Seva in the Netherlands
Once, during an interview with Swami, the youth asked Him what kind of Seva projects they should engage in. He explained that there are many elderly in Europe who are lonely and that they should be served. At first, the youth wondered how they could make a difference in the elderly care facilities in the Netherlands that are so well equipped with a very high standard of care in comparison with some other countries. However, some youth started helping a facility in serving lunch to the elderly and spending time talking to them. It was immediately noticed by the youth how impactful the extra smiles were when serving them!
Later, when speaking with some of the organisers of the facility they explained that some of these elderly do not have any family members or they do not visit them that often. Many of these elderly have mild dementia, so it is important to keep their environment happy and cheerful. So the youth decided to focus on some of those elderly, and now every week, the youth spend time chatting and playing games with them. A couple bring their Nine-month old baby with them and it is amazing to see how the elderly get so happy seeing and playing with the baby. Seeing these elderly smile and laugh is so touching and inspiring. In fact, there are elderly who are not seen smiling that much, but with the baby around that suddenly changes and they have this sudden glow on their faces when playing with the baby! In a recent discourse of Swami during His visit to Europe, He lovingly explained how impactful such small efforts are, of spending time with the elderly and bringing smiles to them.
Furthermore, the elderly in the facility do not realise that even they are serving the youth, who are not from the Netherlands, and by speaking to them in Dutch, the youth also get to practice the language.
They pray to Swami to continue giving the youth these opportunities to serve society as per His Divine Will!