AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) is one of the few private international voluntary organizations founded in India. Since its inception in 1965 its original objective was to help meet the needs of the affected population after disasters that regularly hit the Indian sub-continent. Over the years AMURT has established teams in thirty-four countries, to create a network that can meet disaster and development needs almost anywhere in the world. In 1985 we broadened our goals to include long-term development. We feel that we can play a useful role in helping vulnerable communities break the cycle of poverty and gain greater control over their lives. For us, development is human exchange: people sharing wisdom, knowledge and experience to build a better world.
- Every human being has the right to meet his or her own fundamental needs such as nourishment, accommodation, medical care, clothing and education. The resources of the earth should be used in a just and appropriate way to meet those needs.
- Every human being regardless of race, creed, gender, color or social status is a dignified member of the human family and should be treated with understanding and respect.
- It is only by showing respect for women, and ensuring their integration and active participation in the development process, that a harmonious growth of the family, community and society as a whole can be achieved.
- Development is a balanced process that maintains an equilibrium between industry and the environment, urban and rural growth, human needs and available resources. Development should lessen the gap between the rich and poor and provide opportunities for all.
- Appropriate development begins within the social and cultural framework of each community. It enables underprivileged communities to gain a greater degree of independence to determine their own future.
We seek local solutions. AMURT understands that there are no ready-made solutions to problems of poverty. Every situation is unique and requires its own local solution. Because AMURT field directors are already based in the areas they serve, they are better able to promote a solution that is suitable for each particular set of circumstances. This translates, for example, into small business cooperatives for poor urban women in the Philippines, neighborhood homes for abandoned children and infants in Mongolia, drinking water supply programs in Ghana and pre-and primary schools for underprivileged children in Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mongolia, Nicaragua and South Africa.