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Ghana: Young students become the core of a peace-creating group
by Global Good News staff writer
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1 July 2010
Patricia Wilkins, Founder and Executive Director of BASICS International in Ghana, gave the second commencement address* at the graduation ceremonies of Maharishi University of Enlightenment on 24 June.
Ten years ago Ms Wilkins moved to Accra, the capital city, where BASICS began funding street children to go to school. Since 2001, BASICS has offered sponsorship to over 500 children; the organzation is committed to removing children from the streets and circumstances which hinder their development.
One year ago, Ms Wilkins and her husband began practising the Transcendental Meditation Technique and introduced it to the children in their programme. Half of their students and the school staff have now learnt the technique, and the remainder will learn during the next school vacation.
In her address, Ms Wilkins spoke about the results of Consciousness-Based Education for her students.
One child who slept through every class is now awake in class and has started speaking, which he did not before. He is beginning to receive grades for his school work; they had previously been zero for the last three years.
Another child was consistently held back in her class, but her first report card after learning Transcendental Meditation showed remarkable improvement, Ms Wilkins said. The child was so delighted coming to Ms Wilkins with her report card, full of 'disbelief and joy'. Her grades had improved from 15 to 75.
In November 2009, Ms Wilkins visited Maharishi University of Enlightenment, Maharishi University of Management, and Maharishi School in Fairfield, Iowa, USA. She was very inspired by the 'tangible happiness there, the coherence, the wakefulness in the air'.
As a result of this visit, Ms Wilkins is now implementing a residential programme of the Global Mother Divine Organization for young girls in Accra. In July, 30 girls and volunteer staff will move into a house where they will participate in regular practice of Transcendental Meditation and also, Ms Wilkins hopes, the advanced Transcendental Meditation Sidhi Programme.
'These children meditating together are the first coherence-creating group ever in Ghana,' Ms Wilkins said. 'They are the core of what will grow into a peace-creating group with the required number of at least 500 Yogic Flyers.' The experience of practising Transcendental Meditation with girls at Maharishi School in Fairfield last year led Ms Wilkins to resolve to help a Teacher of Transcendental Meditation start such a peace-creating group.
Concluding her address, Ms Wilkins congratulated and thanked the graduates of Maharishi Univerisity of Enlightenment for their support and inspiration for all she is doing in Ghana.
* Please see also 'Africa: Distinguished leader in women's education gives MUE Commencement Address'.
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