January 25, 2013 | Comment

By Maureen Goodman
Programme Director, Brahma Kumaris UK

The welfare of children has always been of paramount importance to the Brahma Kumaris since the beginning of the organisation in the 1930s when the Founder, Brahma Baba, opened a boarding school for about 80 children in Hyderabad, Northern India (now Pakistan).

Children are able to benefit greatly from their participation in BKWSU activities, particularly with regard to their personal, social, emotional and spiritual development. Both they and their parents or guardians, have come to place considerable trust in the ability of the BKWSU and its personnel to provide a safe, wholesome and nurturing environment. Overwhelmingly, history has shown this trust to be well founded.

The Spiritual Headquarters host tens of thousands of BK students and others at a time, and every effort is made to ensure the safety of all children at all times. Clear guidelines are given to parents and guardians who take their children to the Spiritual Headquarters. These cover, parental supervision, appropriate transport for children in India, residential requirements etc.

In 1999 the organisation embarked on an extensive project to implement child protection policies and procedures in all countries where there is a BK organisation. These guidelines, which are reviewed regularly, include:
• appointing a children’s officer;
• procedures for reporting incidents;
• guidelines on introducing Raja Yoga teachings to children under 16 years of age;
• guidelines for conducting children’s classes and residential retreats.

All BK children and youth activities are run by teachers who are authorized by a BK Co-ordinator and have undergone the relevant criminal record bureau checks in their countries where possible. The BK good practice on child welfare also includes support for parents in bringing up children in a BK context. Since 2007 annual meetings for parents have taken place at the Spiritual Headquarters, helping parents apply Raja Yoga teachings in a way that enhances a child’s development and healthy integration with their peer group within and outside of a BK context.

The Brahma Kumaris are very aware of the need to remain extremely vigilant on this vital issue and do all that is possible to safeguard our children. We have listed in the Resources Section several documents from a BK Meditation Center in the USA that illustrates how our global policy is implemented at the local level, providing practical guidelines for parents and children.

BK Child Safety Procedures

BK Child Safety Codes

BK Child Safety Guidelines

Important Safety Reminders

Filed in: Protection of Children

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