Seva in Australia
Summary of First Quarter in 2020
In Australia, the youth across four states of Queensland (Brisbane), New South Wales (Murwillumbah and Sydney), Victoria (Melbourne) and Western Australia (Perth) are engaged in various Seva activities in Sociocare, Educare and Medicare.
The biggest programme in our country is focussed around Sociocare. In this quarter, in excess of 3,900 meals have been served across the country. This includes School Breakfast programmes, weekly meals service for the homeless and the disadvantaged, weekly grocery hampers and daily meal service for elders. Whilst the Corona Virus is spreading through the country, many opportunities have opened to increase the frequency of services for daily meals – packed and delivered to those who are really struggling.
The youth also have the Growing to be God programme running full swing in Melbourne every week for children aged between 5-13 years. While the children are engaged in this programme, there are mindful parenting classes being conducted in parallel as well. It is quite encouraging that majority of the participants are from Non- Sai backgrounds! With the impact of the virus, the classes have moved online, meaning children and parents are not missing out on these valuable lessons!
The youth in Perth are still engaged with Minnawarra House, running the weekly Self Confidence and Life Skills programmes. Prior to forced closure, the attendance this year seems to have increased with more participants from members of the community. Also, it is encouraging to note that many of the volunteers who are running the programme are also from a Non-Sai background.
The medical services are provided through Health in Kind (HIK), the medical body in Australia founded by Swami, which is operating in the same four states mentioned above. With the health pandemic, HIK finds itself in a difficult situation now. Most services are currently suspended, but the team is working to take some health education sessions online. So far, in January and February of this quarter, there have been 50 patients seen for general health checks and screenings, 15 patients have been seen for dental checks, 10 of whom have had some further treatments performed. There have been six health education sessions, mainly in schools and refugee groups. 25 patients have been seen for other allied health services such as optometry, physiotherapy and audiology.