Annual Review 2023

January 2, 2024

As 2023 has come to an end, we want to thank you for making it a successful year through your support, interest, and financial contributions.

Whether opening a bakery, establishing a model farm for regenerative agriculture or offering educational workshops for kids, each initiative contributes to Rinpoche’s vision of protecting the elements of life and empowering people to make their own decisions. We are happy that in 2023 together with you, we could create many new ways to achieve this goal.

Willy the whale and the elements of nature

As a preparation to open our first Akasha Kindergarten, we have successfully started with education programs for children in Germany this year. Willy the Whale interactive story, and workshops about the elements of nature showed children that everything in life is interconnected and how important it is to protect nature for our survival.

Willy the whale inspired the kids to understand that our breath is connected to that of the whales.
The story about Willy the Whale led to our first coloring book which can be purchased from our online shop.
In three different kindergartens in the West of Munich, kids learned about the elements of life in five sessions – fire, water, earth and air, and how they are the foundation of our physical existence.

Reconnecting to nature and finding clarity – Ancient rituals

In 2023, TK Rinpoche performed two rituals in Munich: Tshethar Ritual and Yamantaka Ritual – to make the wisdom of an ancient Buddhist practise path accessible for people from all backgrounds.

In July, over two thousand trouts were released into the river Würm at the Schlosspark Gauting during the Tshethar ritual. Despite the thunder, around a hundred visitors came to experience this unique, ancient practice and helped the fish find their way into freedom.

In August, TK Rinpoche performed the Yamantaka ritual for the first time in three years. Especially in the current times of ongoing challenges, this ritual is beneficial to find clarity and confidence.

The weather changed quickly between sun, rain and even thunder. Still, around a hundred guests received the blessing from the mantras and dharanis that Rinpoche recited.
Especially young guests engaged in helping release the fish.

Growing and producing nutritious food

How to grow food and regenerate the soil at the same? This year, we started to explore the method of biointensive farming on our newly rented land next to the Akasha Academy headquarters in Nepal. Together with Shyam Phyakurel, a Nepalese agriculture expert, we established a model farm which serves as an example for sustainable food production. We are happy that with this project, we not only educate the community about sustainable agriculture but also offer job opportunities to locals.

Job opportunities are also generated through the newly established Artisan Bakery social business. Four ladies from the second cohort of Akasha Traineeship work as bakers, in administration and marketing to make the social business a success and raise awareness for healthy nutrition. Since its opening in November, many muffins, breads and cinnamon rolls have been baked and received well among Nepalese and expats alike.

The model farm also offers our traineeship students to gain practical experience in sustainable farming.
The four bakers of the Artisan bakery present cookies which are packed as gifts for the Nepalese festival Tihaar.
Our team advertises the bakery at a Fair-Trade Christmas Bazaar in December.

Finding confidence and acting for the benefit of others

In September, 15 Akasha Traineeship students in Nepal happily received their graduation certificates. During the 10-month vocational training, they could already spark a positive change in the community by taking part in our reforestation project, raising awareness about healthy nutrition at the health camp in Okhreni and addressing social problems in theatre performances in front of school classes and communities.

The traineeship has helped the young women find confidence to choose their own path in life. Many of them have already found a job which gives them financial freedom and independence. Akasha Traineeship is now running into its third year with a new batch of young, motivated students.

Empowering young women requires role models who serve as an example and give guidance. Therefore, we are also working to give our team in Nepal the opportunity to broaden their horizon. Sushmita Sharma who is the education program manager at Akasha Academy Nepal had a unique chance to travel to Europe this year and meet with many politicians, entrepreneurs and NGO members.

Graduation ceremony of the second batch of Akasha Traineeship students.
The third batch of Akasha Traineeship students.
Sushmita Sharma meets with Svenja Schulze at the Open House Day of the BMZ in Berlin.

Providing school uniforms for 950 pupils and making education possible

With your support, we were able to raise a record amount of funds for winter school uniforms this year. School uniforms are required for children to attend school in Nepal. Therefore, providing them with these pieces of clothing also means giving access to education. 950 pupils received their new uniforms along with some healthy snacks from Akasha Artisan Bakery.

On the day of handing over the new uniforms, the pupils also learn how to build and use a water filter.
The pupils enjoy the special day.

Setting an example for sustainable building

The headquarters in Nepal has grown by a new building this year. The bamboo pavilion can be seen from afar – a truly radiant example of sustainable building and architecture. Together with Green Bamboo Architects, we have developed a building that reflects traditional Nepalese architecture and uses sustainable local resources such as bamboo and clay. In June, Rinpoche performed a Lungta ritual offering his blessing to the place and visitors which is helpful for good fortune.

The bamboo pavilion is an example of sustainable building and architecture.
The entrance area decorated with candles.

Learn more and experience

In Germany, we organized more events and held presentations this year than ever – from kid’s educational programs to Nepal bazaars, fairs, sustainability conferences and of course, Akasha Training Workshops which are organized regularly at Akasha Academy Munich. For 2024, we look forward to offering just as many opportunities for exchange and getting to know our work and its foundation, Universal Ethics. The meaning of Universal Ethics and its practical application through Akasha Training can be experienced at the Spinal Power Workshop on 26th and 27th of January. We hope to see you there and wish you all a very successful new year!