The Aruna Partnership. Supporting self-help programs in South India.

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Quote Collage

Reflections from Dr. Hugo Maier
Founder of Shanthimalai Research and Development Trust, our partner

Oppressed by misery and sorrow, enfeebled by suffering and want, man is paralyzed through his hopelessness. He can't think of anything but of his survival. In this situation, how can he turn to the higher values of life? Even the memory of them has disappeared. Having lost all faith in himself, he flees into the abyss of disbelief and superstition.

The true meaning of financial help is to enable man to find out of this dull state, with its inherent fatalism. When man finds back to himself, he finds also back to his fellow beings, through re-awakened love for his neighbor! He is, once more, capable of living up to a real community life.

Only when man knows himself as a self-confident individual, will he be able to make efforts by his own initiative to grow into his true spiritual identity. This is the ultimate aim of our material aid that man rediscovers who he truly is, not that he loses himself once again in newly-found material well-being.

When money dominates man's life, he is enshrouded in darkest ignorance. When it is shared, it becomes a blessing for both the helper and the helped - for the giver, as well as for the receiver.

In life, it often seems that the spirit of complacency, passivity and despair, is the mightier power. But the Spirit of truth, commitment and compassion has always the longer breath.

To help the people here truly requires the longer breath, which can only arise from this spirit of truth, commitment and compassion. This spirit alone can bring up projects which are of lasting value.

Our Motto: "Help for Self-Help" is not just empty words. It is the only dignified way to help, for the givers as well as for the receivers. We are learning this daily we continue to learn it better and more profoundly.

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