The Sathya Sai Young Adults (YAs) are an integral part of the Sri Sathya Sai International Organisation (SSSIO) and actively participate in a variety of devotional, educational, community service, and humanitarian relief projects worldwide.
In addition, there are nine International YA Subcommittees which provide an opportunity for YAs to participate in interesting programmes and projects designed specifically to cater to a wide range of interests. The International YA subcommittees include:
Serve the Planet (STP)
The theme for 2019 was Protect the Planet – Time for Action which was inspired by the need for YAs to not only learn about protecting the planet but also to put that knowledge into action. The STP Team launched a Go Green Network; a global network of SSSIO members who are passionate about protecting mother earth. They also organised online study circle sessions.
A seven-month Ceiling on Desires Sadhana Programme, to increase eco-awareness among YAs, was launched to commemorate Sri Sathya Sai Baba's 94th birthday.
Sathya Sai International Leadership Programme (SSILP) for Young Adults
The SSILP marked its 6th anniversary this year. It provides standardised leadership training to YAs based on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings. The course covers both foundational knowledge and practical application in society, through six online instructor-led sessions and three residential sessions at Prasanthi Nilayam, held in English, Russian, and Spanish.
In 2019, 310 YAs from 40 different countries have participated in the programme and a grand total of about 1,400 YAs have graduated from the SSILP since its inception in 2015. Many have now undertaken various leadership roles within the SSSIO.
InSAIghts (formerly Young Adults Talent Development)
InSAIghts is a monthly online spiritual masterclass, which shares the divine teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and their practical application with YAs globally. A shift of methodology of delivery from the original speech method to interactive interviews and panel discussions with eminent speakers has resulted in increased participation. Two themes and six sessions have been completed with more than 800 YAs.
Sathya Sai Sadhana of Love (SSSOL)
In July 2019, the residential component of the SSSOL was held in Prasanthi Nilayam and comprised of talks by eminent speakers and inspiring workshops. The programme focussed on self-enquiry, anchored on the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba. To maintain the momentum, in January 2020, SSSOL launched the second year of the online programme where approximately 170 YAs from 31 countries participated.
The international YA initiative, Reflections of Sai, has provided an avenue for YAs to unite in expressing their love for Sri Sathya Sai Baba. It has a huge following over the YA social media platforms.
Ocean of Music (OoM) (formerly Love All Serve All)
Responding to the overpouring love of YAs for music, the Love All Serve All (LASA) subcommittee was renamed to Ocean of Music (OoM). This subcommittee develops a repository of devotional and human values-based songs. OoM also provides a creative outlet for global YAs to share their musical talent. To encourage participation, a global music competition was launched. A global karaoke kit comprising of the winning songs was created to share the melodious musical renditions. OoM led an international musical performance in Prasanthi Nilayam in July 2019 during the SSILP graduation ceremony.
Group 4 Sai Spiritual Education to YA Transition
This subcommittee embarked on two main projects, the Global Photo Competition and the YA Onboarding Programme targeted at YAs of ages 18-23. The Global Photo Competition was launched to engage with younger YAs globally, and 26 submissions were received. The YA Onboarding Programme will provide a platform for SSE students to continue their path of spirituality as they transition to adulthood, with the support of the YAs.
Information Management and Analytics Subcommittee (IMAS)
IMAS provides data analysis and information by collecting data, processing it, and sharing insights for decision making. IMAS analysed data from global surveys and provided insights on various aspects such as zone participation in SSE, medical camps, and conferences. IMAS has been working with the SSSIO Annual Survey team to understand the role of YAs and their challenges.
Young Adults International Engagement (YAIE)
YAIE aims to equip YAs worldwide with resources to share the teachings of Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the work of the SSSIO at public events. YAs represented the SSSIO at the following public events:
- United Nations Environment Assembly, Kenya
- 24th Youth Assembly, USA
- UNESCO World Youth Conference on Kindness, India
- UNESCO Ahimsa Lecture, France
- Climate Justice Conference, Mauritius
- 25th Youth Assembly, USA
Formal presentations were given on spiritual solutions to the environmental crisis, Ceiling on Desires, and the five universal human values based on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings.
Young Adults Media Team
The YA Media team is the hub for promoting global YA activities and announcements through graphics and videos on various social media outlets: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Telegram, Snapchat, and Spotify under the username @saiyoungadults. The YA Media team releases a video monthly, called Sai Lens, highlighting inspiring YA activities across the globe.
The International YA Editorial team edits various materials such as SSSIO Annual Report, International YA bulletins and announcements as well as articles for websites, events, and worldwide publications.
A Zone 1 YA Festival themed Dare To Be Divine was organised by 120 YAs in Chicago, USA during 9 – 11 August 2019, with over 300 YAs in attendance. YA retreats were conducted in the USA on various spiritual topics, in addition to study circles and service activities. A symposium on Leadership for YAs was held in Guyana.
YAs across Canada sang Christmas carols in seniors’ homes and distributed meals and care packages, which included homemade treats, warm clothing, hygiene products, and handwritten notes.
YAs from Suriname along with others visited two Children’s orphanages – Zout der Aarde and Maho – where they spent quality time with the children by singing songs, telling stories, and distributing snacks as well as food hampers.
YAs in Trinidad and Tobago hosted an interfaith programme during their annual Visually Impaired Beach Outing for the Blind Welfare Association, which consisted of a talent show by the residents, swimming in the ocean, and a meal.
YAs from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Mexico attended First Aid training in Guatemala between 6 and 7 April 2019 to learn the skills to respond to emergency situations.
YAs in Panama served the Capira community on 21 December 2019 by distributing Christmas presents to 180 children, singing carols, and sharing vegetarian food.
YAs from Dominican Republic organised a National Retreat from 16 to 18 August 2019 to discuss various topics. They started with a Human Values Walk, in coordination with the SSE wing.
YAs from Brazil planned a National Sai Gymkhana involving diverse service tasks from 20 to 23 June 2019, which culminated with their National Retreat in Rio de Janeiro with the theme YA Challenges and Divine Teachings.
YAs from Paraguay organised a Human Values Workshop in a shelter for girls.
YAs from Argentina organised workshops on sustainable food and study circles based on Serve the Planet initiative throughout the year.
After 18 years, YAs from Peru organised a National Festival between 7th and 8th March 2020 called One with Sai in Lima.
YAs from Chile and Colombia took part in their national retreats and organised several initiatives. They coordinated several Public Conferences in both Peru and Venezuela.
Additionally, YAs from Chile, Brazil, and Venezuela continued activities such as feeding the hungry, visiting nursing homes, and distributing food, clothes, and toys.
Several YA retreats were held to address core YA issues based on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings, which helped to strengthen their self-confidence to face challenges with love and forbearance.
Service played a key part in YA programmes with the continuation of Go Green initiatives such as tree planting, walk for the environment, park clean ups, and creating recycling bins for plastic bottles, thereby raising awareness in the wider community about respecting and loving Mother Earth.
In response to the devastating bush fires in early 2020, YAs in Australia conducted group prayers, provided fruit for local animal shelters, helped with care packages for fire fighters, and helped neighbours.
In Nepal, 49 YAs participated in a nine-day Sathya Sai Leadership Development Programme conducted by the ISSE from 11 to 19 October 2019. About 840 YAs participated in a series of spiritual camps. The YAs also co-led national conferences in early 2020 on the theme of the 11th SSSIO World Conference, in Nepal.
In Sri Lanka, 65 YA leaders attended a National YA leadership retreat. The YAs organised the Sri Laghu Rudram Sadhana (chanting the Rudram 121 times) on 28 and 29 December 2019, which was attended by over 300 devotees.
YAs also engaged in service activities and village adoption programmes throughout the year. The construction of Sri Sathya Sai Community Drinking Water Project was led by the YAs in Nepal. YAs in Nepal and Sri Lanka participated in blood donation camps, flood relief, health awareness camps and community cleaning. They also celebrated Christmas in Sai Suva Sevana Cancer Hospice and Sai Elders Home, celebrated Valentine's Day in Leprosy Hospital and interacted lovingly with differently abled people in Sri Lanka.
Around 300 YAs attended a four-day Zone 4A and 4B Retreat titled, Faith Lift, with the theme May the Source be My Force in Prasanthi Nilayam held from 14 to 17 May 2019. The event included interactive talks, workshops, sports, exhibitions, music, and drama.
YAs participated in many outreach programmes in the local community, addressing teenage pregnancy, offering flood relief, and paid visits to orphanages, the elderly and the underprivileged.
YAs engaged in environmental and animal welfare activities, including Walk for Values, animal care, and beach cleaning. They also joined in healthcare services such as medical camps, health screening, and blood donation drives.
YA joined in spiritual camps and retreats to delve deeper into Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings.
In Taiwan, YAs participated in Earth Day Celebrations on 13 April 2019 at Happy Mount Charity Bazaar, home to lepers and mentally challenged children. They also participated in blood donation. A beach clean-up service was organised on 26 October 2019 in collaboration with a wellness club in Taipei.
In Japan, YAs joined pilgrimages to Prasanthi Nilayam. They also attended the SSSIO Japan National Sadhana Camp with the theme, Be Happy! Be Happy! Be Happy! As part of a SSILP Project, a YA launched Japanese and Spanish classes for Filipino and Peruvian children in Japan.
In Hong Kong, YAs conducted study circles, served the needy, conducted Educare English lessons at a local Chinese primary school, and organised an annual Christmas fun fair for the residents of a home for adults who are mentally challenged. They also participated in a group discussions and sang at an interfaith programme hosted by the HK Network for Religion and Peace to commemorate World Religion Day.
YAs engaged in public outreach programmes in addition to other activities. Around 40 YAs from Zones 6, 7, and 8 participated in a two-week European Summer Camp held from 16 to 25 August 2019 in Athens to reflect on unity and love for God.
YAs organised many activities including street, forest, and mountain trail clean-ups, food service to indigent people, and service to differently abled children, the elderly, as well as refugees.
YAs participated in Public Outreach events, which engaged the audience through music, art, and discussions on ancient Indian philosophical texts. YAs also organised study circles, devotional singing, art sessions, and drama on spiritual topics.
YAs celebrated religious holidays to learn more about other cultures and religions by organising devotional singing, sharing stories of Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s life, and discussing His teachings.
Estonian YAs attended the annual mid-summer camp held during 21– 22 June 2019 and engaged in service activities, study circles, and workshops on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings and on communications.
YAs from Hungary and Czech Republic joined national meetings and conducted study circles.
In Czech Republic, YAs planted trees to care for nature.
Austrian YAs took care of old and sick animals at an animal shelter.
YAs from Estonia translated Sai literature from English to Estonian for older devotees.
A Zone YA camp was held in November 2019 as part of the 95 Global Communities project in the Ural region of Russia wherein YAs conducted educational classes, creative workshops and a puppet show for the city’s children. YAs also organised a concert named Harmony in Unity for the city’s residents.
During the Zone YA Festival in March 2020, YAs had the opportunity to immerse themselves in Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings. The festival included team building games, dance, a creative master class, bhajans, yoga, and panel discussions. Local YA conferences on the theme Unity is Divinity, Purity is Enlightenment were held in two regions of Russia and in Kazakhstan.
In some regions of Russia and Ukraine, YAs planted trees, conducted forest clean-up, served food to indigent people, and held classes for school children on the prevention of bad habits and environmental issues. Furthermore, they also helped to organise public meetings, conferences, and medical camps.
In South Africa, around 120 YAs attended a National YA Camp themed Dare to be Divine held from 7 to 9 June 2019. The first National Sports Day was also held across South Africa on 1 February 2020.
In Kenya, YAs participated in a spiritual team building programme at the Karura Forest in Kenya.
In Nigeria, YAs organised blood donation drives and served food to the needy.
YAs in Morocco participated in a community adoption project and built a reservoir for a village in Marrakech.
In Madagascar, YAs assisted the Antananarivo Sai Centre dispensary which provided free weekly medical consultation and medicines.
YAs in Mauritius organised special programmes, such as a cultural programme on Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s life and teachings to commemorate Aradhana Mahotsavam. They also planted 1008 indigenous trees between 15 June and 20 October 2019 to commemorate Avatar Declaration Day.
Every month, home cooked food packets were distributed to more than 500 low income workers in Abu Dhabi.
Iftar food packs were distributed daily in the holy month of Ramadan to 176 low income workers in Abu Dhabi.
During the hot summer months, chilled buttermilk and water were served to over 4,400 workers every week across Abu Dhabi and Bahrain. In winter, around 500 workers were served hot tea in Bahrain. YAs also participated in beach clean-up in Bahrain.
UK & Ireland
YAs engaged in many service activities including regular food, health, and hamper distribution for the homeless, reading to the blind, donating items to food banks, and serving people with special needs.
YAs supported each other in practical spirituality through the Life SAIcle online series on life challenges and a Sai YA Forum which included mood painting, mindfulness, peer-to-peer support, and self-development.
The fortnightly YA Book Club was launched.
The UK STP team organised tree planting, river clean-ups and an exhibition at the National Birthday celebrations.
Find Your Soul original music initiative was launched, and the band debuted on National Human Values Day. YAs were also encouraged to donate stem cells to cancer patients.