The Karen Culture
and Social Suppport Foundation (Incorporated) (formerly Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation) is
dedicated to empowering Karen and Burmese people to create life skills
for their wellbeing in Australia. Our mission is to:
- Encourage and assist Karen and Burmese people to retain and
value their traditions, culture and spiritual beliefs.
- Help build genuine respect, friendship, understanding and trust
between people of all culture, tradition, ethnicity and religion.
- Help Karen families integrated into local community, access
community services and organizations and to connect with broader
community in order to ensure their wellbeing in Australia.
- Provide education support, career advice and other life skills
coaching for young people.
- Hold traditional festivals and ceremonies including annual Wrist
Tying Ceremony and other Karen traditions.
- Support and assist various cultural and community projects for
the healthy growth of humanity, including:
- By year 2017 Temporary Housing for people in need of
- By year 2020 a Health Clinic with specialties in both western
and oriental approaches, for post traumatic stress for refugees as
well as their general health issues.
- By 2023 an Aged Care facility for both Karen, Burmese and other
About half of our members are Karen Buddhists and half Karen Christians.
We also have some Australian members. As Buddhists and Christians we
share values of loving-kindness, compassion, mutual respect and ethical
living. Because we share these values we have no problem working
together although we follow different religions.
Most of our members have recently come to Australia as refugees from
refugee camps on the Thai-Burma border. Not only do they have a
background of interrupted education, but also carry traumatic experiences.
Bringing more refugees to come to live in Bendigo in Australia, and
supporting them after they arrive, is a major part of our work. To show
that we do not discriminate by religion it is our policy that half of
the refugees we sponsor are Buddhist and half are Christian.
We have started a campaign to lobby the Australian government to bring
more Karen refugees to Australia.
Many other Karen organisations say they help all Karen refugees, but we
are the only organisation that actually sponsors equal numbers of
Christian and Buddhist refugees.
We also hold traditional Buddhist festivals including Full Moon
Festival, Kathin (Robe-Offering to Monks) ceremony, and Shin Pyu
(ordination of children as novice monks and nuns), and participate in
other traditional Karen festivals.
In December 2010 we held our first Karen Christmas festival.
Members and volunteers of the foundation provide various support
services for young people with their education, career advice and other
life skills coaching.
We help Karen and Burmese families integrate into local Bendigo
community, access community services and organizations, schools, health
providers and other day to day living support.
We plan to build a Community Centre and a Temporary Housing for people
in need of short-term accommodation by year 2017 .
The foundation is also involved in various cultural and community
projects. The interfaith initiatives being on of them includes
interfaith prayer services for peace in Burma and interfaith dialogues.
We hold prayer services for peace where we invite Christian and Muslim
faith leaders to pray together with us for peace.
The Karen Culture and Social Suppport Foundation (Incorporated) is based in Bendigo,
Australia, and is a member of the Buddhist Council of Victoria (BCV).
The Karen Buddhist monastery in Bendigo is currently seeking an
Australian Buddhist monk or nun to join our community. For more
information click here.
here for PDF flyer
about the Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation.
Click here for KBDDF membership application form.
The Karen Culture and Social Suppport Foundation (Incorporated) was
known as the Karen Buddhist Dhamma Dhutta Foundation until 2016.
The Karen Culture and Social Suppport Foundation (Incorporated) is deeply grateful for the
financial, practical, and advocacy support we have received from the
Buddhist Centre & Thubten Shedrup Ling Monastery
City of Greater
St Andrew's Uniting Church