The RespAct! project aims to support and empower school communities to counter incidences of bullying in their own schools. Building on its partnership with the Council of Europe’s ‘No Hate’ initiative, AYUDH offers talks and workshops in schools across Europe to help to nurture a positive learning culture of respect, awareness and empathy.
RespAct! is championed by Lucia Rijker six-time world champion in boxing and kick-boxing and renowned self-empowerment coach. Lucia teamed up with AYUDH members including professionals in the fields of education, psychology and social work to research the psychology behind bullying, the unique traits of cyberbullying and comprehensive solutions. The outcome of their work involves a holistic, strategic approach engaging students, teachers and parents to create a school climate of mutual respect, tolerance and inclusion.
White C(r)ane Project
The White C(r)ane Project aims to help provide aids to the visually-impaired, particularly children and youth in developing countries. In 2014, at AYUDH’s 10th anniversary summit, Matthias Höfeld, a young AYUDH member from Germany, shared his vision with his peers. Blind since the age of 21, Matthias is supported by national health insurance, which provides him with the tools to make his daily life easier. Hearing about the difficult conditions of blind children in Kenya, where many of them do not even have walking canes, Matthias was inspired to launch this project to help make life easier for young blind people, one step at a time.
The white cane is a universal symbol of independence for blind people, enabling them to navigate their way in confidence and safety. With this project, AYUDH youth chose the symbol of a white crane to reflect the sense of hope and freedom that a cane can bring to the blind, like wings to a dove.
HOPE – Harps of Peace
Music therapy is a specialized science that has been used for centuries to enhance human capabilityand functioning through the applied use of musical influence on the brain. In neurological studies, music is one of the only sensory stimuli that is known to activate every area of the brain simultaneously. Music played on the harp has several unique healing properties.
The HOPE (Harps of Peace) program trains youth in therapeutic harp playing under the guidance of Christina Tourin, world-renowned music therapist and founder and director of the International Harp Therapy Program. Trained AYUDH practitioners then make visits to hospitals and care homes for the elderly to apply the healing benefits of music to mind, body and spirit. AYUDH HOPE practitioners are currently active in Greece, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden and Germany.
Food security is one of the most pressing and important challenges facing our generation today. The nexus of a rapidly increasing and migratory human population, environmental degradation and the exacerbating effects of climate change, the urgent need to guarantee the security and availability of a global food supply, while reducing the pressure on the Earth’s ecosystem, cannot be understated.
“GrowIn” is a green initiative designed to encourage youth to cultivate their own food, wherever they live. The aim is to grow healthy, organic, local food, reduce one’s carbon footprint and reconnect with Nature. Through a dedicated online platform and local training, youth are taught to grow vegetables in a city balcony, window shelf or garden. AYUDH also offers long-term applied permaculture and agricultural training at its headquarters in France and Germany.
IAM – Integrated Amrita Meditation Technique® is a powerful meditation technique created by Amma (Mata Amritanandamayi) to help people find fulfillment in all aspects of life. This meditation refines one’s mind, bringing practitioners greater clarity and insight, opening channels of creativity and deepening one’s sense of awareness throughout the day. The practice also increases one’s energy and helps alleviate tension, improving both mental and physical health. IAM for Youth is offered every year at AYUDH’s Youth Summits, and classes are offered around Europe frequently.