rodríguez Echeverría to the 2013 International Mission Assembly and his call to continue to be Lasallians without borders: ‘. . . Seeing this as our dream for the future; an availability to serve the Lasallian mission beyond our own borders, where our presence may be more needed, with regional or international initiatives, a sign of a universal fraternity that responds creatively to urgent and timely situations.’”
The total cost of the program is $3,000, with SFNO reimbursing up to one-third of the program costs per participant at the end of the program.
Program and application information has been sent to SFNO school chief administrators for distribution to interested faculty and staff members. Applications are due to the SFNO Office of Education no later than March 1, 2019. Accepted participants will be notified by March 11, and the Office of Education will host a Vandhu Paaru Orientation in the Bay Area on April 21, 2019.