60 Years of Sarvodaya

Sarvodaya is celebrating 60 years!

One of the world’s largest and most impactful social movements, Sarvodaya.org, was founded 60 years ago by Nobel Peace prize nominee Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne, who is often called ‘Sri Lanka’s Gandhi’. This month it celebrates the 60th anniversary of its exemplary work that has empowered the lives of millions of individuals in thousands of villages and towns, as well as the major institutions and overall development of the country. Sarvodaya means awakening of all. It translates Gandhi’s and Buddhist inspiring values into concrete action. The Dalai Lama calls Dr. Ari one of Buddhism most precious living jewels. Sarvodaya was a major force for peace and reconciliation during 30 years of civil war and in the current political crises. Its innovative holistic approach to human and social transformation makes it one of the most inspirational global models for sustainable development towards a deeply humane and resilient, equitable and just society.

Since Dr Ariyaratne asked Global Academy Foundation to support Sarvodaya’s transition into the 21st century, we have become close friends and partners, helping with innovation and strategy processes, leadership and movement development. Our founder Walter Link became a Vice President of Sarvodaya and a Board Member of Sarvodaya’s 12 campus university system that integrates individual education with community development as well as of Sarvodaya Development Finance, its micro-finance institution that we helped to transform from a loss-making NGO to a profitable bank. Its dividends now help to finance the movement, while its operations inspire a new, sustainable business model in Sri Lanka’s economy.