16-ayudh-f

One World, One Home – AYUDH’s 12th European Youth Summit

AYUDH’s 12th annual European Youth Summit “One World. One Home” took place from 16th-24th July at the MA Center in Brombachtal near Frankfurt, Germany. Playing host to 300 young people from over 27 countries, the summit provided a unique platform for personal development, intercultural dialogue and creative expression. Each day was dedicated to a different aspect of home: diversity, inclusion, connection, equality, self-transformation, sustainability, peace and a shared vision.

AYUDH holds that personal transformation lies at the heart of real change – in the world, and in us. In addition to the cultural, social, political and ecological perspectives, we also considered a spiritual dimension when addressing each daily topic of the summit. The teachings of our most beloved Amma formed an important part of this reflection.

Interactive Reflection Sessions

Each day had an extended interactive reflection sessions centred around inspirational and motivational talks from guest speakers.

Gopi Kallayil, Chief Brand Evangelist at Google opened the week with a lively session on moving from the internet to the inner-net, sharing techniques with the youth to balance their outer responsibilities while nurturing their inner lives. Offering practical tips such as focusing on the essential, doing one thing at a time, making gratitude lists and scheduling appointments with oneself, he also led morning yoga classes that he pioneered at Google’s headquarters.

Br. Shubamrita Chaitanya, one of the mentors of AYUDH Europe, talked to the youth about diversity and interdependence, the need to avoid harsh judgements, be more forgiving and broaden one’s understanding. “What we need is not judgment, what we need is understanding – which requires patience and love. As it grows, you include more and more people in your life. Inclusion is a mindset: the realization that everyone has something to contribute to the world and each person matters.”

Swami Amritaswarupananda, Vice Chairman of Mata Amritanandamayi Math, spoke about home as a place for self-transformation. He emphasized the need to move from a results-oriented society to an action-oriented society, to focus on good actions and to cultivate empathy. He shared a two-step process to develop one’s inner capacities: love yourself and accept others. He reiterated Amma’s message of compassion as the first step, and the last step, towards achieving the goal of self-transformation. “Pure love, pure compassion,” he said, “unites us all and creates the home we look for in the world.”

Empowering Youth through Gender Equality

On the day themed “Home as a place of equality”, AYUDH hosted a dynamic panel discussion Speakers included Bri. Dipamrita Chaitanya, Head of the Amma Center in France; Kristina Lunz, Mercator Fellow and Advisor to UN Women Germany; Lucia Rijker, world champion kickboxer and motivational coach; Vanessa Anyoti, Program Coordinator, YWCA Tanzania; Mandy Michaeli, Co-Executive Director of Israeli Gay Youth and Anja Stiefel, Swiss Olympic medallist.

 

One Humanity Symposium

“One Humanity”, a high-level symposium held at the historic Kloster Eberbach monastery in Eltville Am Rhein, Germany. Bringing together leading voices in the fields of politics, diplomacy, activism, spirituality and education.

In his keynote address, Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri urged leaders to listen to young people. “These young minds,” he said, “are the answer for all the challenges our world, our planet Earth, is facing today.” Bjørn Ihler, a young activist who survived the Utøya massacre, related his moving and powerful experience of confronting his attacker and his personal journey to forgiveness. He expressed appreciation for Amma’s message of love, saying, “I think we need to start here and build on what Amma does, to build rituals of love to counteract the politics of hate and fear that currently drive the world.”

Anne Brasseur, the official ambassador of the No Hate Speech Movement and former President of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, presented the rationale behind the No Hate campaign to protect European values.

 

OdenWorld

AYUDH’s popular multicultural festival ‘OdenWorld’ returned on the final night of the summit, showcasing the talent, creativity and cultural diversity of AYUDH participants right in the heart of Odenwald.The show included performances by the award-winning Israeli band The Ultras; Polish rapper Spinache; Finnish singer Kirsi Ranto, award-winning hip-hop dance troupe Diamond Breakers and the AYUDH band, led by Bruno Steffen, Marcus Bodenmann and Ekkehard Sassenhausen, as well as performances by AYUDH participants.

Workshops

One of the highlights of AYUDH’s European Youth Summits are the extensive number of diverse workshops which are offered to foster personal growth and transformation as well as offering practical training in leadership, change-making, mindfulness and sustainability. This year, AYUDH offered the largest selection of workshops to date, including Tai Chi, Acro Yoga, Integrated Amrita Meditation, Martial Arts and Movement workshops, Permaculture, Urban Gardening and Sustainability training, Drafting a Declaration and Lobbying for Impact, Documentary Filmmaking, Leadership and Public Speaking Skills, Rap, Singing, Drumming, and Irish dance, among many others. Workshop leaders and participants performed creative presentations of what they had learned during the ‘OdenWorld’ celebration on the final night of the summit.

“It is my first experience with AYUDH. The people here are wonderful, everyone is very open, friendly, respectful towards each other, and open-minded. I also really like the spiritual part: there’s more to life than what we see.” – ­Eva, 21, Netherlands

“AYUDH is a really good thing because it’s somewhere that everybody can find their place.” – ­Anaëlle, 20, France

“AYUDH has taught me that if there is one thing I can do to change the world, it is being nice to people. If everybody thinks about what they can give to others, the world would be a far better place.” – Caolan, 17, Ireland

AYUDH’s 12th European Youth Summit was carried out by M.A. Center Germany – Seminarzentrum Hof Herrenberg e.V., which was supported by the Council of Europe’s European Youth Foundation, SAP and Kloster Eberbach Foundation. The summit was carried out in partnership with the United Nations Inter-Agency-Network on Youth Development, the No Hate Speech Movement, the Lebenshilfe e.V. Offenburg and the German municipalities of Brombachtal and Michelstadt.

 

 

ayudh-unf

AYUDH participates in Human Rights Council Youth Forum at the UN

On 10 June 2016, seven AYUDH members from Switzerland, Germany, Denmark and Spain joined around 120 young leaders from all over the world gathered at the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland, to participate in a historic moment: For the first time, youth had the chance to formally voice their opinion in regard to different human rights issues by developing a series of recommendations. The declaration developed by the youth was presented during the 32nd session of the Human Rights Council (HRC) to UN Member States. The HRC is one of the most important international mechanisms for promoting and protecting human rights from all over the world. The HRC Youth Forum gave young leaders access to a platform that allowed them to discuss key human rights issues of importance.

ayudh-un1

The participants divided into different working groups representing some of the themes covered during the 32nd session of the HRC. The workshops covered a wide range of topics including Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights & HIV, Migration, Employment, Entrepreneurship & Economic Empowerment, Gender & Diversity, Innovation & Education, Countering Violent Extremism and Youth as Agents of Change. Each participant actively contributed by providing inputs for the final outcome document with recommendations on how young people wish to engage with the HRC. The final declaration was developed in collaboration with AYUDH and presented to the HRC.

ayudh-un2

As a result of these activities, the first steps towards a youth HRC platform will be established at the UN in Geneva.

ayudh-un3

IAM - AYUDH

National level trainers camp for AYUDH and IAM

A national level trainers camp was held in Amritapuri from Dec. 25th – 31st, 2015.  Participants from all over India came to become teachers of the Integrated Amrita Meditation (IAM) Technique and Amrita Yoga.  Individuals also learned how to lead youth groups and hold events under the Amrita Yuva Dharma Dhara (AYUDH) umbrella.

15-iam-ayudh

Swami Amritaswarupananda Puri inaugurated the camp and encouraged the trainees to lead spiritually centered lives and to carry forward the message of Sanatana Dharma with the light of Amma’s teachings.

The trainees were exposed to inspiring talks by senior monks of the Ashram. The talks, held in English, Malayalam, and Hindi, included topics such as The Importance of the Guru, Sanatana Dharma, and How to Have a Healthy Life with Natural Remedies. The sessions also focused on how science and spiritually can work hand in hand.

Dr. Vandana Balakrishnan, from the Amrita Institute of Medical Sciences (AIMS), gave insights into her scientific research done on the positive effects of Integrated Amrita Meditation.

A camp participant, Ranjana (from Uttarakhand) said, “I do not know how Amma managed to bring me here from the far flung Himalayas to the other end of the country. I now only want to become Her instrument.”

“I feel blessed to be part of this camp. I hope to regularly practice what I have learnt here and also be able to teach it to others,” said Nilesh (from Pune).

At the conclusion of the camp, participants shared their inspirations and thoughts on how they will now carry the light of IAM, Amrita Yoga and AYUDH, to all corners of the country.

– Dass

independence day 2015

India’s Independence Day celebrations by AYUDH

15 August 2015

AYUDH Amritapuri performed the play ‘Bharat Mata Puja 2015’ in the main hall, while Amma was giving darshan. This night play was in connection with India’s Independent day celebrations. The play was based on the un-sung heroes of the freedom struggle. After the 40 minutes of play, the hall reverberated with the chants of ‘Vande Mataram’ and ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

One girl dressed as Bharat Mata, took the National tri-colour flag to Amma which she accepted and waved with such joy and innocence of a child.

The youths also made an India map with lamps. This celebration of ‘Unity in Diversity’ could create respect and love the hearts for the Motherland.

Earlier in the day AYUDH also conducted Amalabharatam, a city cleaning program in Vallikkavu town.

– Das

 

 

 

 

respact

‘RespAct’ Project against Cyber Bullying

One of the main projects launched by AYUDH Europe during their 11th Youth Summit was the ‘RespAct’ project against (cyber) mobbing in schools. To ‘kick-start’ the initiative, on Monday 13th July, all 250 AYUDH members visited the Theodor Litt Schule, a middle school with 500 students in the town of Michelstadt in Germany. The school had recently reported a lot of cases of (cyber) mobbing and the faculty had been struggling to find a strategy to counteract this alarming development. AYUDH collaborated with the school and implemented the ‘RespAct’ project, aimed at nurturing a climate of respect, empathy and inclusion in the school. Over the past six months AYUDH members from the fields of psychology, education and social work had been working hard on this topic and a large survey with students and teachers was made to give a better understanding on how to address the problem in the most effective way.

respact

The ‘RespAct’-event at the school began with the performance of creative skits by the AYUDH country groups and local students, highlighting problems associated with bullying and possible solutions. Lucia Rijker, the six time World Kick Boxing Champion, gave a stunning speech on how the value of ‘respect’ has helped her excel in the professional world of sports as well as in her personal life. She stressed on three aspects of respect, which she considered essential in creating a positive climate in school: respect for oneself, respect for the other and respect for the community. As a statement against bullying, all students, teachers and AYUDH members gathered for a group photograph on the schoolyard, forming the letters ‘stop mobbing’ (mobbing is the German for ‘bullying.’)

It was a great opportunity for some of the migrant students to open up and relate to an international group of young people, and discuss their challenges of integration and finding a cultural identity. The project was received with much acclaim. The local media covered the event widely. Mr. Stephan Kelbert, Mayor of Michelstadt, expressed his thankfulness to AYUDH for launching the initiative.

– Das

AYUDH- together we can

“Together We Can” – AYUDH’s 11th European Union Youth Initiative

AYUDH Europe’s annual Youth Summit at M.A Center Germany was a grand event, marking the genesis of its second decade. The initiative is growing stronger in spirits and strength with each passing year. This year AYUDH saw nearly three hundred participants from twenty-three countries take part in the week long retreat, themed ‘Together We Can’. They were from Austria, Belgium, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, India, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Netherlands, Portugal, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, United Kingdom, Ukraine and USA.

The Youth Summit was packed with an a variety of events: Motivational talks, wide range of workshops, anti-cyber-bullying campaign, sports competitions, music video shooting, picnic and a spectacular music and dance show to conclude the week. Spiritual practices were offered every day, including meditation, devotional singing and yoga.

Inspiring Talks

Renowned personalities from various fields gave inspiring talks related to the theme ‘Together We Can.’Israel’s ex-minister for education and current member of parliament Rabbi Shai Moshe Piron led an interactive session with Adi Altschuler, a social activist from Israel, who was selected as a ‘Next Generation Leader’by TIME magazine. Adi related her story of founding the large youth movement ‘Krembo Wings’at age sixteen, opening thirty-five branches across the country with three thousand youth volunteers to interact and become friends with disabled children. She encouraged the youth to effect change in society by taking a leap of faith and follow their dreams and visions. Rabbi Shai Peron gave beautiful insights into the changes that need to come into the education system, and also surprised everyone by playing the guitar and teaching a Hebrew peace-song to the audience.

Manish Pandey (UK), writer of the Bafta winning documentary Senna, related the turning points of his life and by example captivated and motivated the audience. He highlighted how any successful project relies on the spirit of togetherness and contribution of all members involved.

Award-winning Italian filmmaker Marzia Mete presented her inspiring musical video ‘Motherless Child’which was themed around ‘finding a home’. She expressed her support and views on giving care to the homeless.

Lucia Rijker, six times Kickboxing and Boxing world-champion, attended the summit for the second time after 2011. She inspired all attendees with her speech and gave wonderful answers in the Q&A session that followed.

Bri. Dipamrita, leader of the NGO ‘Embracing the World France’gave an impactful speech on the current climatic changes and the urgent need to act together in order to avoid a global catastrophe.

To top it all, during the last couple of days Br. Shubamrita led incredible seminars and discussions. His interactive talks were based on the topics: “Building a Vision of Life,” and “Team Building.” After the talk on building the vision, a symbolic tree of life was placed on the stage and every participant was encouraged to write his or her personal dreams, as well as goals to be achieved by the AYUDH community, on a paper leaf and attach it to the tree.

 

Workshops

A large variety of workshops was offered by professionals from the respective fields: AYUDH Project Management, HOPE (Harps Of PEace -Therapeutic Harp Playing), Photography, African Drumming, Hip Hop Dance, Raw Vegan Lifestyle, Permaculture, AnanDao (Martial Arts), Self-Development through Interaction with Horses, IAM Meditation for Youth, Artwork and Thai Yoga.

The finale of the Summit was marked by a multicultural festival called ‘OdenWorld’, which was attended by six 600 hundred people from the surrounding towns as well as guests from different parts of Germany and abroad. The concept of the show was to combine AYUDH talents with local artists from the Odenwald region. District Coordinator Dietrich Kübler addressed the gathering and expressed his admiration for the good work of AYUDH and Amma. The entertainment included musical performances from the local school’s band and the African Drumming Band Bingoma. AYUDH’s contributions ranged from classical renditions to traditional dances from the Basque region to the AYUDH band performing their hit songs and a seemingly never-ending version of Mata Rani.

The highlight of the evening was the appearance of Dundu – the giant of light – a gigantic human figurate that is self-illumined. Standing as a symbol for the unity and oneness of all people, Dundu impressed the audience with a mesmerizing drama and then in an unforgettable dance, concluding with the theme song ‘One Heart.’

Like every year, the Mayor of Brombachtal, Willi Kredel, handed over certificates of participation to all AYUDH members. The initiative was also supported by the Municipalities of Michelstadt and Brombachtal, and the Foundation of the Sparkasse, Odenwald.

– Das

 

 

 

 

AYUDH grows organic food for good in Netherlands

AYUDH Netherlands took part in the the biggest volunteer event in the Netherlands, ‘NLdoet’. During the weekend Saturday, March 22, over 325.000 volunteers were active all over the Netherlands. For AYUDH it was a great opportunity to lend a hand.

ayudh1

This time AYUDH helped planting fruit trees and bushes in the fruit- and vegetable garden ‘Food for Good’. In this garden members of the community and people from vulnerable sections of society work together to grow vegetables and herbs. Part of the harvest goes to the people who help in the garden, the other part to the food bank. This way they provide the neighbourhood with healthy organic food.

ayudh2

AYUDH helped planting quince trees, medlars, white, red, and black currants, raspberry bushes, and preparing the soil in the greenhouse where they will plant cucumbers, tomatoes, paprikas and other vegetables.

10th European AYUDH Youth Initiative: Awareness in Action

Awareness in Action!

The 10th European AYUDH Youth Initiative, “Awareness in Action,” was an overwhelming success. Nearly 300 youth between the ages of 15 and 30 from nearly 23 countries gathered from 13th – 20th July 2014 at M.A. Center Germany, Brombachtal, to take part in the event. The general theme of the initiative was how to use awareness as a tool to develop better physical and mental health, as well as to improve the health of society and nature.

14ayudheu06

One of the highlights of the week-long program was the visit of Swami Amritaswarupananda, the Vice Chairman of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math, for the Youth Initiative. Swamiji’s talk, question-and-answer session and bhajans, held on July 16 at M.A. Center, was very well received by the youngsters. The other speakers were Br. Shubamrita Chaitanya, Bri. Dipamrita Chaitanya and Mr. Jani Toivola (Member of Parliament from Finland).

To commemorate the 10th anniversary of AYUDH in Europe, the youth visited the EU Parliament in Strasbourg on September 17th. The conference, titled “Strengthening Europe Through Youth Empowerment,” was a great success. The event highlighted the success of AYUDH in implementing the EU’s youth strategy, specifically through the “Youth in Action” program of the European Commission, which has supported AYUDH since 2007. 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.

To deepen the topic of “awareness” in practical and creative ways, participants could choose from 16 workshops: archery, kung-fu, acting, permaculture, photography, artwork, dance, singing, self-awareness through interaction with horses, sensitive living, tai-chi, IAM-Meditation for youth, yoga, In-Deed sustainability campaign for school children and clowning.

Christina Tourin, an internationally renowned harpist and pioneer in harp-therapy, led an exclusive workshop in therapeutic harp. In continuation with the workshop, six youth were 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 care homes for senior citizens 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 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 Germany later this year. Mr. Stefan Kelbert, honorable Mayor of Michelstadt, welcomed the youth and expressed his gratitude and admiration for the successful collaboration between AYUDH and the city of Michelstadt over the past years.

Daily sessions in mediation, bhajans, 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 lifestyle,” the youth organized a sports tournament including soccer, volleyball, acrobatics, running, 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. A talent show was organized on July 19th, wherein 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.

For one year leading up to the summit, AYUDH members across Europe had periodically met to discuss the topics they felt deserved more awareness in European society. They identified 10 categories, which included topics like nutrition, lifestyle, participation in society and ecological sustainability. These topics were explored in detail, with the assistance of professionals from the respective fields. Based on these discussions the youth developed concrete action plans, which will be implemented as follow-up projects in their respective home countries.

As a new social outreach project the AYUDH members decided to sponsor 200 sticks for a school for blind children in Thika, Kenya. The ultimate goal of AYUDH is to extend the sponsorship program to all five existing schools for blind children in Kenya.

For the eighth time, the AYUDH youth initiative has been recognized by the European Union’s “Youth in Action” program. 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.

– Dass

See more in pictures..

300 AYUDH members meet at European Parliament

EU Parliament, Strasbourg, France – 17 July 2014

Several Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) joined AYUDH Europe (Amrita Yuva Dharma Dhara), the youth wing of the Mata Amritanandamayi Math (MAM), for its 10th Anniversary Celebrations at the European Parliament at Strasbourg in France.

14ayudheu02

The event titled “Strengthening Europe through Youth Empowerment”, engaged nearly 300 young participants from 23 countries. Inspired by the life and teachings of Amma, AYUDH has reached out to thousands of young people across Europe during the last ten years with its programmes in intercultural exchange, voluntary service, sustainable development and leadership building.

The dignitaries who participated in the event included MEPs Frank Engel (Luxembourg), Deirdre Clune (Ireland), Miltiadis Kyrkos (Greece) and Jani Toivola (Finland) besides Martine Reicherts, European Commissioner for Justice, Fundamental Rights and Citizenship.

14ayudheu01

MAM Vice-Chairman Swami Amritaswarupananda, in his keynote address, emphasized on the importance to inculcate values in our educational system and ways of teaching. About the alarming increase in the rate of school dropouts, use of drugs, violence, abuse of nature and crime rates among youngsters, he cited examples from Europe and other parts of the world. “The main reason for these dangerous situation is that education is not valued,” he said. “Life itself is not valued and true awareness and action are not valued.”

Swami Amritswarupananda further elaborated on the point saying, the goal was to help young people understand their relationship with the world in which they live, nature and the law of the universe. “In a democratic society, each individual should be endowed with various talents and proficiencies. One among them is the inner capacity to deal with people from different cultures,” he noted. “Based on this value system, they should be able to take objective and impartial decisions. Democratic societies must therefore take an interest that such skills be encouraged.”

14ayudheu03

Ms Clune applauded all those who joined AYUDH movement. “I am sure you will carry the positive experiences from this for the rest of your life,” she said, and stressed on the certain measures taken by the EU on youth employment and ecological protection.

Mr Engel, who leads the Luxembourg delegation to the Parliament, said this continent which had been the home of war and destruction, now is a continent of peace and construction. “We have values that we cherish and the way to ensure that they are retained is through the youth carrying them ahead,” he said.

Martine Reicherts said a life in politics and a spiritual life are both possible. “Never go below your dignity. Keep up the values and don’t make it cheap,” she noted.

14ayudheu05

The AYUDH youth also presented a five-point statement requesting the European leaders to consider taking the following steps: incorporate participation in voluntary and community service into formal education through recognized academic credit or curriculum design; encourage young people to take up the protection of biodiversity and community farming through the provision of awards and grants; establish high-quality, accessible care dedicated to improving mental health and wellbeing of youth, with particular emphasis on enhancing emotional and spiritual intelligence; provide young people with learning environments which nurture and support holistic lifestyles and creative self-expression; implement proactive, innovative measures to address the issue of youth unemployment through job creation, education, investment and dialogue.

14ayudheu06

The event concluded with Swami Amritaswarupananda and Ms Reicherts taking questions from the youngsters. The focus was on different problems faced by youth in society today and their resolution.

Since 2007, AYUDH has been working closely with European Commission for Education and Culture under its ‘Youth in Action’ programme. The Commission selected AYUDH as ‘Best Practice Project’ in 2009 for ‘Reaching New Heights’, a musical on the challenges of young people in today’s world and in 2013 for the project ‘Our World. Our Vision. Our Future’, which focused on non-formal education of school children on ecological sustainability.

The event at the EU Parliament in Strasbourg is a part of a week long youth summit on the topic ‘Awareness in Action’, held in M.A. Center Germany (Frankfurt) from July 13 to 20.

AYUDH Portugal brings HOPE to care homes

During AYUDH’s 2013 youth summit in Germany “Our World, Our Vision, Our Future,” a group of young people were introduced to playing harp as a means of therapy. At the conclusion of the camp, two youth were awarded a harp with the idea that it would be used by them to play at care-homes in their country throughout the year. This is part of AYUDH’s new “HOPE—Harps of Peace” program, mentored by the world-renowned harpist and founder and director of the International Harp Therapy Program, Christina Tourin.

14portugal1

In March 2014, members of AYUDH visited two care-homes for elderly people in the Lisbon area in order to brighten up their day with the soothing harp sounds and their youthful vibrancy. They brought the harp, as well as some other instruments, including a guitar, hang drum.

At one nursing home, the group spent time speaking with some elderly ladies, getting to know them and listening to their stories. They visited many bedridden people who often get only one or two visitors a year, playing music, singing and talking. In one house, they were attended the birthday party of a lady who just turned 101.

14portugal2

One lady they visited had recently suffered a stroke. She could not move or talk. Blinking was her only means of communication. “As soon as she saw us, she opened her eyes wide, trying to see what all instruments we had brought,” recollects one of the AYUDH members. “As we played, she started moving her head, trying to somehow get up. Her mouth started to move a little and she made a little sound like, ‘Ah!’ It was an incredible moment for all of us! Even the staff of the care-home were amazed. We all felt such compassion and love in the room. Remembering it gives me a very warm feeling in my heart!”

– Dass