Where hope blossoms

Two homes for children in Sri Lanka, a girls home in Batticaloa and a boys home in Wellawaya, are seeking support. It takes just $2 a day to support the needs of one child in these homes!

Our vision is to make these homes self-supporting and extend their services to support many more children. These homes plan to leverage the land and resources available on campus to help improve the facilities. Eventually these homes aspire to become centres of excellence and hubs of community support, education, health, welfare, self-sufficiency and empowerment so they can help to rebuild the shattered communities around them.

The story

The prolonged and bloody civil war in Sri Lanka and the tsunami left nearly a hundred thousand people dead and millions displaced. The island nation continues to suffer the after-effects of the conflict — social and societal breakdown, poverty and trauma. And, as is often the case in violent conflicts, many Sri Lankan children have had to bear the consequences, leading to loss of parental support. 

The Art of Living, an international non-profit organization whose guiding principle is a stress-free, violence-free society, has been active in the country, providing relief and support to communities. The organization runs two homes that provide residential care to children, in Batticaloa and Wellawaya. Both the homes are approved and monitored by the Sri Lankan government.

Children begin a new life in an atmosphere filled with peace and joy in these homes. The homes are not just a place to stay and a source of nurturing for the children, they are also a provider of remedial learning, life skills coaching and uplifting yoga, and meditations. Children are encouraged to support each other and help in the daily chores around the home, and also to learn useful vocational skills such as computers and English.

Currently, the homes are serving 36 girls and 26 boys and are seeking your help to continue making a difference in their lives. It takes around two dollars a day to cover the operational costs for one child ($60 per month for a child), supporting their education and living expenses covering food, stay, school uniforms and tuition classes.

Supporting donations

The International Association of Human Values (IAHV), a sister organization of The Art of Living foundation, has supported this initiative from inception by seeking funds from Unibanco to cover the aftermath of the Tsunami. IAHV continues to provide a framework for accepting donations for the homes, too. Donations made through IAHV are tax-deductible in the United States.

Other ways to support

Both the homes at Wellawaya and Batticaloa have great potential to be self-sustaining. While boys’ home at Wellawaya has a gigantic auditorium that can be let out to raise funds, girls’ home at Batticaloa has 10 acres of land available for farming. Donations as a single amount towards these infrastructure projects will help the homes become self-sustaining in the long run. Below are a few infrastructure projects that we aspire to support at each of these locations.

At Wellawaya Boys Home

  1. Renovation of roof of auditorium that can be let out to raise funds
  2. Renovation of roof of the living room
  3. Renovation of kitchen
  4. Raising a compound wall for safety and security of children

At Batticaloa Home

  1. Renovation of living rooms of guests
  2. Renovation of main seminar hall, toilets
  3. Capital to take up farming activities in the 10 acres of land available

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Women’s Empowerment

Women’s Empowerment seeks to advance the role of women, strengthening and empowering them on the individual and collective level to foster human values, sustain peace, and develop families, communities and societies around the world.

“The role of women in the development of society is of utmost importance. In fact, it is the only thing that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious, or otherwise. Women are the backbone of society.” – Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, IAHV Founder

IAHV’s Women’s Empowerment programs promote women as key enablers of peace and stability through leadership, education, and community partnerships. Using a holistic approach to transforming lives, the program establishes clarity of mind, calm focus, and centeredness as the foundation of leadership. Women and men who have participated are committed to their personal and community responsibility to promote and protect women and enable them as catalysts for change addressing key issues such as education, health, employment, political representation, protection of human and legal rights and service delivery. The Women’s Empowerment program has innovative educational initiatives including:

Al Azhar Program, Iraq

Al Azhar Program mobilizes and supports Iraqi national and community leaders in launching initiatives that promote and protect Iraqi women. The program aims to strengthen Iraqi families and civil society by advancing Iraqi women’s leadership and eliminating gender-based violence on a local and national level. This program draws support from all levels of the community. National Taskforce Members underwent a transformational leadership training, team building, and visioning program which resulted in a National Action Plan to counter gender-based violence, emphasize women’s role throughout the policy development process, provide legal assistance to women victims of violence, find peaceful solutions to conflict, and elevate women into leadership positions. To help women survivors of violence, Life Skills Training and vocational training are taught to women community members. Through community partnerships and the mixed-gendered National Taskforce, the program demonstrates the unique role women leaders can have at both a national and local level to advance peace and the status of women in Iraq.

Advancing Career Women Project, Iraq

Advancing Career Women Project despite relatively strong female workforce participation in the 1960s and 1970s, certain traditional-minded elements of Iraqi society retain the attitude that women should work in the household and men work outside of the home; this mindset results in a limited number of Iraqi women entering into the workforce or obtaining leadership roles once in the workforce. This project aims increase the financial security of Iraqi women, promote them within the industries where they work, and encourage their participation in the rebuilding of the Iraqi economy. Partnered with IAHV-Jordan and the University of Jordan, IAHV seeks to enhance the skills of 400 Iraqi women private sector banking, aviation and hospitality in Baghdad and Kurdistan through accredited academic programming. Participants, with the support of their employers, will receive 200 hours of concentrated academic training in their industry from the University of Jordan with the objective of increasing their knowledge in their field and leadership skills that will earn them promotions and salary increases in their place of work.

International Women’s Conference

The International Women’s Conference (IWC) is a forum that aims to promote women as agents of peace, development and ethical leadership. More than 3,000 women from 40-80 countries have participated in the bi-annual events in Bangalore India since the Conference series was first launched in 2005. Creating connectivity between women leaders and unsung heroines, IWC provides a horizontal platform that dissolves traditional barriers between people and shines a spotlight on women who selflessly serve the world through grassroots activism, entrepreneurship, public policy and spiritual knowledge. Through partnerships with the Art of Living Foundation, UNIFEM, and the World Bank Institute, IWC has created a global network bringing together women leaders in government, multilateral organizations, the private and non-governmental sectors. IWC led to the education of more than 4,300 rural girls across India for a holistic K-12 education through scholarships since 2005, launched a national campaign against female feticide, advanced leadership through training that integrates meditation and yoga to harness the power of a stress-free mind and spiritual wisdom, and honors traditional art and culture from around the world.

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Light a Home

Light a Home is a rural electrification initiative which provides subsidized alternative energy in places where grids are not available.

Light a Home aims to bring clean and affordable lighting to 300 million people in India living in 78 million rural households who do not have access to electricity. The initiative seeks to provide high-quality and cost effective solar lanterns, home lighting systems and solar cookers, disseminated through solar centers across India. The units are operated and managed by a local entrepreneur trained under the initiative.

 

The Light a Home campaign is making a concerted effort towards addressing these critical issues to enable energy access for all by providing clean lighting to billions that are at the bottom of the pyramid, and has adopted a localized, bottom-up approach.

 

Each solar lantern and home lighting system in its life of 10 years replaces about 500-600 litres of kerosene, mitigating about 1.5 tons of CO2.

 

Service Management & Training Rural Solar Engineers

As a part of providing service, maintenance and installation facilities for solar products we will be creating rural solar hubs in each village/districts where installation happens. Youth from the respective villages will be identified and provided with training in solar lantern/home light system assembling, installation and repair. The objective of this program will be to provide adequate service facilities for the systems being distributed in the respective villages and to enable rural youth to earn livelihood in their village by taking initiatives that will create better infrastructural, economic and educational facilities in rural India.

Your Donations at Work

$55 = One solar lantern
$500 = One solar battery charging station that provides light to 10 homes
$6000 = One Micro Solar Grid (uninterrupted power to 50 homes in a village)

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