AYUDH: UK Youth Activities
One World One Home
Dates: 17-24 July 2016
Venue: MA Centre Germany, near Frankfurt
This year's European AYUDH Youth Initiative, ‘One World, One Home’, is again taking place at the MA Centre in Germany, near Frankfurt, and is open to youth between the ages of 15 and 30. Youth, as well as people over the age of 30, are welcome as volunteers to support the initiative. Join 250 young people from 25 countries for an amazing week of learning, inspiration and exchange. The main theme of the summit is how we can create a better home - for ourselves and others, while caring for our shared home, planet earth.
Participation fee and financial support The participation fee for the whole week is 120 Euro and includes accommodation and vegetarian food (a 20% refund of travel costs for their main means of transportation (car, bus, train or plane) available. There are additional support schemes for youth with financial challenges. Apply now to be part of this unforgettable experience. For more information visit www.ayudh.eu or contact Kiashini Sriharan on firstname.lastname@example.org.
AYUDH Youth Summer Retreat in Germany: Report
Kiashini Sriharan writes: I have just returned from a hugely enriching week at the 11th International Youth Retreat at the MA Centre in Germany. I was joined by three others from the UK and more than 200 other youth from 20 different countries including Thailand, Costa Rica and Czech Republic.
To kick off the week we visited a local school that has a problem of bullying, in particular cyber bullying and carried out the RespAct project. All countries presented a short acting piece on bullying and respect to the children. RespAct workshop was also run during the week designed by Ayudh for the school to help combat this problem.
The speakers were truly inspirational this year. One of my favourites was Manish Pandey, writer and director, known for the film 'Senna'. We were throughly entertained and his insights into the film industry were remarkably interesting. Rabbi Shai Piron spoke of his revolutionary plans for education systems and even taught us a song in Hebrew. Boxing legend and star of Million Dollar Baby, Lucia Rijker reminded us not to make our obstacles our goals. Other talks from Br shubamrita and Br deepamrita focused on this years theme of 'together we can'.
This year the camp used the newly built hall where Amma will hold one of her German programmes this autumn. Due to the growth of participants the youth filled the hall spectacularly, ending the week with a dynamic talent show 'Odenworld'. The local community was invited and there was a set from the school band, where the RespAct project happened and also a youth orchestra. There was a huge variety of other performances such as a traditional Basque Country dance, a rendition of the popular song 'Happy' and of course Br. Shubamrita ending the night with an unforgettable Mata Rani.
I thoroughly enjoyed this year and feel inspired to fuel more AYUDH activities and grow in numbers in the coming year. I hope many more youth can join us from the UK next year and TOGETHER WE CAN! email@example.com.
“Awareness in Action!”
– The 10th European AYUDH Youth Initiative
The 10th European AYUDH Youth Initiative “Awareness in Action” was an overwhelming success. Nearly 300 youth between the ages of 15 and 30 years gathered from 13th – 20th July 2014 at M.A. Center Germany, Brombachtal.
For the first time participants from Brasil, Turkey, Quatar and Russia took part in the initiative, making it a total of 23 nationalities present.
The general theme of the initiative was how to use awareness as a tool to develop more health in our body, mind, social networks and the ecosystem of our planet.
Visit to Strasbourg
To commemorate the 10th anniversary of AYUDH in Europe, the youth visited the EU Parliament in Strasbourg on July 17th. In collaboration with the Parliament AYUDH organized a conference, entitled “Strengthening Europe through Youth Empowerment”. The event highlighted the success of AYUDH in implementing the EU’s youth strategy, specifically through the ‘youth in action’ programme of the European Commission, which has supported AYUDH since 2007. [link]
Keynote speaker was Swami Amritaswarupananda, Vice Chairman, MA Math. Other speakers were Mr. Frank Engel, Member of European Parliament from Luxembourg, Ms. Deirdre Clune, Member of European Parliament from Ireland, Mr. Miltiadis Kyrkos, Member of European Parliament from Greece and Ms. Martine Reicherts, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship. AYUDH members also presented a statement on youth strategies and development, which was the result of debates and dialogue between the youth during the days before the conference.
After the event the youth went to the city center of Strasbourg to do a flash mob, conveying the ideals of AYUDH through song and dance.
Another highlight of the week was the talk, question & answer session and bhajans led by Swami Amritaswarupananda, Vice Chairman of Mata Amritanandamayi Math, at M.A. Center on July 16th. His talk touched upon a large variety of subjects highlighting how young people can develop more awareness in their thoughts, emotions and personal relationships. The other speakers were Br. Shubamrita Chaitanya, Bri. Dipamrita Chaitanya and Mr. Jani Toivola (Member of Parliament from Finland).
During one year prior to the youth summit, AYUDH members across Europe had met to discuss which topics they feel deserve more awareness in European society. They identified ten categories, including healthy nutrition, moderate lifestyle, participation in society and ecological sustainability. In multinational working groups these topics were explored in detail, with the assistance of a professional from the respective field. Based on these discussions the youth developed concrete action plans, which will be implemented as follow-up projects in their respective home countries.
To deepen the topic of ‘awareness’ in practical and creative ways, participants could choose from 16 workshops: Archery, Kung-Fu, Improv-Acting, Permaculture, Photography, Artwork, Dance, Singing, Self-Awareness through interaction with horses, Sensitive Living, Tai-Chi, IAM-Meditation for youth, Yoga, InDeed sustainability campaign for school children and Clowning.
For the second time, an exclusive workshop in therapeutic harp playing was led by Christina Tourin, an internationally renowned harp player and pioneer in harp-therapy. In continuation to the workshop, six youth got enrolled in AYUDH’s HOPE (Harps Of PEace) project. Under this project they will receive a free harp and online lessons for the duration of one year. Together with their local AYUDH groups they can visit elder care homes and apply the healing benefits of music to body and spirit.
Upon the invitation of the city of Michelstadt, AYUDH went to a new permaculture demonstration site in Michelstadt to create six large vegetable beds and plant five walnut trees, representing the five continents. With a lot of joy and enthusiasm the youth also prepared beds for 23 fruit-trees, symbolic for the 23 nationalities present at the summit. Since the current season is not conducive to the planting of fruit trees, they will be planted during Amma’s visit to M.A. Center Germany later this year. Major Stefan Kelbert welcomed the youth to Michelstadt and expressed his gratitude and admiration for the successful collaboration between AYUDH and the city of Michelstadt over the past years.
As a new social outreach project the AYUDH members decided to sponsor 200 sticks for a school for blind children in Thika, Kenya. As follow-up projects in their respective home countries the youth will organize fundraising events to raise donations for this cause. The ultimate goal of AYUDH is to extend the sponsorship program to all five existing schools for blind children in Kenya.
Daily sessions in mediation, singing, tai chi and yoga offered the youth an opportunity to deepen their self-awareness and find more inner balance and inspiration.
As one of the EU’s 2014 priorities is ‘sports and healthy lifestyles’ the youth organized a sports tournament including soccer, volleyball, acrobatics, runnig, dance and archery.
Directed by Jani Toivola, the youth also shot a music video clip to the new AYUDH song “Be the First”. Each workshop group choreographed a scene in the video to display the diversity of activities during the summit.
Music Video: “be the first”
To celebrate the 10th anniversary of AYUDH a talent show was organized on July 19th, where the youth showed their skills in performing arts. It was a true celebration of the talent, cultural diversity and joy of AYUDH.
On July 20, Mr. Willi Kredel, the Mayor of Brombachtal, attended the summit and handed over certificates of participation to all those present. This AYUDH summit reached a new dimension of intercultural exchange, personal empowerment and project development.
Youth in Action
For the eight time the AYUDH youth initiative has been recognized by the European Union’s ‘Youth in Action’ programme. Over the years, AYUDH has been acknowledged as one of the best youth projects in Germany, which inspires a sense of active citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and involves them in shaping the Union’s future.
The initiative included youth from: Germany, Austria, Switzerland, Spain, Portugal, Italy, France, the Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Finland, Ireland, Greece, Slovenia, India, USA, Canada, Turkey, Brasil, Quatar, Sweden, Czech Republic, Russia.
The next AYUDH summit will take place at M.A. Center Germany in July 2015. If you are interested to join, subscribe to our newsletter to be informed about the application process.
Find out more at: http://www.ayudh.eu
AYUDH Colour the World with Love
More than 200 young people from 21 countries came together at the MA Centre in Germany to particpate in talks, workshops and other activities to help build a vision for their futures. Click here to read more.
For a report by UK participant, Beth Sadler, and more photos, click here.
InDeed Campaign for Kids
Ongoing meetings planned
The InDeed Campaign for Kids will be AYUDH’s next long-term project. This environmental campaign has been developed in the frame of a youth initiative funded by the Youth in Action Programme of the European Commission (DG Education and Culture). The project will enable AYUDH members to visit schools and teach children how to save water, protect biodiversity and grow healthy, organic food.
InDeed for Kids aims to help children between 8 and 12 to become aware of environmental issues. Through various workshops, children will deepen their knowledge of the environment and learn about the ways in which they can contribute to its preservation in their day-to-day lives.
We will meet on 14 September in Sunningdale to discuss the project and ways in which it can be implemented. The exact timetable for the day will be finalised closer to the time when we have a clearer picture of who is coming. This will be the first of a number of meetings that will take place in order to get the InDeed Campaign for Kids established in the UK.
Those aged between 15 and 30 are welcome to come and learn about the project and share their ideas. In the afternoon there will also be opportunities to help out in the Sunningdale garden. To get involved, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Click on the links for more information about the InDeed Campaign and AYUDH.
AYUDH Learn About Healing Power of Nature
On Saturday, 9 April members of AYUDH and Green Friends enjoyed a spiritually
healthy and educational herbal walk in Richmond, led by Dolly Garton, a fully
trained, qualified and registered practioner in Western Herbal Medicine. Beginning
outside Revolution, the walk took us approximately 2.5 kilometres up river towards
Richmond Park, where we enjoyed a potluck picnic and the chance to share our
spiritual stories and hopes for the future.
During the walk we were able to appreciate the intricate properties and uses of
different plants and herbs, many of which we might have previously dismissed or
taken for granted. The humble Nettle, for example, though commonly avoided, can be
used in the treatment of anaemia, asthma, arthritis and eczema, whilst the Dandelion,
though often considered a weed, is a fantastic way of helping the body ‘detox’. Other
useful herbs we encountered along the way included Mugwort, which can be used to
purify the air, Yarrow, which can be used to improve circulation, and Cleavers, which
can be used to clean out your lymphatics.
Although one might think that such herbs and plants are the domain of the
Countryside, the walk truly highlighted the ubiquity of Nature. Not only did we learn
just how extraordinary the ordinary can be, but also that this bounty lies just on our
doorsteps. Nature has all the answers if you know where to look!
For more information on AYUDH’s activities please contact Neela Bhurtun
email@example.com or Vivek Bhurtun firstname.lastname@example.org.