Main Content

UU Holdeen India Program

Students in India smile for the camera.

The Holdeen India Program is an expression of Unitarian Universalism’s global commitment to compassion, equity, and peace. Unitarian Universalism has had ties with India of faithful solidarity and friendship stretching back to the nineteenth century. In the 1820s the Unitarian representative in India built a lasting relationship with the great social reformer Ram Mohan Roy and the institution he established, the Brahmo Samaj. Later in the nineteenth century, dozens of Unitarian and Universalist churches hosted Swami Vivekananda during his landmark voyages to the United States. In 1920, the American Unitarian Association invited and hosted Swami Paramahansa Yoganada for his famed journey to the West.

To honor these longstanding ties with India, the Unitarian Universalist Association (UUA) created the Unitarian Universalist Holdeen India Program (UUHIP) in 1984. The program was established through a generous gift from Jonathan Holdeen, a lawyer and businessman with a deep concern for India’s economic development. The Holdeen India Program provides aid for humanitarian service ventures and social enterprises that seek to advance prosperity for all of India’s people. Education programs, livelihood development initiatives, and project’s promoting access to credit have all received UUHIP support. To learn more about UUHIP or to find out how you can become involved, please email us at

Images of Holdeen India Program partners wearing masks and delivering food and supplies during COVID-19 pandemic

COVID-19 Response

The UU Holdeen India Program’s partners have been working around the clock during the COVID-19 crisis. India introduced the world’s largest national lockdown in March and for nearly two months the economy was at a standstill – up to one-hundred million workers lost their jobs. The road to recovery will be long and challenging. HIP's partners across the country are working closely with the authorities to ensure relief reaches all those in need. Please considermaking a donation to support HIP’s partner organizations in their lifesaving work.

Express Your Solidarity

There are several ways individuals and congregations can express their solidarity with the Holdeen India Program's work:

  • Host a Holdeen India Program Sunday at your congregation - invite someone from the program to come as a guest speaker
  • Incorporate stories from HIP partners into your worship and Religious Education programs; discussion guides are available for congregations
  • Screen the Holdeen India Program film
  • Volunteer your skills with the Holdeen India Program
  • Contribute financially to the critical work of our partners: make a donation in support

Support the Holdeen India Program's COVID-19 Response

Your gift will help some of India’s most vulnerable groups access life-saving resources during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Donate Now

Graphic for UUA UU Holdeen India Program.