“Children possess the universe in their hearts. They have the ability to transform everything they see or hear into something precious. To our children, who are natural born poets, we want to be able to show the beauty of our world. We hope we might plant “seeds of goodness” in their hearts and provide them with spiritual nourishment so they can grow up fearless and carefree. This is our responsibility as adults. Children are the treasures of humanity and it is to them we entrust the future.” – Daisaku Ikeda, President, Soka Gakkai International
Organization of the Read Me a Story Exhibition is led by a dedicated group of volunteers from the community, and the Soka Gakkai International Association of Canada (SGI Canada), a registered charity and constituent organization of a worldwide network of 12 million members in 192 countries dedicated to peace, culture and education.
The philosophical basis of SGI Canada’s activities, including its community participation and engagement, is based on the humanistic philosophy of Nichiren Buddhism, which affirms every person’s innate capacity to contribute to society and make a positive difference in the world.
In the Lower Mainland and Fraser Valley, SGI Canada has organized, supported and/or participated in a number of exhibitions, workshops, conferences, and activities focused on empowering youth to make a difference in their community. Among the education exhibitions SGI Canada has brought to Vancouver are:
- Citizen of the World: John Humphrey and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights
- Victory Over Violence
- Building a Culture of Peace For the Children of the World
- Transforming the Human Spirit: Toward a World Free From Nuclear Weapons
- Seeds of Change: The Earth Charter and Human Potential
- Seeds of Hope: Visions of Sustainability, Steps Towards Change
In recent years, it has partnered with many local organizations, including:
- Various departments in the City of Surrey, the City of Vancouver, the Township of Langley, and the City of Burnaby;
- Participated in Surrey’s Kids Conference (2013, 2014)
- Contributed to the 2013 Cities Fit for Children Conference
- Free the Children/Me2We;
- The Fraser Basin Council;
- Frog Hollow Neighborhood House;
- Alexandra Neighborhood house;
- The Multifaith Action Society of BC;
- The Surrey Interfaith Council; and
- Abbotsford Community Services.
In 2005, SGI Canada volunteers in Metro Vancouver received the City of Vancouver’s Mayor’s Environmental Achievement Award for its activities promoting the fundamental principles for sustainable development and conservation of the natural environment. In 2012, SGI Canada was nominated for the BC Nesika Award for its programs and events aimed at bringing people of different backgrounds together to create a more sustainable community.