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OISCA is an acronym for ORGANIZATION for INDUSTRIAL, SPIRITUAL and CULTURAL ADVANCEMENT. INDUSTRIAL refers to the promotion of agriculture and other primary industries that are fundamental to human existence. SPIRITUAL, not to be confused with "religion," focuses on the need to nurture qualities such as self-reliance, dedication to one's community, international brother-sisterhood, and respect for the Earth's ecological integrity on which life is grounded. And CULTURAL is the intent to encourage the magnificent cultural diversity that has enriched human life, and the universal need to promote cultural patterns such as peace-building. OISCA International contributes to Humanity's environmentally sustainable development through a holistic approach, emphasizing the interconnectedness of agriculture, ecological integrity, and the human spirit. OISCA International implements and advocates hands-on experiential programs for world citizens of all ages, transmitting knowledge and skills, and cultivating spiritual qualities as dedication, self-reliance, and universal brother-sisterhood.
The Sathirakoses Nagapradipa Foundation (SNF) was founded by Thai intellectual, writer and social critic, Sulak Sivaraksa, in 1969. SNF is one of the first social organisations set up in Thailand - with a broad mission of supporting struggling artists and writers, and facilitating educational, cultural and spiritual activities that encourage detachment from consumerism. Named after two prominent writers and scholars of Thai culture, the foundation has acted as an umbrella for a number of sister organisations, which have sprung up under its auspices, through the encouragement and support of Sulak Sivaraksa. Together, they have been working modestly for social transformation and an end to structural violence, as well as promoting peace and justice in the region. What distinguishes SNF and its sister organisations from other social organisations is a deep commitment to social change through combining spirituality with social action. This approach is guided by the practice of 'engaged spirituality'. The main objectives of the foundation are as follows - (1) To support and promote persons who create art and cultural work, and to promote any activity which makes progress in the fields of arts and culture. (2) To support and give assistance in activities which will bring about the progress of Thai literature and arts. (3) To support and promote the conservation and/or development of arts, culture, education, as well as environmental and antiquity preservation for the progress of humanity. (4) To publish news concerning domestic and international issues. (5) To support and collaborate in social work for the benefit of society. (6) To support and promote all work of the foundation without political aims. The following is the broad organizational structure of SNF - Patronage SNF is under the patronage of His Holiness the Dalai Lama SNF Sister Organizations Wongsanit Ashram Santi Pracha Dhamma Institute (SPDI) International Network of Engaged Buddhists (INEB) INEB Institute School for Wellbeing - Studies and Research Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) Social Enterprises Suan Ngen Mee Ma Publishing House and Social Enterprise Siam Baandin Natural Housebuilding Social Enterprise SNF is closely associated with - Foundation for Children and Moo Baan Dek (Children's Village School) Buddhika Suksit Siam and Kled Thai Publishing Houses Komol Keemthong Foundation Institute for Contemplative Learning Sekhivadhamma Areas of engagement Some key themes being addressed through the foundation and its sister organisations include: Alternative Economics Through the School for Wellbeing, SNF is collaborating with the Centre for Bhutan Studies and Chulalongkorn University on theoretical and practical applications of Gross National Happiness in Thailand. Two social enterprises have also grown out from the Foundation, providing models of social engagement that contribute to new paradigm thinking and sustainability. Art and Culture SNF continues to support local artists in their contribution to commentary on social and political issues, aesthetics, and their own personal journeys of exploration and expression. INEB is also supporting the rediscovery and exchange of Buddhist art traditions across the Mekong region and beyond. Youth Activism INEB's Young Bodhisattva programme includes exchange of youth among partner organizations, and a foundational Socially Engaged Buddhism training integrating spirituality with social analysis. Strengthening Civil Society Grassroots empowerment has been a foundational approach across many of the programmes under SNF's organisations. The Assembly of the Poor - a social movement representing vast networks of grassroots people across Thailand - continues to be supported through the Santi Pracha Dhamma Institute (SPDI). Both the Spirit in Education Movement (SEM) Laos and Myanmar programmes focus on grassroots empowerment, community organizing and public awareness raising as a means to strengthen capacities of civil society and create platforms for social change. Sustainable Living and Environmental Integrity Wongsanit Ashram is a core member of Global Ecovillage Network - Asia and Oceania, and with its partners, has facilitated the International Ecovillage Design Education training since 2007, which seeks to provide models for sustainable community living. The 'Towards Organic Asia' programme under the School for Wellbeing also focuses on sustainability and wellbeing of communities through supporting organic agriculture farming and mindful markets across the Mekong region and Bhutan. INEB is also involved in recent initiatives on interfaith approaches to Climate Change and biodiversity conservation, which seek to bring a moral voice to the growing urgency for action to stem the current climate crisis. Gender SPDI and the Assembly of the Poor continue to organize capacity building activities for women groups within the network. INEB also contributes long-term thematic work on gender regarding women's' ordination and women's empowerment across Asia. Peace and Justice The 'Cross-Ethnic Integration in Andaman' project is working with migrant workers from Myanmar, including upholding and advocating migrant worker rights at policy and practical levels, and building trust and solidarity among migrant workers and local communities through cultural and social celebrations. INEB and its partners have collaborated on peace and justice initiatives in the Asian region for decades. Over the last years, focus has been on roles of the Buddhist Sangha in communal violence in Myanmar, Sri Lanka and restorative justice for Tamils during and after the civil war, and the impacts of the devastating Fukushima disaster of 2011. Alternative Education SEM Thailand works specifically on empowerment education for the Thai public, focusing mainly on inner growth and relationship building; and with organisations, government agencies, universities and private businesses to build workplace environments that support wellbeing. Under SEM Myanmar, the Coalition for the Promotion of Monastic Education is supporting local schools to become more open and democratic in their management, alongside encouraging holistic child-centred learning, engaging parents, and breaking the walls which separate the school, monastery and community by becoming starting points for wider community-driven development. Media SNF continually publishes books and magazines in both English and Thai languages, including the long-running Pacasaraya magazine, Puey magazine (in memory of Dr. Puey Ungpakhorn), and the Seeds of Peace. SEM Laos has also continued providing materials in Lao language on Buddhism and social engagement.