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I did see this with my own eyes how much it means for human beings to be able to do something meaningful and make choices themselves. I have seen the importance of a paradigm shift – to create systems around people so that they can make choices and use their resources.

I have gained much knowledge about Yoga, empowerment and self help and now I am much more able to see everything together. It has made it more possible for me to see the bigger perspective.

Doing Yoga has opened my eyes on how you can calm down your mind and be more aware about your way of being, thoughts, feelings, habits and actions.

I have learnt the importance of connecting to oneself to connect  deeply with others.

Karoline Dahl

For me this programme has been the expansion of the term Social Work and it has altered my way of thinking in some ways.

Seeing Self Help Groups in the villages, talking to them, seeing their joy and pride about their lives now inspired me greatly.



The programme has given me a new view on aid and development. Learning new methods on how to help the poor people in a sustainable way has been  eye opening.

I got to test my boundaries and reflect on how and who I am as a person. Learning to do new meditations on a regular basis has also been helpful.

Being reminded on the strong holistic approach in empowerment and group work has been valuable. Thinking and seeing new resources in people, where there is “apparently” none has been a good thing for me to practice before I start working back home.

The entity of India as a whole has changed me and shifted my view on what matters in life, what poor really is and how poor is not equal to unhappy or sad.


I am surprised that the programme shares a lot of the same views as we have in Norway.

The yoga aspect of social work has made me see things in a different way. By calming my own mind it is easier to connect to other people not as a professional but as a human. I think this can be very useful when we have to connect with people that have very different mindsets than ourselves.

We are moving towards a shift in thinking in Norway and self help groups are becoming more popular. So the knowledge I have from Manavodaya will definitely be useful in a Norwegian context.

Many of us including myself see a lot of value in superficial things like how we look or how much money we have. I am now seeing value in things that actually matter in life, like connecting withn other human beings just as we are.




I have better respect and focus on the importance of self help and that we should help people where they are and to start something themselves, instead of just giving them things.

It is very important to have learnt that we can do so much for people just by helping them get started.

This programme has a good variety of items planned. I like that we have both lectures and visits to different places.Visits to the villages was the best. We learnt a lot and it was good to see a “new world”.



Being here has taught me to change my mindset from thinking “individual” to “collective”. In Norway, we focus too much on individuals and sometimes forget to think bigger. I am going to bring this knowledge back home and hopefully it will make me a better social worker.

This programme has been diverse. It was really interesting to see what the self help groups had achieved and it was interesting to see how proud they were.

Material things are not important (relatively speaking) and being in charge of your own life and feeling empowered is what we should work towards (in addition to clean water, housing, food and so on).



The discussion on empowerment and self help groups has given me more knowledge and how to see things in a new perspective. Empowerment will be more in my mind when I get back home to Norway and I will try to use it more in my work.

I am so grateful that I got to be part of this course and all it has taught me.



I have learnt a lot about culture and made me think about how we have it in Norway.  It has been important to see things from a new and different perspective.

 I will have empowerment more in my mind when I am working at home in Norway. 



I have personally seen the benefit of a community based mindset for people in rehab, but I am even more convinced after this programme.  The points made about our personal mindset when we are working with people are also up in my thinking, so I am all for the paradigm shift.

I am very satisfied. The food is great, it is clean everywhere and the wifi usually works. The arrangements  for dancing, food course and the Holi party has been fun.

I especially like the morning Yoga and will try to take it habit with me home.



Most important points from the course :

  • It is important that people decide what is more important in their life (not the social worker)

  • To think outside the box

  • You can get far with very little, small steps towards a goal/vision

  • Calmness of the mind, yoga

  • To be able to meet the clients where they are

  • Listen

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