SSSIO volunteers in Costa Rica served the needy despite the hurdles posed by the pandemic. In Alajuela, the volunteers regularly served warm breakfast to the homeless. SSSIO members also distributed clothes to people displaced by natural disaster and planted trees as a service to Mother Nature.
Inspired by Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s teachings on loving service, twenty-five SSSIO Young Adults from the Sri Sathya Sai Centers of La Vega, San Francisco de Marcios, Santiago de los Caballeros, Bella Vista, Oriental, and Contui distributed toys to more than 650 underprivileged children at the annual ‘Give A Toy’ project.
On July 30, 2020, tropical storm Isaías made landfall in Dominican Republic, damaging more than 1,000 homes in Hato Mayor and displacing thousands of people. SSSIO delivered 55 care packages of nonperishable food, sheets, towels, household utensils, and clothes for those who were most affected by the storm.
Thirty-five students graduated with a Diploma in Education in Human Values jointly from the Autonomous University of Santo Domingo (UASD) San Francisco de Macorís campus, and the Sathya Sai Institute of Education in Human Values in August 2020. The graduation ceremony which took place at the Ana Luisa Arias assembly hall, was headed by the rector of the UASD campus, Dr. Miguel Medina Liriano. The President of the Sathya Sai Institute of Education in Human Values, Dr. Rosa Castro expressed hope that the new graduates will contribute to building a more humane society.
During August, September, and October 2020, SSSIO volunteers in El Salvador delivered Baskets of Love with food and hygiene items to six families who were quarantined due to the pandemic, impacting their household income.
On November 29, 2020, volunteers served food to over 90 people in the El Matazano community who had lost their homes during tropical storm Amanda.
SSSIO members brought Christmas joy to children and parents in San Rafael, El Matazano and Comunidad El Espino by distributing 130 toys, playing with piñatas, and sharing refreshments.
As the pandemic was spreading rapidly in Guatemala in early 2020, SSSIO volunteers began to cook and serve food daily to more than 500 needy people, using leaves as plates for serving food. They also delivered food to the elderly and families with children.
On March 2, 2020, the Sri Sathya Sai Community Centre in Iztapalapa organized a Coronavirus information session, led by Dr. Rocio Sanchez, a specialist in epidemiology in Mexico’s Public Health Department. The goal was to educate the community about Covid-19 and address related topics such as the origin of the virus, symptoms of illness, and preventive measures.
More than ten women from low-income areas attended a work-skills workshop on manicure organized by the Sri Sathya Sai Centre in Iztapalapa, to learn a trade for earning a livelihood.
Between May 15 and September 15, 2020, SSSIO volunteers delivered food and basic cleaning supplies to 450 establishments as part of the Love Hampers program in Iztapalapa. A team of volunteers delivered the hampers bi-weekly to 50 economically challenged families.
On May 16, 2020, SSSIO volunteers, including two youth, delivered medicines to the Cadereyta´s Home for the elderly, which cares for sixty elderly residents. On July 30, two Young Adults from Cancun delivered food for animals to the local zoo in the municipality of Quintana Roo, which was severely impacted due to lack of tourism caused by the pandemic.
Ten SSSIO coordinators, who had received advance training to care for plants, installed urban gardens in their homes as part of the Semillas de Amor (Seeds of Love) project between September 7 and November 23, 2020.
In commemoration of Avatar Declaration Day, SSSIO volunteers in Mexico planted 101 trees and plants on October 18, 2020. More than 28 families and groups of devotees participated in this activity. The volunteers not only planted trees in their houses and urban parks, but also pledged to care for them, over time.
On December 19, 2020, volunteers from the Iztapalapa Sathya Sai Community Center distributed double-sized blankets and food packages to 150 low-income families in communities adopted by the SSSIO in Mexico.
Despite the suffering caused by the pandemic, 14 dedicated SSSIO volunteers in Mexico dedicated themselves to translating, proofreading, designing, illustrating, researching, and developing new subject material for SSEHV. They composed and recorded songs for the Institute of Sathya Sai Education and performed other administrative tasks.
Every Thursday, Friday, and Sunday, devotees from all parts of Mexico participated in online devotional programs facilitated by the SSSIO of Mexico. Around 17 Young Adults from the Metropolitana, Noreste, Centro, Norte and Golfo Sri Sathya Sai Centers helped with the logistics of the virtual meeting and joined in singing devotional songs, playing instruments, and giving talks.
As soon as the pandemic-related restrictions eased in Panama, SSSIO volunteers resumed their regular service activities, including serving food to the homeless. In addition, the volunteers delivered food and hygiene supplies to the Pedregal Home for the Elderly. Young adults in Panama enthusiastically participated in online study circles on various topics including, serving the planet. They also presented virtual music programs to commemorate Guru Poornima, Bhagawan’s Birthday and Akhanda Bhajans.