Japanese Youth at Elder-Care Facility
Japanese youth visited an elder-care facility to share their love and respect with the residents on July 1, 2017. This seva project is a joint program with our educational group which focuses on development of the Human Values within both volunteers and recipients by practicing love and gratitude. Thirteen volunteers spent quality time with approximately fifteen elderly people in the facility.
This elder-care facility, Seisui, located in Sagamihara city near Yokohama area, is run and managed by the family of one of the youth members who is a facility manager. This youth had expressed his concern about the lack of social and cultural interactions that was needed within the facility to bring about an enrichment of quality elder-care. The youth discussed with each other what could be done to improve the quality of human life within the facility. They came up with a cultural programme consisting of singing, reading and interaction, through which the youth and members of the educational group could express their love and respect to elderly people.
The final programme included old-time songs and special readings, along with quality interaction time with the residents. With Swami's grace, we had volunteers who are experts in each field of singing and reading, and they served the elderly people using their blessed talents. One of the youth sisters is a successful voice actress and healer, and she shared some of her favourite old-time stories. The elderly people listened to these stories being read aloud with such a beautiful and healing voice with so much focus, and they seemed to be really happy and contented. The youth sister also presented a healing song using her crystal bowl, and its sacred sound of OM seemed to permeate into the minds of the elderly residents.
When the youth expertly sang the old-time popular songs, they did it with such feelings of love and respect, and they touched the hearts of all of the volunteers and brought tears to their eyes. The elderly people seemed to have especially enjoyed the interactive singing coordinated with special body movements. At the end, everyone sang aloud together a song called March of 365 Steps, with their hands and feet marching together with everyone. One could see the faces of the elderly people lit up with smiles and joy.
During all of the cultural program, the youth and the other volunteers sat together with the elderly people, chatting and interacting with them.
By sharing their love and gratitude together in this way, they had a beautiful and blessed experience through this seva project. The youth are so grateful for this precious opportunity given by Lord Sai.