Heritage of Aveda Journey to India

Photograph from India

Every year, Aveda recognizes two Directors from our Institutes for their outstanding Earth Month fundraising achievements. To show their gratitude, Aveda takes both directors on a trip to experience firsthand Aveda’s ayurvedic heritage & sustainable sourcing practices called the Heritage of Aveda Journey to India. This year, Jordan Welker, Director of Aveda Institute Nashville, and Julie Todd, Director of Aveda Institute Tallahassee, raised the most money in their Earth Month fundraising efforts. We asked them some questions about their adventure and the knowledge they were able to take away from their eye opening journey through India.

Jordan Welker

image of beauty school director

What did you do while you were in India? 
“We got a chance to tour the Gandhi Museum in Delhi and learn about one of the most influential people of the 20th century and his extraordinary efforts in the fight for Indian independence. We also visited the town of Tilwari, where in 2008-2009, Aveda, along with members of the community, built a water well, fed directly from a Himalayan spring, for the community to provide access to clean water.  We saw the impact that the seven years of clean water has provided the community.  They have increased their farmable lands by 420 acres, established a community center, and eliminated the need for the women of the village to walk several miles per day gathering clean water for their families.  The community center is a gathering place for the village and teaches children pottery, weaving, gardening, carpentry, and other trades.   Visiting the children of the town was such an inspiring day!”
What were you able to take away from this journey? 

“It opened my eyes to the changes needed around the world in efforts to protect our Earth’s environment and it’s people.”

What did you learn? 
“I didn’t understand the impact that clean water, something we can take for granted, can have on one community.  It provides the ability to do mundane tasks, such as laundry, gardening, and cooking, that were unable to do prior without walking for several hours and carrying it back.  It has also provided more time for families to spend together.    People need to have a greater respect for water.”


Julie Todd


 image of children in India

What did you do while you were in India? 
“We had an educational presentation by advisers from the Global Greengrants Fund; we visited the Martyrdom of Gandhi Museum and learned about his life and teachings, as well as saw where he lived and died; we received a lecture on the basics of Ayurveda from Dr. Upadhyay and visited the Swami Rama Ashram, the birthplace of Aveda, where we also received a lesson in meditation; we visited the village of Tilwari and got see first-hand one of the many water projects that have been funded by monies raised by Aveda; we had a day to receive authentic Ayurvedic spa treatments and other spa services of our choice; and we visited the Shri Kunjapuri Temple were able to view a beautiful sunrise over the Himalayas.”
What were you able to take away from this journey? 
“My biggest takeaway was that it only takes a little bit of money to make a huge impact.  The grant that Tilwari received was not very much, but they were able to use it to work with the government that owned the land where their water source resided to get the rights to it, which enabled them to put in a simple solar-powered filtration system and use gravity to run the water down pipes to the village center, where they installed a water storage tank and feed the water out to other areas in the village.  Putting access closer to the center of the village meant that they had more free time and resources plus it created a sense of community, and the village was able to build a community center and overnight housing for guests.  Now they serve as a model for other communities looking to learn from their methods and make similar adjustments in their own communities.  So, they are able to pay forward what they received, and the gift keeps on giving.”
What did you learn? 
“I learned to be thankful for all of my blessings but to also see the beauty in simple living.”

[metaslider id=4267]