AYUDH Chicago Making A Difference
Amma’s AYUDH Chicago group recently celebrated their anniversary in September. For those unfamiliar with AYUDH, it is the International youth movement of Mata Amritanandamayi Math that seeks to empower the youth to integrate universal values into their daily lives. Starting with themselves, the youth helps establish a future of hope, peace and social engagement while maintaining an awareness of spiritual principles. AYUDH stands for Amrita Yuva Dharma Dhara, a Sanskrit term which means “the youth which perpetuates the wheel of dharma (righteousness)”.
Over the past one year, AYUDH Chicago has been breaking new ground in the Chicago area. The group has gone from strength to strength and from one activity to another in spreading Amma’s message of peace, harmony, compassion, togetherness and selfless service. They continue to meet regularly at the M.A. Center Chicago to enrich themselves both intellectually and spiritually through personality development sessions, spiritual practices, devotional singing, instrumental sessions and studying Amma’s teachings.
Here is a quick snapshot of their key accomplishments and activities in the past year. They are further illustrated in the photo gallery of images (click here):
Br. Dayamrita Chaitanya held a special Youth Exchange Workshop, talking at length about various issues that the current generation youth face and answering questions that the group raised.
AYUDH Chicago was a key contributor to the M.A. Center Concert which raised funds for the then upcoming M.A. Center in Chicago. The group took sole responsibility of the food and snacks department, preparing and selling these items during the concert.
The group took some time off from their busy schedules and enjoyed a day of bonding, fun and team building at the Six Flags Great America in Gurnee, IL.
AYUDH Chicago organized a “Food Drive and Feed My Starving Children” initiative, collecting non-perishable canned and packaged food items and donated them to food pantries in Aurora-Naperville, IL area prior to Christmas.
AYUDH Chicago visited the Ray Graham Foundation in Downers Grove, IL that empower children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities, like autism, and spent some quality time with the people who live there. The group got along with the everyone, helping them around, playing games and bringing a smile to their faces. It was an extremely humbling experience.
March - June 2012
The purchase of the M.A. Center in Chicago was announced. This brought huge challenges of getting the property ready to host the Chicago program as part of the Amma’s North American Tour in July. Along with other volunteers, AYUDH Chicago members helped in various ways to get the M.A. Center ready.
During Amma’s 2012 Chicago Tour, in addition to performing various volunteer duties, the AYUDH Chicago group entertained Amma and the crowd with their melodious bhajans and dance numbers. Amma also blessed the first sapling as part of AYUDH Chicago’s “Go Green” Initiative.
On September 9th, Br. Shantamrita Chaitanya lit the lamp and inaugurated AYUDH Chicago’s anniversary celebrations. Br. Shantamrita also conducted a special satang with the group. The group continued their "Go Green" theme through GreenFriends tree planting initiative. The first tree they planted was one Amma had blessed.
Let us wish the AYUDH Chicago group well as they continue their quest to reach new heights and give back to the society we all live in.