The new headquarters of the Sathya Sai School of Human Values at the agricultural municipality of Funza, near Bogotá was inaugurated on 22nd February 2016. Over 180 local residents participated in the opening ceremony of the new school for 200 students. In addition, members of the SSIO of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru, as well as representatives of state government, private educational institutions, churches, and others witnessed the landmark event. During the opening ceremony, students sang the school’s anthem and offered gratitude to their parents and teachers. One mother characterised the school’s impact by remarking, “When teachers asked my son what he wanted to be when he grew up, he answered he did not know. Three days after going to the school, his eyes glistening, he said, “Mom, I know what I want to do when I grow up. I want to serve society.” Since 2010, the Sathya Sai School of Human Values has offered free tuition to the poorest families in the locality and currently has 78 students under the tutelage of five teachers in four elementary grades. Parents of the students, numbering about 120, as well as their 40 siblings take part in monthly human values workshops conducted by a group of 20 dedicated volunteers. Grateful parents share stories about how these workshops have transformed their lives. A student’s father commented, “When I have problems at work, I remember my son’s teaching on Light Meditation. I stop for a moment, breathe deeply, maintain silence for a few minutes and control my emotions before returning to work.”
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