With its worldwide network of volunteers, The Art of Living has been able to immediately respond to disasters anywhere in the world; providing physical and mental relief as well as material help. Through this network, The Art of Living has established itself as one of the vital providers of disaster rehabilitation programs the world over.From extensive relief and rehabilitation work in tsunami-affected areas to earthquake relief in Gujarat, volunteers from The Art of Living have gone beyond concern for their own safety to tend to the mental, emotional and material needs of natural or man-made disaster victims.The Art of Living, along with its sister organisations, The International Association for Human Values (IAHV) and Vyakti Vikas Kendra India (VVKI), has taken upon itself the responsibility of healing societies affected by violence, and other natural disasters. Guided by Sri Sri, an effective and dynamic three-stage model for responding to emergency disasters has been developed.
Immediate Material Aid And Service
The Art of Living provides emergency services and material aid in the aftermath of disasters. These include food, clothes, medicine and shelter. Doctors, counsellors and other physical and mental health experts form an integral part of such immediate relief efforts.
Near-Term Trauma Relief
For survivors of disasters, who have experienced severe physical and emotional trauma, material help alone is not sufficient. Alleviating the trauma and helping people to reclaim their lives is essential. A study on The Art of Living Trauma Relief Programs which were delivered to large groups of South-East Asian tsunami survivors showed significant relief from post-traumatic stress disorder in only four days.
True relief can only happen when disaster survivors are completely rehabilitated - physically and emotionally, on both a personal and societal level. People also need to have a sustainable means of earning their livelihood. To achieve this, our volunteers work in villages and with local communities, building homes, sanitation systems, roads, schools, vocational training centers and other necessary infrastructure.
A Revolution for EducationFree School Education Program
Imagine a world in which children from rural areas, tribal areas and slums are able to receive free school education. Well, imagine no more. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has set up more than 117 free schools in the tribal and rural belts of India where child labour and poverty are widespread. Every year 10,000 children benefit from the education imparted by the free school. Children are not only provided with free education but also skills which will enable them to go forward in life.117 free schoolsTribal, rural and slum12,639 children benefitted
Our schools provide free, value-based education in a stress-free, student friendly environment that:ā€¢ Enables students to discover their inner talents and to blossom to their fullest potentialā€¢ Broadens the vision while deepening the cultural roots of the students, by enabling them to appreciate the cultural heritage of their own country and yet to have a global vision.
The Art of Living's free schools are located in various rural, tribal and slum areas across India. Each school has its own set of challenges based on the geographical and cultural set-up of the land and its people.Some areas are extremely remote, surrounded by forests and no roads or electricity. In some of the places, the children are more familiar with guns than soap! The need to impress upon them that education and schooling is the means towards a better future is imperative.In rural areas which are more accessible, parents prefer to send their children as domestic helpers or to the farms to earn a few rupees, rather than give them with an education. This is especially true for young girls.. It is common practice in villages that when a girl turns 14 she gets married, and by age 20 has children. She has no education behind her, no money, no self-confidence and no self-esteem.Slums have their own set of challenges. Located in the hearts of cities, the disparity between the middle-class urban population and slum dwellers makes a constant impression on young minds. Lack of availability of free education forces them to look for other means to earn a quick buck. Drugs, violence, alcohol and tobacco are easier to come by than books.This shows how desperately education is needed in these areas, to ensure the future of these children and of the wider community.The Art of Living volunteers, inspired by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar have laid the foundation and created the infrastructure to facilitate this vision of free education to children in these areas. Starting from awareness campaigns to providing free transportation, uniforms, mid-day meals, books and accessories, to building free schools in the remotest of areas. A revolution has begun - a revolution in school education!
Holistic life through 5H Program (Homes, Healthcare, Hygiene, Human values and Harmony in diversity)
The 5H program aims at ensuring that every rural area/village has Homes for the homeless, Healthcare, Hygiene, Human Values and Harmony in diversity. Set up in 1997, 5H program acts as a catalyst for social transformation. The program aims to eradicate poverty, misery, disease and to ensure peace and harmony in rural and tribal areas worldwide.Young people from the local community undergo the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP). This gives them the skills, motivation and ability to initiate and lead service projects in their own villages based on local needs.Only a strong spiritual foundation brings self-esteem and self-confidence that is unshakeable. It is this combination of spirituality, as well as skills and leadership training that ensures the long-term effectiveness and sustainability of this program.The individuals and communities become self-reliant at the grassroots, both socially and economically, this ensures the effects of the program are long-term and sustainable.
- Reached 36,557 villages
- Trained 61,546 rural youth in YLTP
- Conducted 121,600 free stress-relief workshops benefiting more than 5,688,000 people
- Conducted 48,800 hygiene camps and 23,600 medical camps benefitting 2,582,500 people
- Planted more than 2,251,000 trees
- Built 1527 homes, 5670 toilets, 1036 bore-wells, 820 bio-gas plants
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Youth Leadership Training Program - (YLTP)
Building Dynamic Leaders for Tomorrow
Lakshminarayanan, from a small village in Kurnool district, Andhra Pradesh, was once on the verge of suicide. Only in his early 20s, he thought his problems were unprecedented and that the only way to be free of them was to be free of the world. Luckily for him, someone sent him to do the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP) at The Art of Living International center in Bangalore. Ten days later, he says, his life changedThe Youth leadership training program was established in August 1999. This program has a unique syllabus. Not only does the Youth Leadership Training Program focus on personal development and communication skills. Through stress-reducing breathing techniques, individuals find inner peace and communities to come together in a spirit of service. Participants are inspired to volunteer for rural projects, and the fruits of the seeds sown in the classroom can be experienceded by the community as a whole.
YLTP - India
- Trained over 61,546 rural youths
- Reached out to more than 36,557 villages
- Planted over 2.2 million treesTrained over 6000 people in organic farming
Prison SMART Program
Prison ProgramWhat is the Prison SMART Program?
"If people get sick, we bring them to the hospital and give them the right medicines so that they get better. If people's behavior is sick, we bring them to the prison, but we forget the medicines." - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
The mission of the Prison SMART Program is to make a life-transforming difference in all people working in, or incarcerated within, the criminal justice system. Prison SMART teaches skills that reduce stress, heal trauma, and provides practical knowledge of how to handle negative emotions in order to live to one's highest potential and contribute to society in a positive way.
The basic premise of the program is that no individual is really 'bad' but takes to crime because of stressors in their environment and surroundings. Stress is a common factor that affects everyone and the inability to effectively deal with these stressors is the root cause of all problems.
EMPOWERING WOMEN SOCIALLY AND ECONOMICALLY
The Art of Living programs provide a solid spiritual foundation that nurtures the inner strength, creativity and self-esteem of women from all walks of life. With this foundation, women are able to go out into the world, prepared to handle any challenge with skills, confidence and grace. They come to the forefront, where they become agents of peace and positive social change for themselves, their families, other women, and their society.
The Art of Living, with its foundation in spirituality, has nurtured a deep respect for our planet in thousands of people around the world. The earth may be made up of rocks, sand and water, but spirituality can help us to perceive our planet as a living vibrant entity, responding to our care and attention.Inspired by the vision of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and moving together as a team, volunteers from around the world have initiated several environmental projects: Large scale tree plantations through Mission Green Earth; water conservation and protection including cleaning polluted rivers; and zero-budget chemical-free farming which support poorer farmers to farm to farm in a way which is both economically and organically sound.The Art of Living also recognizes that to nurture and ensure future conservation of nature, it is necessary that these values be inculcated in young minds at home and at school. Awareness programs for young people and children (called 'Deepening Roots, Broadening Vision') also form an important and integral part of this long-term program.
Since its inception in 1981, The Art of Living's founder, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been engaged in a peace mission. Here, in The Art of Living, spirituality gives strength and responsibility to serve society. The passion and energy stem from the realization of the need for peace around the world. The force is driven by Sri Sri's vision of a stress-free and violence-free world, and hence the urgent need for an Action for Peace.War or any other kind of disaster leaves behind a population that is constantly living in fear, anxiety and a sense of betrayal. There is an intense feeling of hatred and revenge inside them. The Art of Living, in its pursuit of Action for Peace, conducts special courses to release all these stresses and view life with a fresh, rejuvenated perspective. The perpetrators and victims are both treated with equal compassion. Action for Peace aims to bring people from diverse backgrounds to live together in harmony.
Sri Sri has played the role of a peace mediator for countries in a deadlock. By bringing together conflicting parties on the negotiating table, these have defused violent situations. The Art of Living also brings together people of different faiths and cultures, to promote inter-faith harmony.
"Stress and tension are the root cause of violence," says Sri Sri. When stress is released from the system, peace results in the mind, and human values such as cooperation, responsibility, friendliness and a sense of belongingness naturally develop. This understanding galvanizes our trauma relief workshops in times of disasters and war. War victims experience removal of fear, anxiety and betrayal. As a sense of inner peace prevails, feelings of hatred and revenge towards the perpetrators of violence, are removed. Special courses are also held for perpetrators of violence, so that they view society from a larger vision. This has transformed terrorists and militants who have given up the path of violence.
The Art of Living promotes a sense of belongingness among thousands of people across the globe. This has brought together people of diverse backgrounds, reduced prejudices and created harmonious understanding between people of different nations.
For more Info about the Humanitarian projects visit:www.artofliving.org/disaster-relief-home