Every disaster whether natural or human-made and its specific geographical location, poses its unique set of challenges. Through our global network of volunteers, The Art of Living and our partner organization, The International Association for Human Values (IAHV), has been able to respond swiftly to natural and human-made disasters in different parts of the world. As a result, today the two organizations have established themselves as vital providers of, both, short term and long term disaster rehabilitation programs in India and in many countries around the world.
In India alone, we have mobilized relief teams in all major disasters since 2001 and through our efforts brought relief to 150,000 lives.
Unless the trauma is released, food and medicines will not work. People cannot eat or sleep because their mind is full of the terrible tragedy that has befallen them. With a healing touch, support, and a vision for the future, disaster victims are able to reclaim their lives.Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
When disaster strikes, our work starts by providing immediate material aid and care. These emergency services provide food, clothes, medicine, and shelter. Doctors, counselors and other physical and mental health experts form an integrated part of these immediate relief efforts.
For survivors of disasters, who have experienced severe physical and emotional trauma, material help alone is not sufficient. Alleviating trauma and helping people to reclaim their lives is essential. Our trauma relief programs teach participants how to process their emotions and stress through various breathing techniques and to shift their attention from the past towards possibilities for a future.
True relief can happen only when disaster survivors are completely rehabilitated – physically and emotionally. To support communities in developing sustainable solutions, our global volunteers work in villages and with local communities, building homes, sanitation systems, roads, schools, vocational training centers, and other necessary infrastructure.
Post-Hurricane Katrina, children find emotional relief
I’ve noticed that with each day, after completing the program, the kids are happier and their minds are so much settled. I have personally experienced the benefits of The Art of Living techniques during this experience, and found it very helpful in clearing my mind.
- Dr. Reginald Shaw, Director of GBL Inc. Youth Ministries, Hurricane Katrina survivor
Trauma-relief benefits tsunami survivors
At the time of the tsunami, many NGOs provided food and material needs but only a few like the IAHV-The Art of Living took care of the mental trauma. So far, over 35,000 people have benefited from the trauma-relief programs.
- Tenkasi S. Jawahar, District Collector, Nagapattinam, Tamil Nadu