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.

Greetings caring viewers. Welcome to today’s program featuring two Shining World Compassion Award recipients, PetCo Place and its president Dr. Myrna Hant from the United States, and Ms. Anuradha Koirala from Nepal. First, let’s go to Los Angeles County in California, USA to visit the unique homeless shelter, PetCo Place, which not only helps homeless people, but also provides their animal companions with a warm place to stay during the transition period.

PetCo Place was established by a non-profit organization called People Assisting The Homeless (PATH) in 2008. PATH’s president Dr. Myrna Hant has been helping the homeless for years.

There are probably 70,000 to 80,000 homeless in Los Angeles County. And 25 years ago PATH was created by Claire West Orr as she observed the problems were building and building, and of course she had hoped that by now we would be out of business, but we are not. It is growing and growing. So PATH’s mission basically is a hand-up not a hand-out.

It’s to help people to get started with a new life.

The services provided by People Assisting The Homeless have been especially needed during the recent economic setback. When homeless people seek help there, they not only get a shelter, but also receive job referrals, or vocational training if needed.

We post jobs for them, we assist them with computer search, we assist them with job skills, we help them to get high school diplomas if they need it.

I help the homeless to prepare for job interviews and we have many, many who get very good jobs afterwards and get on their way, get their own apartments or are able to establish a very fine life for themselves.

Although most homeless shelters provide quality services that help one to reintegrate into society, some individuals choose to stay outside shelters because they don’t want to leave behind their pets, who are their family members. It is estimated that 5-10% of homeless people have animal companions. Recognizing the need for such homeless caregivers, PATH initiated an innovative project, PetCo Place, in their Hollywood complex, providing housing for both the homeless and their animal companions.

One of the projects we have here is called PetCo, and it’s a place for homeless to bring their animals along with them. As they get helped so the animals can get helped as well and to partner with them. In the outreach program that we have, many homeless will not leave their pets, so the idea was created to bring the pets with them, and it’s worked out very well.

Sponsored by the PetCo Foundation, the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce, PAWS/LA, and other community members, this “shelter-within-a- shelter” provides animals with basic needs, medications and health services.

In recognition of the caring efforts for the homeless and their animal friends, Supreme Master Ching Hai honored PetCo Place and its President, Dr. Myrna Hant, the Shining World Compassion Award. An excerpt from Supreme Master Ching Hai’s letter of appreciation reads:

“Your magnificent initiative sets a gracious new benchmark in our society’s provision of merciful and devoted care, recognizing and honoring the strength of the bonds of affection, trust and loyalty between humans and our faithful friends.

Animal lovers worldwide rejoice and Heaven applauds your marvelous, warmhearted and considerate endeavor. … we hereby applaud and celebrate the compassionate deeds of PetCo Place with special thanks to its esteemed President Dr. Myrna Hant. With Great Honour, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai”

That’s beautiful. Thank you! I’d like to accept this in the name of all of the phenomenal people who work at PATH. Those people who are on the line every minute, they are the ones who are really so loving and so compassionate. Thank you very much!

Receiving the clear crystal award plaque, PetCo Place and Dr. Hant were also presented with a US$10,000 donation from Supreme Master Ching Hai toward their caring and dedicated efforts. Additional gifts were also delivered, including Supreme Master Ching Hai’s #1 international bestselling books, “The Dogs in My Life” and “The Birds in My Life,” as well as one of her beautiful uplifting paintings.

Thank you. We are really overwhelmed with your kindness and we’d like to especially thank the Supreme Master. The money will be used directly to help the homeless as well as their pets and we’re very, very appreciative.

PetCo Place is indeed a considerate service for both humans and animals! Next, we are going to Kathmandu, Nepal to meet an exceptional woman, Ms. Anuradha Koirala, founder and chairperson of Maiti Nepal. Maiti, meaning “mother’s home,” is a special shelter that was established by a group of caring teachers, journalists, and social workers in 1993.

It provides a warm shelter for women and girls who have been victims of human trafficking, abuse and neglect by their families, and exploitation. Besides pursuing the legal rights of those it helps, Maiti Nepal also provides loving encouragement and support such as teaching basic reading and writing and vocational skills to enable clients to start a bright new life. Ms. Anuradha Koirala tells us how she first came up with the idea of establishing such a center to help women become independent and lead dignified lives.

I used to go to Pashupatinath, that is a temple, and I used to see women begging; very healthy women begging with lots of children.

They were very healthy and I didn’t want them to beg. Everybody has to work and learn to work. So I told them, “I will support you and you can start small shops on the street that will be independent.”

It is called “nanglo pasal.” Nanglo pasal means small shops on the street, which during those times cost about 1,000 (rupees). And I was a teacher, I earned only 7,000 rupees, but even then I said I must do something for these women. So I talked to these women for one and a half months and they realized that they wanted to do it, and they said “Okay, we want to do it.”

Soon afterward, Ms. Koirala started a small non-governmental organization which provides women optional training, such as sewing, knitting, gardening, even carpentry and welding. Their children are also given care in the center. To pay for the rent, food, medical care, education, and other expenses to make the endeavor possible, Ms. Koirala sold everything she had.

The exceptionally challenging conditions lasted for a period of time until one day a miracle happened.

One Japanese person who was working in UNICEF (United Nations Children’s Fund) heard about me and came and he said, “You are doing fantastic work. I will write a proposal for you and then maybe UNICEF will support you.” So he wrote a proposal for us and then UNICEF supported us.

Gradually, the organization developed to provide services all over the country, operating three Rehabilitation Homes, three Prevention Homes, and eight Transit Homes, with about 300 people staff members working together. Moreover, the shelter residents are encouraged to adopt a plant-based diet and follow a healthy lifestyle.

I think to be vegetarian is to be very healthy. Meat is harmful for your health, everybody knows that. Maiti Nepal has lots of farms where we are trying to grow now all organic vegetables.

And now it is a very good reason; there is bird flu in this country. I have 575 children and girls and in the hospice I have 40, so they all have been vegetarians together with me.

Maiti Nepal is working hard to inform the public concerning trafficking and has set up anti-trafficking surveillance networks in four Nepali districts bordering India. Since 1993, Maiti Nepal has saved over 12,000 girls and women. Their tremendous accomplishments have earned the Nepali government’s recognition and support.

We have been able to change a lot. For example, the government of Nepal has announced that the 5th of September is Anti-trafficking Day. So that is also an achievement to us.

Maiti Nepal’s outstanding contributions to the protection of girls have led to public recognition, including the World’s Children’s Prize for the Rights of the Child in 2002, Courage of Conscience Award in 2006, and the Global Peace Festival Award in 2010. Moreover, Ms. Koirala has been selected as one of the CNN Top Ten Heroes of 2010.

There is a force which is pushing me to work; I have to work, I have to do; it is keeping me going on. So I started with two rooms with no money. If there was no God, I don’t think my dream would have been fulfilled to help so many children.

Ms. Anuradha Koirala’s heroic life- and dignity-protecting effort was honored by Supreme Master Ching Hai with the Shining World Compassion Award.

“…For selflessly providing for the needs of the less fortunate, for your vision, wisdom, unconditional love and kind-hearted generosity, and for being a dedicated and noble role model, we hereby applaud and celebrate the compassionate deeds of Ms. Anuradha Koirala, Founder and Chairperson of Maiti Nepal. With Great Honour, Love and Blessings, Supreme Master Ching Hai”

Along with the crystal plaque, Ms. Anuradha Koirala was also presented gifts of love, including Supreme Master Ching Hai’s #1 international bestsellers, “The Dogs in My Life,” “The Birds in My Life,” and “The Noble Wilds,” as well as other beneficial publications.

This is a matter of great prestige. It's a gift of care and blessing to all of us. Let's accept it respectfully. And let us all feel awarded. It is our faith that it will give us happiness and pleasure.

Our appreciation, Ms. Anuradha Koirala and Maiti Nepal, as well as Dr. Myrna Hant and PetCo Place, for your dedicated efforts and loving services in caring for less fortunate neighbors. May you be blessed with evermore success in bringing hope and encouragement to those in need.

Cherished viewers, thank you for your presence on today’s program. Please keep your dial tuned to Supreme Master Television for Words of Wisdom, up next after Noteworthy News. May kindness and inner peace fill your heart.