About 50 yoga monks, nuns and 150 family “yogis” attended recently annual yoga and service conference in Germany. It was delightful occasion with meditation, various programs, duties and meals together. In order to help others to uplift their lives, we yogis – besides of giving meditation and yoga instructions – run schools, children’s homes, ecofarms and relief operations.
And believe me, helping others makes ones own life meaningful with gratitude. Just imagine if everyone on the earth would do service, this world would become a real paradise – and one day it will!
As we yogis are not interested of worldly accumulations, the operational costs incurred by AMURT (Ananda Marga Univeresal Relief Team) during relief operations are very low. At least 90% of all donations and grants go directly to project expenses. A huge project in Philippines, mother care in Nigeria and refugee relief project were presented in the German gathering.
In the Philippines AMURT has assisted on the relief effort in the aftermath of Super Typhoon Haiyan/Yolanda. After the emergency phase distribution of food and non-food items, AMURT embarked in a multi-sectoral reconstruction program.
The two most affected coastal villages on the Pacific Ocean, with 96% of houses destroyed or heavily damaged, were adopted for a housing/shelter program. Unlike other organizations, AMURT provided permanent iron-concrete houses to withstand typhoons in this disaster-prone area. The majority of the affected households were in the No-build zone and had to relocate to a safer site.
In close collaboration with the Department of Education, AMURT repaired and reconstructed 120 heavily / totally damaged school buildings in three municipalities. Likewise, all the day care centers of two municipalities were reconstructed, rehabilitated and newly equipped.
A major focus is livelihoods. With the collapse of the local coconut industry farmers had lost their means of income. AMURT has set up municipal, central model farms and distributed tools, seeds and fertilizers. 57 farmer groups were formed in two municipalities. The 3-years’ agricultural support program is going to end in June 2018. http://www.amurt.net/typhoon-relief-response-in-philippines/
AMURT model farming in Philippines
In Ebonyi State of Nigeria AMURT relief workers concentrate on uplifting the health condition and the position of mothers and children in remote rural areas, where the local and international volunteers have built and opened 7 health care centers. The local community owns and carries out responsibility of them, while AMURT educates and provides local nurses.
AMURT also educates family planning and health advisers for every village, runs water and sanitation projects and provides women economic empowerment. “I need 2 know” is a network of youth clubs where 24 youths work as educators.
Hundreds of people gather in village health rallies to increase health awareness and share inspiration to work happily together. The program combines cultural displays with educational dramas, family planning, malaria/AIDS prevention, and removing child malnutrition. Family planning song on video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8yZhGKK1Uc
During three months; Health Center had 557 deliveries, 1157 ante – natal first visits, 11 HIV positive cases and 4 maternal deaths. More statistics, http://www.anandamarga.org/pdf/news/africa/newsletters/WestAfricaJuly2017.pdf
Since 8 th of May violence has erupted in the area. AMURT has provided two ambulances for wounded and opened a temporary clinic. Malaria, diarrhea and malnutrition cases have increased. The dedicated doctors, lab scientists, midwives, health workers and drivers continue efforts to save lives during the crisis. Update Oct 2017; severe new attacks have caused great havoc in the area, volunteers are risking daily their own lives, while continuing relief operations.
AMURT yoga volunteers in Lebanon started their relief work since the early days of the Syrian crisis in order to help some of the 1 million Syrians refugees on upper Chouf district in Lebanon. This generous nation had limited capacity to deal with a refugee influx of this scale, 30% of its population.
At that time it was totally unknown how many Syrian refugees were in need of real help, as some had enough wealth to scope with themselves. After evaluating the situation AMURT volunteers started to distribute food, blankets, fuel, stoves, hygiene kits and medicines for the needy families in 39 villages. Other NGOs joined the effort by providing the materials, and also money ie for school dresses and transportation.
Dedicated Lebanese AMURT staff is gaining appreciation of Lebanese public as it provides non-formal education and public school support for both Lebanese and refugee children. AMURT team also opened a neohumanistic school and started providing trauma therapies for about 500 refugee children. Eventually they started educating also teachers in government schools to scope with special needs of traumatic children.
AMURT is the main international NGO in that area, and cooperates with school managers, government officials, NGOs and UN’s Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs. http://www.amurt.net/syria/
Update; In October 2017, AMURT Lebanon has received euro 1,7 million funding to continue further their humanitarian operations.
Earn & Learn and Youth Media Clubs engage youth with human rights awareness, language skills and gardening. Trees and vegetables planted on public lands are appreciated by the local Lebanese host community.
Video, strong girl, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tpRSj7HKqzg
Interview with refugee children in Lebanon
There is attraction between all objects. Attraction can move externally and internally. Attraction is useful only if we turn inwards, get attracted to the divine within. Meditation focuses inside. Everyone in the world is searching for happiness. Meditation is not only technique, but falling in love. Sweetness expressing itself from inside. Our love influences everything. Naturally then we will do good things.
Didi Annapurna, if you re-post my article link it here, thanks!
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