|Activities - Service in the Community|
Sri Sathya Sai Baba is a great teacher and a humanitarian. He has initiated a number of projects in India towards providing the much needed Education and Health Care to the people who cannot afford it. He has established Hospitals, both Primary and Tertiary care that provide medical service to the poor without charging any fee. He is also providing clean drinking water to needy communities in India.
He feels that the situation in the world today can be remedied only by the future leaders, who are today’s children. He is confident that by providing an education, which, not only makes them excel in academics but also teaches them to bring out the good qualities in them and helps them to practice it in daily life, they can be equipped to lead the world towards peace and harmony. He calls this type of education “Educare”, meaning to “bring out” (the inherent human values).
He provides education free of cost through the Sathya Sai University in Puttaparthy, Andhra Pradesh, India. A child who is admitted in the kindergarten classes can go up to the doctoral level without paying any money as fee. Quality education integrated with human values such as Truth, Right Conduct, Peace, Love and Non-violence is offered in His educational institutions. Thus the graduates of this University come out not only with academic excellence but with human excellence and sterling character.
The Organization which bears His name exists in 114 countries. In every country, the organization follows the example of Sri Sathya Sai Baba in serving the community.
In Canada, the Sri Sathya Sai Baba Organization has 35 Centres, throughout the Nation. The goal of the Organization is to help individuals realize the brotherhood of man and Fatherhood of God through loving service. This goal is achieved through the activities of the Centre. The Centre functions with 4 major wings – Spiritual, Education, Service and Youth.
The Spiritual wing helps people to undertake spiritual activities like meditation and devotional singing. Meetings are usually held once a week in a public place. The Centers celebrate important festivals of the major religions of the world. SSSB Organization is a spiritual organization and hence does not profess one particular religion. People from all walks of life and all religions participate in these activities. The wing also organizes multi-faith forums to get a better understanding of all the religions and respect them.
The Education wing follows the example provided by Sri Sathya Sai Baba and conducts classes on Human Values for children of ages 5- 16. The classes are offered free of cost once a week by teachers trained to hold such classes. As mentioned earlier, the basis is “Educare” and the curriculum is designed to bring out the innate goodness and inherent values in the child and help the child to practice them in their daily life. This education program, founded by Sri Sathya Sai Baba is called the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values and is available to any and every child, everywhere. The classes begin in September and close in May/June. An open house is held in the Centers, to parents of prospective students before they are enrolled in the program to explain the benefits of the program. The Education wing also conducts classes for children to train them to be future leaders of world, in addition to being the future leaders of the Sai Organization. These classes are called Sri Sathya Sai Spiritual Education.
The Organization also sponsors The Sathya Sai School in Toronto through the Sri Sathya Sai Education Trust. The School follows the Ontario Curriculum, but integrates the values in every subject following the model of the Sri Sathya Sai University in India. The school was inaugurated in September 2000 and it has already established a good reputation both in the academic and in the general fields. The parents of the children in this school are so happy and satisfied with the outcome in their children that they decided to take the values to the community through a walkathon “Walk for Values”. This is an annual event which is undertaken by the Sai Organization throughout the Nation. Mayors of the cities of Regina, Saskatoon and Edmonton are so impressed with the effect that they are declaring the day of the Walk as the Human Values Day and request their citizens to practice values.
Another project initiated by Sri Sathya Sai Baba is called Dynamic Value Parenting. Education starts at home and the mother is the first teacher of the child, which is absolutely true. The SSEHV program involves partnership between the child, parent and the teacher. The parents play a crucial role in molding the character of the child and the SSEHV teacher requires the help and co-operation of the parent. Parenthood does not come with an operating manual and quite often parents are left to learn by themselves through their mistakes. Baba felt that a program to help parents understand their inherent values and help them to inculcate the same in their children would be valuable. So Sri Sathya Sai Baba established the “Dynamic Value Parenting” program brought in by a medical doctor, Pal Dhall and his wife from Australia.
The Sai Centres offer this program to the parents of the children in the SSEHV Program, and to the parents of children of the Sathya Sai Schools. It is once again free of cost and anyone can enroll in the program – both parents and future parents. The program is so successful that it spread by word of mouth to the community and other schools. So now this program is being offered to community groups and the public schools which request for it. The facilitators are specially trained to conduct the workshops.
The Service wing of the Organization plans and executes service projects based on the needs of the community. The regular activities are Blood donation, providing food for the needy, wheel chair cleaning, tree planting etc. During the Disaster of Tsunami, the medical and non-medical members of the Organization traveled to the afflicted areas and provided the needed relief. Volunteerism is the hall mark of the Sai Organization and the members volunteer where there is a need.
The Youth wing of the Organization consists of young adults. Most of them have gone through the educational program of the Centres and hence have been ingrained with the attitude of service, love and compassion. The youth plan service activities directed towards guiding and helping other youth in the community.
The Sri Sathya Sai Book and Information Centre of Canada is the official source of books and information about Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba and the Organization in Canada.