Shining World Compassion Award: The Wild Horse Sanctuary and Vets Beyond Borders    
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Everywhere in the world, we can observe and be touched by acts of kindness. People from all walks of life, faiths, and cultures extend themselves beyond the call of duty to help others unconditionally. Through their noble deeds, humanity as a whole is elevated.

To commend virtuous actions and encourage more people to be inspired by their examples, Supreme Master Ching Hai has lovingly created a series of awards, including the Shining World Leadership Award, Shining World Compassion Award, Shining World Hero and Heroine Awards, Shining World Honesty Award, Shining World Protection Award, Shining World Intelligence Award, and Shining World Inventor Award, to recognize some of the most exemplary, generous, caring, and courageous people who walk amongst us.

Today we celebrate the loving deeds and noble examples of two Shining World Compassion Award recipients – Dianne Nelson, the co-founder of The Wild Horse Sanctuary in Shingletown, California, USA and Vets Beyond Borders based in Australia.

Let’s begin by visiting The Wild Horse Sanctuary. In the western United States, about 30,000 wild horses live on public lands. Unfortunately, the federal government sometimes removes some of the horses after those raising livestock wrongly claim that the equines are negatively impacting the environment by supposedly taking away grazing pasture from their cattle. These horses are then rounded up and put in pens. Some may eventually get adopted. By contrast, lucky ones are instead sent to refuges like The Wild Horse Sanctuary, where they can peacefully stay for the rest of their lives.

We are just behind our barn, and this is one of the feeding areas that we distribute the hay to the horses in. And Lightning is here waiting anxiously for his daily ration with two of his wives; they came to us recently from the wild. They were captured by the Bureau of Land Management, so they have freeze brands on them; you saw those on the necks. But they had a life in the wild and they lost the freedom of the millions of acres that typically belong to the wild horses. But we give them a few thousand acres and they’re happy just to be here.

And it’s a little muddy because we had a long wet winter but the grass will come again. And we just try to give as natural a life as we can to as many as we can. They have room to roam but the feed on our 5,000 acres is not enough, so we have to distribute hay on a regular basis, and they know it. That’s why they’re here waiting. They’re waiting very patiently.

How do the wild horses connect with one another at The Wild Horse Sanctuary? Let’s find out.

So now when one horse comes in by itself, I take another horse at the same time so at least there is two of them, and if you put two horses together in a large field they will immediately just be happy. And you see this even in the saddle horses, and the two latest arrivals will be fast friends.

And I mean it happens so fast, it’s like, we went to bring one in for grooming the other day and his friend was like right at the gate whining and wanting to come. So it’s like, “Okay well, you just come with us,” because they just don’t want to be separated once they made that friendship. Especially if they didn’t have it before and now they have it, now it almost becomes the anxiety issues when they’re separated because, “I finally have a friend, don’t take him away, please don’t take him away.” And so it’s really, it’s comforting to see them have a good life.

For this loving devotion to the welfare of wild horses and burros, Supreme Master Ching Hai honored The Wild Horse Sanctuary with the Shining World Compassion Award along with a US$10,000 donation.

I’m almost speechless. First I’d like to say thank you very much, Supreme Master Ching Hai, it is quite an honor.

And it will help us a great deal. This will buy a lot of hay, and when we can feed the horses well then we have room for more horses. There’re so many people that help, but this is just enormous. Thank you so much.

Supreme Master Ching Hai also sent a letter of appreciation and gratitude to Ms. Nelson, from which the following is an excerpt:

This Award is presented in recognition of your marvelous achievements in providing a caring sanctuary for wild horses, for your selfless spirit of service to these noble beings, and for your enlightened approach to management of wild herds. By such kind deeds, you assist humanity’s evolution into higher levels of civilization. With your passion, love and intelligence and the teamwork of volunteers and donors, your Sanctuary has become a model of sustainable management of wild horses.

Furthermore, it also shows the innate ability of wild herds to live in harmony with other wildlife, because it is clear to all that your 300-strong herds co-exist harmoniously with the diverse wildlife on your 5,000-acre haven. We are happy to know that your precious Sanctuary also does invaluable work in increasing public awareness of the genetic, biological, and social value of America’s wild horses.

For the boundless selflessness you and all your volunteers show, in providing for the needs of wild horses, for your vision, wisdom, creativity and big-hearted generosity, and for providing the world with an excellent model of management of wild herds, we hereby applaud and celebrate the compassionate deeds of Ms. Dianne Nelson.

I am truly honored. Thank you so very, very much.

On Supreme Master Ching Hai’s behalf, our Association members also presented Ms. Nelson with a selection of DVDs and books by Supreme Master Ching Hai, including “The Love of Centuries” and the #1 international best-sellers “The Noble Wilds” and “The Birds in My Life.”

And as the saying goes, “Love knows no boundaries and no distance.” So let’s now travel to Australia to join in our next Shining World Compassion Award presentation ceremony with Vets Beyond Borders. Before we begin, though, let’s hear about the organization from its president, Dr. Peter Howe, a veterinarian.

Essentially we're an organization that focuses on improving animal welfare in developing countries. And in the process, we hope to also improve public health situations in those countries.

Where are these countries in particular?

We concentrate primarily on Southeast Asia and the Pacific areas. And one of the countries that we’re currently working is India. We have a team going up into China each year. We're looking at a project currently in Indonesia. And we've done work in Indonesia previously. We're also looking at another project up in Nepal. And one in Vanuatu.

What sorts of animals does Vets Beyond Borders help?

We try to help all animals, obviously. But by far the biggest numbers of animals that we see would be the street dogs. They're so many of them in the world. Something like 400-odd million throughout the world. So, their presence is very obvious and their suffering is very obvious. So that for us had been the best starting point. And we certainly do some large-animal work as well, water buffalo, cattle, and horses. Monkeys occasionally. They're all deserving of our attention.

What are the current and future projects of Vets Beyond Borders?

Our biggest projects, I guess, are still street-dog birth control. And anti-rabies. And we've got programs running as we speak in Ladakh and Sikkim (northern India) doing that and we've got another one hopefully starting up in southern India in Bylekuppe later on this year. Now, the other part of our work is to actually empower the local people to be able to take over the work themselves. And we do that by training up vets, vet nurses and humane animal catchers.

Apart from a heart-shaped crystal award plaque and a selection of Supreme Master Ching Hai’s books presented to him by our Association members on Supreme Master Ching Hai’s behalf, Dr. Howe received a warm letter from Supreme Master Ching Hai, the following of which is an excerpt:

It’s most heart warming to hear of your accomplished voluntary work to assist our innocent and vulnerable animal co-inhabitants. By conducting preventative measures such as vital birth control, teaching animal-care skills to empower others and promoting animal rights, Vets Beyond Borders is doing exemplary work. Your free-of-charge services, such as 20,000 neutering operations and over 30,000 vaccinations, are incredible achievements.

For selflessly providing services for animals in need, for your idealism, wisdom, creativity and kind-hearted generosity, and for being a dedicated and noble role model, we hereby applaud and celebrate the compassionate deeds of the Volunteers and Staff of Vets Beyond Borders, with special thanks to President Peter Howe. With Great Honour, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai

Thank you very much. And on behalf of the board of Vets Beyond Borders, all of our members and our volunteers from the bottom of our hearts, we say, "Thank you, thank you, thank you."

And in addition to the Award, Supreme Master Ching Hai contributed US$20,000 to Vets Beyond Borders to support their noble cause.

We thank you from the bottoms of our hearts for this donation. You just don't know how much we appreciate it. It would certainly mean that we might continue on for a little bit longer. It just gets us up over a financial hurdle that we were wondering how the heck we were going to get over. But with your generosity, at least we can continue on doing what we're doing for a little bit longer and we promise that every cent will be allocated to animal welfare and improving public health wherever we work. Once again, thank you, thank you, thank you.

In gratitude for her support and contribution, Vets Beyond Borders wrote a letter of thanks to Supreme Master Ching Hai. Here is an excerpt:

Dear Supreme Master Ching Hai, Vets Beyond Borders wishes to deeply thank you for your very kind and profoundly appreciated donation to our cause. Without your support we cannot sustain our current projects, or plan and develop new ones to address the needs and welfare of animals in developing communities - as well as the people who share their lives. Furthermore, as we are in the middle of our seasonal work in India, the timing is also vital. So please be assured your donated funds are being put to good use on the ground. With warm regards, Mandy Lamkin Administration and Donor Relations.

Our sincere thanks, Dianne Nelson, Dr. Peter Howe and all members, volunteers and supporters of The Wild Horse Sanctuary and Vets Beyond Borders for helping to create a more wonderful world for vulnerable animals, and in turn bettering humanity. May your benevolent work continue to improve the lives of voiceless animals through Heaven’s grace and guidance.

For more details on the organizations featured on today’s program, please visit the following websites: The Wild Horse Sanctuary
Vets Beyond Borders

Loving viewers, we enjoyed your presence today on our program. May our love for all beings forever transcend space and time.
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January . 2021