Service: Serving Local Communities During Covid-19 - Part 1
Millions are infected by Covid-19, many have lost their jobs or businesses, and even more are forced to stay at home. Sri Sathya Sai Centres around the world have intensified their service activities and started new initiatives to help their brothers and sisters in distress, while complying with local health requirements. In this first of several SSSIO articles on this subject, we highlight just a few initiatives to provide food for the needy.
In response to the desperate needs of famine-stricken African countries affected by multiple disasters, including the pandemic, the SSSIO’s HElp Africa Relief (“HEAR”) project is a united global effort to ensure that impoverished people in Africa receive food and supplies.
As of December 2020, several 20-ft long shipping containers each with 19-20 tonnes of food, sufficient to feed about 1,300 families for a month, have been sent to Gabon, Angola, Senegal, Congo, Togo, Benin, Madagascar, Nigeria, South Africa, Cameroon and the Ivory Coast.
Food distributions have been completed in South Africa, where 2,770 hampers of food were donated in various regions. Food distribution in the remaining countries is underway and will continue in the future.
The food drive complimented local efforts by SSSIO members in Kenya who distributed 500 hampers to the impoverished, whilst members in Ghana distributed basic necessities to needy families near Accra and members in South Africa distributed over 200 hampers to families in need.
In Nepal, SSSIO volunteers have distributed over 36,000 packets of hot meals, 8,200 packets of dry food, 7,300 packets of dry rations, and 4,000 loaves of bread to those living in orphanages, nursing homes, and other shelters, and to street sleepers. In addition, the volunteers have served over 11,000 stray animals.
In Australia, SSSIO members supplied more than 950 kg. of food to refugee families and those who are unemployed due to the pandemic.
The SSSIO of Sri Lanka distributed rations to about 700 families. The Young Adults of the Sai Study Group Makassar of Indonesia distributed 25 care packages to those impacted by the pandemic.
The SSSIO of Canada delivered over 3,400 pounds of non-perishable food to impoverished families in Greater Toronto and around 7,500 pounds of food to a local food bank. Meanwhile, the SSSIO of USA in Southern California provided groceries and essential items to about 130 particularly needy families in the Santa Ana School District, California.
SSSIO volunteers in Guatemala City provided much-needed assistance to families affected by the pandemic, with more than 300 families receiving food supplies. In Mexico, SSSIO volunteers deliver hampers of food and cleaning supplies to 50 families fortnightly.
SSSIO members in northeast Brazil have distributed 500 hampers of basic necessities, including protective masks, whilst members of SSSIO Paraguay distributed 950 hampers to needed families in cities throughout the country, including the capital city, Asuncion.
The SSSIO of UK mobilized devotees around the country to distribute food and necessities to food banks, shelters for the homeless, and hospitals nationwide.
SSSIO volunteers in Kazakhstan supplied over 95 packages of food and essential items and 2,000 grocery bags to needy families.
The SSSIO of Saudi Arabia provided dry food to more than 75 needy people.