Youth Leadership Training
Program (YLTP)

55 Youth Travel to the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore, India for training

After Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s meeting with Iraqi Minister of Youth and Sports Jasim Muhammad Jafar in 2007, 55 youth from Baghdad, Basra, Suleimania, Karbala, Najaf and Kurdistan traveled to India for YLTP training.

The program included leadership training, trauma relief workshops and various platforms and forums for youth to discuss issues, share experiences and expertise, build networks and evolve common agendas. The participants also had opportunities to meet youth from other countries to develop an understanding for different viewpoints and discover the similarities they share with young people around the world.



Train the Trainer

Healing another begins with strengthening the individual The Art of Living Foundation conducted a train-the-trainer program for a group of 34 specially selected men and women from Iraq. Balancing theory with techniques and experiential learning, the 30day program consisted of a variety of modules centered on communication skills, self-development and trauma relief. A person must have a healthy body and mind, before they can heal the trauma of another.

Conducting this training program at the Art of Living International Centre in Bangalore, India, allowed participants to experience a fresh perspective outside of the pressures and stress of their lives in Iraq.

The program provided them with an opportunity to apply the principles they were exploring to adapt to a new cultural context and develop sensitivity and understanding for differing viewpoints - vital skills for initiating dialogue.

Holistic Health

These participants learned tools for enhancing their physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. They practiced breathing techniques and physical exercises that relieved stress and explored concepts such as:

  • What are the factors that affect a person’s mind?
  • How do you handle negative emotions?
  • How do you keep your mind in the present moment?

Communication Skills

The participants engaged in discussions and processes geared towards enhancing their perception and observation of situations and expressing their ideas. Public speaking and voice modulation exercises to improve their ability to confidently and concisely express ideas, while simultaneously developing a strong ethic of working together to realize common goals. This module focused on:

  • Interpersonal skills
  • Cross-cultural communication
  • Team building


The participants took part in processes that dealt with facing and overcoming personal limitations and barriers. Various aspects of leadership were studied and discussed, focusing on:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Women’s empowerment
  • Democracy

Agents of Change

The participants worked on exploring the needs of their communities and developing a long-term vision for their communities. The module centered on:

  • Crisis management/trauma relief
  • Social responsibility
  • Community development
  • Universal human values