I love it when Sikhs mobilize themselves and put their Sikh values into action to help people in need by working with mainstream organizations. This accomplishes so many great things. We get to do authentic seva by selflessly helping individuals who are truly in need. We learn how successful institutions are organized to be effective and sustainable. Finally, and perhaps most importantly over time, it exposes non-Sikhs (and Sikh youth) to the best of who we are as a community.
Thus I was delighted to hear about Sikh Works, a wonderful project sponsored by the Sikh Youth Alliance of North America (SYANA). Here's some pictures from their first project working with Habitat For Humanity in Tampa. Florida. I wish them the best of luck and hope their efforts are supported and replicated across the continent. I look forward to Sikh Works Canada!
Here's what they're all about.
Social activism has been a cornerstone of Sikh teachings. From the time of Guru Nanak Dev Jee, the concept of Vand Chakna has been central to the life of a Sikh. Intrinsic to the goal of connecting with Vaaheguru, is the idea of actively serving the Guru. By putting words into action, by using our gifts and talents to further Guru’s work, we learn the humble nature of humanity, and see the magnificence of Vaaheguru’s creation.
Sikh Works is an attempt to encourage Sikh activism and volunteerism by creating opportunities throughout the year for Sikhs to congregate and make a difference, large and small. Each activity is designed to bring a group of Sikhs together and can be completed through the course of a weekend. The hope is to not just stimulate activism in that particular event, but to create an attitude where service and action become a part of daily life. Coming together in this way is not only productive but fun! A bond is created in working together that can lead to lifelong friendships.
Join us for a service project – make a difference in your life and in someone else’s.