On 15 November 2018, The Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom (previously known as the Venerable Vudhijaya Vajiramedhi) was appointed as one of the first UNHCR Patrons, committing to promote peace and compassion towards refugees and humanitarian crises, as well as engaging others to support our work.
In light of the current global refugee crisis, the concept of sympathy and compassion towards fellow human beings in need has never been more relevant. The Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom is helping bring this about by connecting faith leaders with the work of UNHCR.
The Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom, a well-respected Buddhist monk, scholar, writer and social worker from Thailand, has supported UNHCR since 2016. He has raised funds to provide shelter to two million refugees worldwide under UNHCR's global Nobody Left Outside campaign. He mobilized famous Thai artists and conducted an Art for Refugees project on two occasions, committing to continue the project every other year to provide sustainable funding to help refugees.
Since becoming involved with UNHCR, he has visited two refugee camps in Thailand and has met with urban refugees in Malaysia. In addition, the Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom also convened a gathering of more than 200 Buddhist monks from 13 countries at the Buddhism and Humanitarianism in Asia Conference, which strengthens ties between Buddhism and humanitarian work, including the work carried out by UNHCR.
The Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom, UNHCR's Patron for Peace and Compassion said: "Despite coming from different religions, we are all human beings who can connect with each other either with joy or misery which makes us indivisible. As members of a global family, we are obligated to create better and more sustainable living conditions. Loving kindness and compassion are the paths to bring about peace to the world."
The Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom graduated with a Bachelor of Education from Sukhothai Thammathirat University, a Master of Buddhist Studies from Mahachulalongkornrajavidyalaya University and the ninth level of formal Buddhist ecclesiastical study from Wat Bowonniwet Vihara, Royal Buddhist monastery.
The Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom has dedicated his teaching of Applied Buddhism through his lectures, teaching and books; the most widely known of which is "Dhamma with Wings". He has written more than 200 titles, many of which have been translated into other languages, such as English, French, Chinese, Korean, Indonesian Bahasa, Dutch, Italian and Spanish.
He founded the Vimuttayalaya Institute to advocate for world peace through education and humanitarian work. He is committed to unifying others to bring about peace, prosperity and compassion to the world through the concept of "We are One, We are World".
For his dedication in promoting peace and social development and leading organisations in both Thailand and across the world, he was presented with at least 45 titles and awards including honorary doctoral degrees from five universities.
In 2019, His Majesty the King granted the honorary ecclesiastical title, Phra Medhivajirodom, a fitting tribute to the Venerable's dedication to bring peace and compassion to the world. © Photo courtesy of the Vimuttayalaya Foundation Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom walked with an elderly refugee and Praya Lundberg, UNHCR Thailand's Goodwill Ambassador, during his visit to Tham Hin temporary shelter in Thailand. © UNHCR/Thanasade Tantiwarodom Venerable visited a school supported by UNHCR in Malaysia. © UNHCR "Buddhism and Humanitarianism in Asia", under the auspices of UNHCR and the Vimuttayalaya Foundation, convened more than 200 Buddhist monks from different 13 countries to strengthen ties between Buddhism and humanitarian work. © Photo courtesy of the Vimuttayalaya Foundation A Rohingya refugee living in Kuala Lumpur had a meaningful dialogue with the Venerable. © UNHCR/Chayanon Panyathiraphong Venerable Phra Medhivajirodom at the opening ceremony of "Art for Refugees Exhibition 2". © UNHCR/Panuvat Eurchananon