Ananda Marga of Madison has been involved with a number of service projects in our area over the years since 1971 when this yoga group first started in Madison. Later in that same decade a preschool, Sunrise School, and an alternative to incarceration for women offenders, ARC House, were opened by members of our local group. While Sunrise School is gone, ARC Community Services has since grown to a major community resource for women and children. They now run 12 innovative programs in Madison and Fond du Lac. Their website will help you see the full scope of their work. ww.arccommserv.com
Currently our local group is working to support several programs in Peru. We provide hot lunches for school children in a poor suburb of Lima. We funded a local laundry to create jobs and help the local women take care of their families.
See the work of the Women’s Well-being and Development Fund in Peru and other places at www.wwd-f.org/peru.html
We have most recently taken on work with a local group of Bhutanese refugees. Bhutanese refugees started settling in Madison in 2009. About 300 people have now arrived and 200 more will come over the next few years. Several of our members trained with the Madison Literacy Network and were placed with families to help them learn English and get oriented to life in this culture and this city. We also help put on clothing drives for these families quarterly in conjunction with the Catholic Multicultural Center, coordinate with the Community Action Coalition to a help Bhutanese families get established in community garden plots and connect them with opportunities to earn and maintain a bicycle from Dream Bikes by undertaking a certain amount of hours of community service. Lastly, we are in contact with Lutheran Social Service so that, if the opportunity arises, we can connect a sponsor family with some newly arriving refugees.