September 2015 – December 2016
January 2017 – December 2017
January 2018 – December 2018
In 1992, the venerable Maha Ghosananda, a Buddhist monk living in a refugee camp on the Thai-Cambodian border, organised a “Walk for Peace” which became an annual event from 1999 onwards. The walk passes through different rural areas of Cambodia and attracts over 100 participants comprised of Buddhist monks, nuns and laypeople from across Cambodia and abroad. The walk incorporates education to villagers and in schools on living in harmony with people and the environment. Ms Oddom Vansyvorn, a lay disciple of the late Maha, has participated in every walk and now organises them voluntarily each year. During the remainder of the year Syvorn organises monks and nuns to provide non-violence training to prisoners in Cambodia’s jails. The Broadley Trust is providing financial support to allow Syvorn to continue her work, including the writing of an autobiography.
Oddom Van Syvorn died in December 2018, aged 57. She was an extraordinary person. Syvorn joined the first Dhammayietra (walk for peace) in 1992. Initiated by a Cambodian monk, the Venerable Maha Ghosananda, the Dhammayietra aimed to bring messages of love and compassion for all human beings to Cambodians who had suffered war and violence. As a child Syvorn lived through the terror of the Khmer Rouge and suffered greatly. Convinced by Maha Ghosananda’s teaching, Syvorn left her small business and dedicated the rest of her life to promoting peace and non-violence in Cambodia. From 1999 to 2018 Syvorn coordinated the annual Dhammayietra. Her daily “walk” was that of teaching meditation, Buddhist precepts, conflict resolution and non-violence to school children, traditional midwives, prisoners, monks, nuns and lay Buddhists in the temples.
Syvorn was one of the 1,000 women proposed for the Nobel Peace Prize in 2005. http://www.1000peacewomen.org/en/network/1000-peacewomen/search/oddom-van-syvorn-1657-27.html
She will be greatly missed by adherents of peace in Cambodia and around the world.