AMURT UK

AMURT UK is a grassroots community development and disaster relief organisation. We work with local communities to relieve immediate suffering during disasters and humanitarian crises and help improve the quality of life for poor and disadvantaged people in the longer term.

In the UK AMURT’s projects focus on feeding the homeless, food waste, healthy eating and support to refugees and asylum seekers. We have homeless feeding programmes in London and Liverpool, drop in English classes for asylum seekers in Liverpool and the Food For All health food shop and herbal dispensary, a trading company that donates its profits back to AMURT UK.

We also partner with AMURT chapters internationally which respond to the specific needs and challenges of their local areas.

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Guiding Principles

  • 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, religion 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 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.

Background

AMURT (Ananda Marga Universal Relief Team) is one of the few private international humanitarian organisations founded in India. It was founded in 1965 and its original objective was to help meet the needs of communities affected by disasters that regularly hit the Indian sub-continent. Over the years AMURT has established chapters and dynamic teams in thirty-four countries, to create a network that can meet disaster and development needs almost anywhere in the world. In 1985 AMURT broadened its goals to include long-term development and in 1986 AMURT UK chapter was founded. 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.

Our Strengths

AMURT’s greatest strength is its wealth of human resources, particularly our dedicated local staff and experienced, life-long volunteers – many whom have sacrificed careers and material comfort to serve others.

All our chapters are renowned for their low over-heads and humble running costs, meaning at least 90% of donations go directly to service delivery.

Our Approach

We work with local people and resources to relieve immediate suffering at the time of an emergency.

We work to empower local communities to be economically and environmentally self-sustainable in the long term.

We seek local solutions and understand 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.

We see people as capable of achieving far more than they often imagine and support them, within their own social, cultural and religious context, to realise their full potential.

We believe that real progress comes with the all-round development of individuals and their communities.

We empower individuals to be the bright, free-thinking drivers of change.

We work with communities to foster the principles of responsibility, love and leadership, helping to uplift the whole community.

We lay great emphasis on the development of sustainable projects, which generate their own income and thus can maintain themselves in the long run.

 

See also Meet the Team | Our Affiliates