@GordonH - You claimed 9% of the foreign donations is used for charity activities. There is no link or a way for me to verify what you claim is your expertise in the field. But, I can tell you this -
Foriegn donations are usually in dollars, euros or other strong currencies. 9% of the strong currency is enough to build hundreds of thousands of houses for the poor in India for the people who are living in slums or streets. These houses are built by unpaid volunteers and devotees. They are always built using brick and concrete unlike in the west. For the one getting this house, it is like getting a palace. The other 20 some percent for "commercial purposes" is laughable since you called it commercial. In India, to buy, set up and maintain a foreign equipment such as 1.5 tesla MRI unit (in the hospitals) is as expensive as it is in the West. In fact, the units are purchased in dollars and euros from the west. India does not have the latest technology for hospital equipments, certain types of electronic equipments etc.
The other 63% you mentioned in foreign banks - What is wrong with it? Do you know where it is used? Amma's devotees have built several Ashrams (monastries) in the west and other countries using dollars and euros and other strong currencies. The one in Chicago is the biggest. Do you know the greatness of this place? They are self sufficient, producing their own food by organic farming and even plans to have their own electricity and they use it so sparingly. There are several devotees who flock to this place and it helps them get solace in a spiritual center. Many stay free of cost and some pay whatever they can.
Now, that is just scraping the surface. The $1 million donations to Katrina storm, another $1 million to Japanese Tsunami victims and recently one more $1 million to the recently affected islands in the Pacific.
While the leader of this great organization (Amma) is a great soul, MA Center's admin has fallen into inefficient hands, with the aging of one of its benevolent board member. MA Center provides very inferior facilities to its devotees during programs at San Ramon. There are risks of stampede and other infrastructural problems. It is high time that they respect devotees and donors and spend some dollars to improve the conditions at MA Center, San Ramon.
Based on the latest Foreign Contribution report filed with the government of India, 9% of foreign donations went toward humanitarian efforts, 28% went to fund commercial enterprisess, and 63% was added to foreign bank deposits.
Mata Amritanandamayi Center is connected to the international Embracing the World organization. An incredible variety of projects are supported. Small donations do make a difference as all seems wisely calculated and efficiently administrated. Volunteers always seem to have a smile on their face. Wow!
Donoring to Mata Amritanandamayi Center leaves me with a feeling that every cent will be spent wisely. Every single one of the charitable and educational activities connected to the San Ramon Center totally makes sense to me. Wherever Mata Amritanandamayi decides to launch a new project, be it farmers' suicides, women empowerment or disaster relief, it simply works well right from the beginning. Lives are changed by this organization. I'm impressed.
Mata Amritanandamayi Center is a place where people really believe in changing the world by changing themselves and giving others a chance to make a change. Selfless service keeps bureaucratic costs low. Very inspiring
It is an amazing organization, reaching out to so many people in need, especially in India, but also elsewhere. Self-help programs, disaster relief, education and so many more projects that work extremely well due to the efficient voluntary work.
One of the most trustworthy organizations you can find today. I donate because there are basically no overhead costs, due to their huge network of volunteers from all walks of life.
incredible work is done, all by volunteers, joyfully and beautifully.
Best part about this everyone who are part of this are volunteers who are offering their selfless service and is open to everyone!!! They run with the motto LOVE ALL SERVE ALL. Whenever I visit the center it is like Incense factory I come back with the perfume on and in me..here the perfume is selflessness, Love, compassion and positive approach towards life. Every act they perform makes sure is not hurting mother nature. All the donations received are directed for well being of needy and poor and devasted and conserving nature. EVERY PENNY OF IT!!!! This is run under the guidence of revered saint, a great humanitarian and spiritual master Sri MATA Amritandamayi devi, also know as HUGGING SAINT of india. She is reachable by anyone and anytime. Those who have come to her have definitely carried back unconditional love and a heartful smile. When I met AMMA for first time I was in at a verge of no hope on life!! Meeting her and every person around her and the selfless activities around her made my HOPE ON LIFE sprout back but with more freshness! I felt for the first time we can really spend the life in doing selfless activites that would in turn bring happiness into others life. This brought a major change in me and since then I have become part of this non-profit organisation. I started to become aware of the food waste, water waste, plastic waste I have been doing. Started to work on my negative emotions be replacing them with selfless activities and I feel I reached my HOME. I am very thankful to this organisation who have constantly guided me and will be there for everyone.
Mata Amritanadamayi Charities has negligible overhead as it is completely run by volunteers. The charity lead by Mata Amritanandamayi (Amma), has served so many needy all over the world. Amma extends her helping hand to people who faced natural disasters and built houses for the Tsunami victims in India and Sri Lanka. Her Oragianiztion was there in Haiti.
Mata Amritanandmayi Center has one of the lowest overheads of any organization I have ever donated to. It is so nice to see my donations actually going to the poor and needy and not to administrators and other hired employees. This is because MA Center and MAM, the sister organization in India, to which it contributes, are run, managed and worked entirely by volunteers.
Review from Guidestar
I met Amma about 20 years ago and since then has been amazed at her creativity and leadership in finding ways to help people all around the world in hundreds of different ways. She has programs for feeding the hungry, empowering women to be independent by learning skills such as sewing clothes, providing really poor women with small pensions which is the only way they get some cash to meet their own small needs, building homes for the homeless, offering micro finance to small communities, envrionmental awareness and programs to plant trees, running orphanages, encouraging educated/professional folks to help people who have needs of all variety with programs in the U.S and around the globe.
amma's network is so vast that it is difficult to choose one area to write about. most volunteers are active in many areas. but one of my most rewarding experiences was on my first trip to amma's ashram in india right after the tsunami. hundreds of houses around the ashram were destroyed, so the ashram was rebuilding. along with hundreds of brahmacaris (monks) dozens of western volunteers carried bricks, sand and rock to all the building sites that were far from the roads where the trucks unloaded the materials. no one is ever paid and every penny of donations goes directly to the cause. inspiring.