International Association for Human Values

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International Association for Human Values (IAHV) is an international, humanitarian, non-governmental organization which works for the propagation of human values in the political, economic, industrial and social arenas throughout the world. It acts as the coordinating body for the international development work of its partner organization, The Art Of Living Foundation. IAHV was set up in 1997 under the leadership of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

IAHV upholds that the incorporation of values into all fronts of human lifestyle will ultimately lead to development of a more peaceful, just, sustainable and balanced world. IAHV is dedicated to reviving human values and bringing about world peace and development through individual commitment towards "joyful living", "selfless service" and "self awareness". In fostering human values, the association partners with organizations dedicated to similar goals. These include governments, educational institutions, other NGOs, business corporations and individuals. It is this work, that has secured IAHV an international presence with a special consultative status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations. International Association for Human Values and The Art Of Living Foundation have accredited representatives at the United Nations in New York, Geneva and Vienna, and are working towards bringing about global peace and harmony.


The social development work of Art Of Living started in 1982. Social Work was initially focused on the provision of primary education to poor children and vocational training to rural women. In 1997 the need was felt to expand its social development activities. It is then that IAHV (International Association for Human Values) was established in Geneva with a vision of incorporating values into all fronts of human lifestyle that will ultimately lead to development of a more peaceful, just, sustainable and balanced world.

International Association for Human Values along with The Art of Living Foundation has till now executed social development projects of massive size in more than 150 countries. IAHV alone has registered offices in 17 Countries including United States, Canada, Netherlands, Germany, Middle East, South Africa and India. From Disaster and Trauma Relief to Sustainable Rural Development; from spreading Sustainable Development Awareness to Environment Campaigns; from Prisoners Rehabilitation to Peace Initiatives and Conflict Resolution; from Empowering Women and Youth to helping Corporate grow, International Association for Human Values has touched hearts of millions across the globe.

Honorary Members of the Board[edit]


Prison Smart Program

The basic premise of the Prison Smart Program is that no individual is really ‘bad’ but takes to crime due to external stress which they are unable to deal with effectively. The Prison SMART Program aims to transform the lives of people working in or incarcerated within the criminal justice system. Prison SMART teaches skills that reduce stress, heal trauma and provides practical knowledge of how to handle negative emotions in order to live to one's highest potential and contribute to society in a positive way.

The Participants are then motivated to channelize their energy into constructive and development oriented tasks. These tasks fetch them respect, dignity and bring up a lot of hidden talents in them. So far the lives of more than 350,000 prison inmates across the globe have been transformed through the ‘Prison Smart’ programs across the globe. Prison Smart Program is available in prisons of 30 Countries, including Australia, France, Russia, Brazil, Argentina and India.

Since its inception in the United States in 1992, over 12,000 inmates, correctional officers and law enforcement staff have experienced the benefits of the program. In India the program has been taught in more than 100 prisons to 150,000 inmates.

Prisoners who participated in the Prison SMART Program report Normalized Sleep Patterns, reduced depression & anxiety, increased confidence in having self-control along with increased energy & clarity of mind, decreased interpersonal conflict, decreased engaging in destructive behavior, improved immunity & physical well-being, freedom from traumatic scars of the past, greater positive outlook on the future.

Rural Development Programs

IAHV works in conjunction with the Art of Living Foundation to implement initiatives such as empowerment of rural women, vocational training programs for women and youth, self-development workshops, free medical camps, and the Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP). Through these Workshops and Programs 3-S Approach to life and 5-H parameters of development are taught to local people with a motive of empowering them.

Youth Leadership Training Program (YLTP) was established in August 1999. This program has a unique syllabus which focus on personal empowerment as well as communication skills development. Through stress-reducing breathing techniques, individuals find inner peace and various management developing activities kindle a spirit of service. Participants are inspired to volunteer for rural projects, and the fruits of the seeds sown in the classroom can be experienced by the community as a whole.

The following is achieved in Rural India by the Youth Leadership Training Program: Volunteers trained over 110,000 rural youth, reached 40,212 villages in India, developed 55 model villages (in progress), planted over 2.3 million trees saplings, built 2138 homes, 7819 toilets, 1152 bore-wells and 904 bio-gas plants, conducted 49,500 hygiene camps and 25,950 medical camps benefiting 2.82 million people.

Trauma Relief Programs

For War Veterans

One of IAHV’s most recent initiatives, Project Welcome Home Troops is a solution to the stress and trauma that combat veterans and their families undergo. The initiative offers its participants, trauma-relief workshops and self-development programs where they learn unique breathing techniques that reduce stress, anxiety, insomnia, and depression.

Independent Research and the feedback from the participants portray a very promising picture. "Yoga for Anxiety and Depression" one of the articles from the Harvard Health Publications, shows that how War Veterans suffering from PTSD were healed through workshop offered by the IAHV. Yoga for anxiety and Depression

For sufferers of Natural Disasters like Cyclones, Tsunami and Earthquakes

Attending to the mental, emotional and material needs of those struck by man-made or natural disasters, IAHV has designed a three-stage intervention program for disaster relief – Material Relief, Trauma Relief, and long-term Rehabilitation. Immediate Material Aid and Service is done by providing food, clothes, medicine and shelter in the aftermath of a calamity. Near-Term Trauma Relief is provided by programs and counseling designed to deal with the emotional and mental trauma victims undergo. Long-Term Rehabilitation is all about building homes, sanitation systems, roads, schools, vocational training centers. Since its inception in 1999, IAHV has worked upon providing relief to the survivors of many Disasters all across the world. The depth of relaxation experienced by the attendants of trauma relief programs is unparallel. In the year 2001 IAHV provided food aid to 30,000 people and provided relief material worth USD 111,000 across Gujarat, India. It was when an earthquake 7.6 at Richter Scale hit Gujarat, India killing around 20,000 people and hundreds of thousands homeless. When the Asian Tsunami struck in 2004, leaving 227,898 dead and millions homeless, IAHV sprung into action with its 300 trained volunteers providing Trauma Relief Sessions to around 50,000 people in South India and 25,000 People in Sri Lanka. IAHV provided USD 1.05 Million worth of food supplies, medical and clothing aid to 10 villages. IAHV also sponsored a research on impact of trauma relief programs on Tsunami victims. Year 2005 brought Hurricane Katrina in United States and an Earthquake in Kashmir, India. In the United States, IAHV provided Trauma Relief through workshops to around 2600 aid workers, children and adults and trained 161 University Students in providing trauma relief. In Azad Kashmir and Kashmir in India IAHV provided Trauma Relief Camps to 25,000 adults and 800 Children. In Kashmir, an orphanage was established which is funded and sustained by IAHV Volunteers. After the year 2005, IAHV provided support to Haiti Flood Victims, Haiti, Caribbean and Sichuan Earthquake survivors, China, in 2008. In Sichuan, China, around 6565 souls were relieved of trauma though 137 Trauma relief programs. In Haiti Trauma Relief Programs were run for 560 flood victims apart from distributing 5 truck-loads of non-perishable food items, clothing and medicines. Then in 2009 IAHV provided relief to the victims of Floods in the state of Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka which displaced 520000 people and collapsed 26000 homes. The Trauma Relief Programs offered by IAHV touched 65% of residents in 31 villages. 8 tons of food grains, 3600 packets of biscuits, 50 kg of milk powder and 220 Water Filters were distributed. Along with this 6 Doctor Volunteers organized 10 medical camps. 143 Homes were constructed by IAHV for those affected by the floods In Haiti, yet again, a natural calamity occurred in the form of an earth quake. It took 230,000 people along with it and injured 300,000 people. In the initiative to combat the massive destruction that happened, 2380 people received Trauma Relief, 4 intensive food gardens and 2 composting units were opened. In the Japan Earthquake in 2011 IAHV initiated a lot of Social Buildup programs including prayer events, promotion of local dance form and rebuilding the society.



The first rural school funded by IAHV was in 2001. It started to help local children in a village in Bangalore District, India. It was observed that local kids had no access to education. Thus was decided to do something to help them. A local volunteer was appointed to look after the children to give them basic lessons in hygiene and teach them educational games and to serve them free healthy food for lunch. This became a big attraction for the children and their parents, and continues to date. As the school has progressed, a formal educational structure was established and the number of students and teachers increased. Today this school has become a model for 210 similar free schools that are revolutionizing education in rural and tribal India. IAHV has raised funds to support these schools.

Women Empowerment

IAHV founders’ believe that the role of women in the development of society is of utmost importance. In fact, it is the only thing that determines whether a society is strong and harmonious, or otherwise. Women are the backbone of society. Instilling Confidence and a Sense of Independence in women or the is what Women Empowerment Program of IAHV aspires for. The Women's Empowerment Program provides vocational training, micro-finance venture incentives, self-development workshops, and self-help groups for disadvantaged women across the world. The program was launched in 1985 in Bangalore, India, as VISTA India (Value Integrated Services to All). Over 2000 women from thirty different villages have been trained through this program. Inspired by the project's success, the program was replicated in other parts of India, and countries such as Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Iraq. As an example, in South Africa, a group of thirty participants from the Ohlange community learned the intricate art of African bead crafting, and more than 300 women attended self-development workshops. The women now host regular music and meditation workshops, and run a financially successful bead craft venture.

A few Testimonials

"The project has done a lot to help our people help themselves. We no longer need to beg and this has done wonders to our self-esteem." -Muzi Maphumulo, Coordinator of the Ohlange Bead Project, South Africa

"I head a self-help group of around 300 women. We need the help of The Art of Living Foundation to train and instill confidence in them to become women entrepreneurs, leaders of their community and participate in elections." -Laxmi Krishnamurty, Malur, Karnataka

Environmental Care IAHV with its roots in spirituality has nurtured a deep respect for our planet in thousands of people around the world. The earth may be made up of rocks, sand and water, but spirituality can help us to perceive our planet as a living vibrant entity, responding to our care and attention.

Inspired to develop a sustainable Environment and moving together as a team, volunteers from around the world have initiated several environmental projects: Large scale tree plantations through Mission Green Earth, water conservation and protection including cleaning polluted rivers and zero-budget chemical-free farming which support poorer farmers to farm in a way which is both economically and organically sound. IAHV also recognizes that to nurture and ensure future conservation of nature, it is necessary that these values be inculcated in young minds at home and at school. Awareness program for young people and children (called ‘Deepening Roots, Broadening Vision’) also form an important and integral part of this long-term program. In India alone IAHV India volunteers planted over 2.3 million trees. They reached out to over 1 million people reached through trauma relief workshops in India alone.Over 1.5 million Capacity Building workshops were organized. 2138 homes, 7819 toilets, 1152 bore-wells and 904 bio-gas plants were built; 49,500 hygiene camps and 25,950 medical camps were conducted benefiting 2.82 million people.

Rainwater Harvesting using indigenous techniques is promoted in drought prone areas. Chemical free organic & zero budget farming is promoted amongst farmers. special training is given to farmers along with constant supervision. Rural Women are trained to work with Smokeless Chulas. A channel to fed Cow dung into the Biogas Plants is developed thus promoting clean fuel in urban and rural areas.

IAHV has promoted "Adopt a Plant Scheme" and carried it out in India, USA, Dubai, Australia, Germany and South Africa. Through the mission "Green Earth", one of the millennium development goals of the U.N.O. is addressed.


Breath Water Sound Workshop The Breath-Water-Sound program seeks to address the challenges of economically and emotionally distressed communities by empowering them. The first step towards empowerment is stress-elimination and inner confidence. This is where the Breath-Water-Sound workshop comes in.

Simple breathing, sound relaxation, and meditation techniques are taught to relax the individual. These techniques teach people how to handle negative emotions such as anger, regret and depression. By dealing with these emotions, there is a sense of peace and relaxation. What follows is mental clarity, confidence and focus to find solutions for challenges faced in the rural areas – be it substance abuse, infrastructural problems or lack of basic amenities.

When empowerment starts with individual transformation, it is sustainable. For communities are made up of individuals and empowered people naturally lead their communities towards progress.

From the ghettos of Chicago to the inaccessible tribal regions of India, over 2 million people all over the world, have benefited from the workshop. It is instrumental in bringing people together, inspiring them to serve and participate in the development of their communities.

Youth Leadership and Training Program The Youth Leadership Training Program was established in August 1999. This program has a unique syllabus. Not only does the Youth Leadership Training Program focus on personal development and communication skills. Through stress-reducing breathing techniques, individuals find inner peace and communities to come together in a spirit of service. Participants are inspired to volunteer for rural projects, and the fruits of the seeds sown in the classroom can be experienced by the community as a whole. There are success stories wherein the participants have come up with a great show of development and Hygiene and Harmony. Many villages in Indian Subcontinent are labeled as MODEL VILLAGES just by virtue of being a part of the YLTP Movement. One such village is Kathewadi, which was famous for loot. Then the residents of the village attended YLTP Workshop. They practiced the techniques taught in the course. Villagers also participated in a lot of infrastructure development and harmony buildup activities. Seeing the results of the group activities the Government of State has declared the Kathewadi Village as the model village.

YES! The Youth Empowerment Seminar (YES!) is a dynamic and fun program that challenges teens to take responsibility for their life and provides a comprehensive set of practical tools for releasing stress, mastering emotions, and raising self-awareness. The program addresses: • Teens’ physical, mental, social, and emotional development • Breathing techniques to relieve stress and bring the mind into focus • Dynamic games and yoga • Practical knowledge to create awareness • Experiential processes to develop problem-solving strategies • Dynamic group discussions designed to help teens feel at ease in challenging situations, increase confidence, withstand criticism and peer pressure

T.L.E.X. Transformational Leadership for Excellence, TLEX Course, is a practical training program for corporate and business leaders which offers participants practical techniques for meaningfully reducing workplace stress and insights into how to work smart while taking everyone along. The course has been reported to increase mental clarity and focus, impart creativity, invoke work/life balance, boost team morale and foster greater sense of ethics and integrity

Presence across geographical Locations[edit]

Indian Subcontinent IAHV along with its sister organization The Art Of Living has a very strong presence in the Indian Subcontinent with Centers in more than 80% of Districts in India. Engaged in multifaceted Social Development Work in tune with many other social development Organizations, IAHV has brought smiles to millions of residents of the Indian Subcontinent.

Whether it be Peace Initiative for India and Pakistan through Youth Festival or Disaster Relief Programs organized in Sri Lanka, Pakistan and India or the Environment Awareness Camps or Manila Flood Relief, IAHV has contributed significantly alone with its sister organization The Art Of Living Foundation.

Europe From organizing seminar upon inter faith harmony to organizing Prison Smart Courses in most of the countries in Europe, IAHV has as well raised funds to support welfare and relief projects happening in Asia and Africa. In 2008 IAHV launched a Community Leadership Program across Europe which aims at decreasing promoting cultural harmony and a jovial atmosphere across Europe.

The International Leadership Symposium on Ethics in Business was organized by the World Forum for Ethics in Business, in which the World Bank Institute and the International Association for Human Values were partnering organizations. It is an annual event which brings together prominent leaders from business, politics, academia, civil society and faith‐based organizations to dialogue on the pressing need to strengthen human values and ethics in business. It provides a platform for leading minds to share their experiences and expertise on the value of an ethics-based approach to deal with today’s challenges in the global markets. It also examines the impact of this approach on the bottom line.

North America Since the year 2000 IAHV has been keen in providing services to maximum number of people across many states including Haiti, California, Michigan, Port-au-Prince. In the year 2011 alone 12845 students participated in the YES! Program. 700 Inmates attended the Prison Smart Program and many corporate executives attended the TLEX Program. There happened a few Compost Generation as well which brought together the youth.

South America In 2012, in Argentina, more than a 1.5 million people meditated together in the presence of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Ji, the founder of IAHV. People from all walks of life, kids to teenagers to middle aged people including corporate leaders to middle class servicemen to policemen and prison inmates... all basked in the meditation organized under the banner of The Art Of Living and IAHV. A lot of YES programs were organized for Kids along with Breath Water Sound programs for people above the age of 18 years.

Asia Pacific In 2011, when Japan was devastated by the deadly tsunami, the organization moved swiftly to help the affected people cope with their mental anguish. A series of trauma relief workshops were conducted for the refugees which was applauded by the prime minister of Japan (Mr. Yoshihiko Noda). Along with Japan, IAHV has marked its presence in many cities of Australia, Indonesia, Bali with stress management workshops and social development programs for all sections of the society.

External List[edit]