Awakening and Compassion are two pillars of Zen as practiced at Bodhizendo, reflecting Fr. AMA Samy’s vision of Zen which is broad and unique. The pillar of compassion, in the form of Little Flower, run by the Bodhi Sangha, extends much further into the surrounding hills and beyond Madurai, touching and improving the lives of many underprivileged people by providing care, employment and education. Among the many supported projects are initiatives providing education for children, self-help for women, medical assistance, individual help and Higher education and training.
Little Flower Montessori School was founded by Fr. AMA Samy in the years 2008-2009, mainly rendering free service to the poor children based upon the Maria Montessori Method of education.
The aim of the school is to provide local children — who would otherwise be destined to follow their parents into poorly paid manual work — the chance to break out of the cycle of poverty. These children are aged from two and a half to five and a half years of age and live in the villages surrounding Perumalmalai. The school begins in the morning at 8.30am and ends by evening at 4.00pm
Seven trained teachers are educating 154 students in the Montessori Method, developed by the Italian physician and educator Maria Montessori (who lived in South India for a while) in the 1900s. As opposed to standard Indian schooling, this method aims to help children develop their potential through exploration, experimentation and through the use of materials designed to sharpen their senses and awareness.
Our Montessori school considerably helps these poor families by providing free quality education, clean environment and well equipped Montessori materials for the children to develop their learning skills. In this way we try to provide all the necessary elements for a holistic development, as researches show that the first six years of age are very essential in every child’s growth.