Projects and initiatives

"Orissa Soll Leben" - the school project

Targeted, practical and sustainable help through very concrete projects

Orissa is one of the poorest regions in India. In the East Indian state, about 46 percent of the population is illiterate, in some areas the figure is as high as 90 percent. Many people try to make a living from agriculture, but all too often droughts and floods destroy the harvest and with it the basis of life. In addition, there are very few wells that provide water and often the soil is so depleted that it cannot provide anything more. 32 million people in Orissa live below the poverty line set by the Indian government.

The hopelessness is boundless. Flood and drought disasters, lack of schooling, lack of medical care and a miserable infrastructure make it unbearably difficult for the people. ORISSA SOLL LEBEN!, an initiative of the Güldenholm Foundation, is committed to creating a new beginning and a future worth living for the people of Orissa. The aim is to help the inhabitants to build a new life for themselves.

Like everywhere else in the world, children in Orissa are particularly affected by poverty and have no chance of education. With donations from the initiative ORISSA SOLL LEBEN! the local Baghaban Dev has built a school that gives new hope.

Here, 50 students receive three meals a day, teaching materials, accommodation, medical care and schooling. Bhagaban Dev’s comprehensive curriculum includes general education, Vedic scriptures, yoga, and other subjects, as well as teaching students the skills they need for responsible, ecological and sustainable agriculture. The students also help with support measures offered by their headmaster to the population of the neighbouring villages. Whenever financially possible, Bhagaban Dev organizes medical camps free of charge, because sick people in Orissa have to walk several hundred kilometers to the nearest hospital – if they can still walk and pay for treatment. During periods of drought, the school helps to fight hunger with food donations. Again, the agricultural production in the Ashram is a necessary support for the surrounding villages.

Bhagaban Dev experiences again and again how girls stand in front of his school and ask with big eyes if they could come to learn. Unfortunately, mixed schools are still unthinkable in this part of India. So he has to tell you with a heavy heart that this is not possible and that he only has one school for boys. But this should change – the initiative “Orissa soll leben!” now wants to realize the construction of a girls’ school. But to build and maintain the school, about 100,000 Euros are needed. The initiative is still looking for donors and helpers to make the financing possible (see below). Other projects of the initiative are the construction of a hospital and the creation of irrigation systems and possibilities for sustainable ecological agriculture. Here too, ideas, donations and expertise are always very welcome.

Financing through the sale of scarves – everyone can help!

The Güldenholm Foundation had the idea of calling on yoga teachers and of course all other interested parties to contribute to the establishment and maintenance of the girls’ school by selling cashmere scarves. Anyone who would like to sell traditional Indian scarves on commission for the benefit of the project in their courses, at the open day, at trade fairs or from home is cordially invited to contact the project staff via the contact details in the info box.


The Foundation China – Europe Dialogue and Exchange for Sustainable Development (CE-DESD) appreciates and supports the different values of cultures and traditions in East and West, North and South, and tries to bring these values closer together and build bridges.

By creating connections and opening up opportunities for exchange and cooperation, CE-DESD supports leaders at all levels and all over the world – especially in China, India and Europe – to contribute to a positive and sustainable development of our planet through their leadership.

More information:

Hier bin ich Mensch

The Güldenholm Foundation

We live in a time of extreme contrasts, a time in which wealth does not always become a blessing for people, and in which, apart from great poverty, unimaginable waste is possible. We must increasingly recognise that quantitative growth alone cannot solve the problems of humanity, but that this requires qualitative leaps in development. Developments that cannot simply be planned and made, and that can only happen if they are imagined in the minds of many individuals.

The Güldenholm Foundation has set itself the task of making a contribution to this awareness raising.

The Güldenholm Foundation wants to protect and promote the living, spiritual and human.

The philosophy of the Güldenholm Foundation includes the development of one’s own personality as well as interpersonal relationships and responsible action in the world. In everything we do, we start from the fundamental human wisdom that no world exploration is possible without self-exploration, no world knowledge without self-knowledge and no acceptance of the other without self-acceptance.

Those who succeed in accepting themselves with all their strengths and weaknesses will also accept the others as they are, and make possible encounters in respect for the freedom of the other.

Whoever lets his life be determined by having, orients not only his everyday life, but also his existence and his meaning of life to what he has, what he does not have or what he wants to have. Only the questioning of these values of life and the reflection on the actual humanity enables a deeper understanding and a qualitative enrichment of life.

This orientation towards being gives the strength to let life come alive, to be able to shape it creatively and responsibly and to make the individual abilities available to the community out of one’s own free decision.

It is time to pause and to become aware of the human being where we have forgotten to look for it – in ourselves. Whoever has the courage to become aware of his own power of love, to give more than he takes, and to selflessly make his power available to others, will go through qualitative developmental steps which can open up the spiritual dimension of his life.

This helps him to learn to see, hear, smell, taste and feel the living in everything and to develop a contact to the power that brings all matter to life.

The Güldenholm Foundation has set itself the task of promoting activities in two areas: To collect, study and pass on human wisdom from the different spiritual currents of this world. Human wisdom knowledge has remained alive in the most diverse cultures and in the most diverse forms. All over the world, for thousands of years, there have been people who have dedicated their lives to the exploration and study of humanity. Their knowledge is open to those who are open to the exploration of the world and their own self. The Güldenholm Foundation has set itself the goal of creating new places and supporting existing places where self-study and the study of the insights of being human are possible. These places are supported on the basis of the knowledge that the initiators of the foundation can contribute: the tradition of yoga science and philosophy, the wealth of knowledge of anthroposophy and the ideas of Erich Fromm.  
One such place is Güldenholm in the north near Schleswig, which gave the foundation its name, and the Himalaya Institute in Ahrensburg near Hamburg. Here, study and encounters are cultivated, and spirituality is experienced in silence and meditation. To create free space for people who want to give meaning and depth to their lives, but need support for this because of their living conditions. People’s lives are too often determined by the comforts and burdens of external circumstances. Education and study are seen solely as a means to an end, a basis for material wealth in life. Such a view of education, which is oriented solely towards having, is contrasted with the view which places the education of the individual in the foreground. Education and study serve the development and deepening of the human being, the promotion of the authentic, living and spiritual. People who are willing to educate themselves in this sense often take an uncomfortable and arduous path, as there is little room for this in the daily struggle for existence. The Güldenholm Foundation has set itself the task of supporting people who want to give their lives meaning and depth through such training, but who are dependent on help for this due to their living conditions.

Güldenholm Stiftung

Güldenholm    24881 Nübel    Phone: +49 (0) 4621|53579    Fax: +49 (0) 4621|53621   

Wolfgang Bischoff (04102 / 78930) and Jürgen Hess (04621 / 53579)