The Himalayan Institute’s humanitarian mission is Yoga in Action—offering spiritually-grounded healing and transformation to the world. Our humanitarian projects serve impoverished communities through rural empowerment and environmental regeneration. By putting yoga philosophy into practice, our programs are empowering communities globally with the knowledge and tools needed for a lasting social transformation at the grassroots level.
Every community has its own unique challenges and potentials. While incorporating these core values, we employ local talent and leadership to design, implement, and evaluate our projects, enabling us to offer innovative solutions that address chronic shortcomings with established community strengths.
Our projects focus on vocational training and micro-enterprise to provide individuals with the knowledge and tools they need to take charge of their own livelihoods. We connect local entrepreneurs with global markets, and, through education and job opportunities, empower individuals to become agents of change in their communities.
With our micro-enterprise business models, the jobs we create for a community also endow our projects with the financial support necessary to continue serving local needs. Financial self-sufficiency ensures that our global humanitarian mission will continue to expand for generations to come.
We take a holistic approach to community development: instead of narrowly applied band-aids, our multifaceted programs seek to address the root problems. By providing integrated solutions to challenges in the key areas of education, healthcare, and environmental regeneration, our humanitarian projects give rural communities a strong foundation for lasting transformation.
By providing integrated solutions to challenges in these three key areas, our humanitarian projects give rural communities a strong foundation for lasting transformation.
- Adult vocational and skills training empowerd individuals to earn a sustainable livelihood.
- Children’s educational scholarships provide youth the foundation to become tomorrow’s leaders.
- HI Total Health Centers pioneer holistic, integrative wellness through health products, services, and education tailored to the leading health issues for each community we serve.
- Total Health Centers integrate a range of holistic healing modalities that dovetail with existing health infrastructure, providing preventative healthcare, lifestyle counseling and public health awareness.
- Energy Farming: promotes sustainable farming, land management, and cultivation of medicinal and biofuel crops. Energy Farming programs offer training and outreach services to rural farmers seeking to restore ecological balance while earning a sustainable livelihood.
- Large-scale tree plantation to fight global warming and regenerate marginal wasteland around the world.
Legacy: A History of Humanitarian Service
Since its inception in 1971, the Himalayan Institute has undertaken numerous humanitarian projects around the world. Much of its early work focused on supporting schools, libraries, and hospitals in India and Nepal. Hallmarks in the Institute’s humanitarian service include the founding of Hansda Ashram in Nepal (1982); the Himalayan Institute Hospital Trust, Medical College, Nursing School and Rural Development Institute in Dehra Dun, India (1987); the India Earthquake Relief (1991-1992); and the Himalayan Institute Indian Chapter in Allahabad, India (1997). Other charitable services include scholarships for educational programs at the Institute’s headquarters.
Sacred Link—The Healing Revolution
In 2001, our humanitarian activities expanded with the launch of Sacred Link—the Healing Revolution, which united the Institute’s core mission of personal development with a vision of social and environmental renewal. With the goal of “Healing the Heart” and “Healing the Planet,” the Sacred Link initiatives included:
- Support for schools in underprivileged communities in India to fight illiteracy.
- Preservation of indigenous culture by sponsoring the translation of Sanskrit scriptures and support for traditional arts and crafts.
- Support for prison reform programs for forgotten women and children of the Indian prison system. For books on this subject, please see It’s Always Possible and Shadows in Cages.
- Biofuel development in southern India in conjunction with Roshini Biotech for reforestation, soil conservation, and rural economic development.
- BioVedic farming at the Himalayan Institute headquarters to reintroduce the Vedic method of organic farming, ayurvedic pharmacology and processing of herbs, and medicinal and spiritual applications of herbs.
- Fire Rituals (Yajnas) to heal and nurture the entire web of life.
- Akhanda Japas, prolonged group meditations open to all to create a peaceful collective consciousness.
Himalayan Institute Community Center
The Sacred Link initiatives for economic and educational development, energy farming, and rural empowerment have continued to unfold, developing into the Himalayan Institute Community Center model. The Community Center is now the main vehicle for the Institute’s humanitarian efforts abroad.