Sewa Pioneers Awards 2014
Sewa Day hosted the second annual Sewa Pioneers Awards at the House of Commons in London on 26th March 2014. Hosted by BBC London 94.9 presenters Sunny and Shay, the awards were attended by MPs Bob Blackman, Mike Freer, Barry Gardiner, Steve Pound, Virendra Sharma; peers, affiliated organisations and celebrities including music producer Rishi Rich.
Sewa Pioneers Award 2014 Winners – Schools
Kindergarten Starters, Dubai
The students of Kindergarten Starters participated in several large projects including a collection of clothes for Syrian refugees and organising ecology campaigns helping to raise awareness of saving water and electricity, Saving the Gaff tree and the Hawksbill Turtle campaigns. The school hosted the first DEWA (Dubai Electricity and Water Authority) Workshop on Conservation, which was open to parents, staff and students from all the schools in the UAE. All of the students created a human pink ribbon to raise awareness for Breast Cancer.
Barham Primary School, Wembley
Barnham Primary School has participated in Sewa Day for the last three years and this year nine hundred volunteers took part in projects throughout the week of Sewa Day.
The projects running through the week included: collecting old spectacles and clothes, toys, books and other unwanted items for St Luke’s Hospice, a whole school cleaning initiative, two assemblies from the Sewa Day team and St Luke’s Hospice staff.
GEMS World Academy, Dubai
GEMS World Academy organized a project to collect toiletries, food and other necessities from the students to give to the workers of a labour camp. The second project was to organize an Appreciation Dinner for the staff of the school. Thirty volunteers arrived early on their day off to distribute food and other supplies to over two hundred workers in the labour camp, in Sonapur. While one hundred staff from the school attended the Appreciation Dinner.
Westminster School, Dubai
Westminster students of all ages organised a recycling campaign, including collecting newspapers, plastic bottles and batteries for recycling. Assemblies were organised to teach the concept of sewa with talks and lessons running throughout the week of Sewa Day. They also ran awareness building campaigns for breast cancer and bullying. Younger students planted potted plants in the play area with tree planting running concurrently with this project.
Our Own English School, Al Ain
Pupils helped school staff clean the campus. Food items and clothing was collected and distributed to the vulnerable.
Sewa Pioneers Award 2014 Winners – Voluntary Groups
Exemplaris used a collaborative approach to organize a range of projects with a wide variety of community groups and companies. Working with the Sikh Organisation for Prison Welfare, SWAT, British Heart Foundation, Specsavers, Brunel Sikh Society and Basics of Sikhi and with the help of more than fifty volunteers the team organised projects to benefit one thousand people.
Om Group, Luton
The 65 volunteers from the Om Group brought joy to others at many local organisations, including the Keech Hospice for the fourth consecutive year. At Keech Hospice the team worked to make the hospice a cleaner and brighter environment for both the residents and staff. At NOAH Enterprise, a homeless charity, volunteers helped re-arrange, clean and sort the food stock and storage facilities at the premises. Volunteers ran workshops on the Navratri festival at the Foxholes Carehome in Hitchin.
The volunteers organized four projects in all that between them covered all of the Sewa Day criteria. They planted a tree in Whitworth Park, which will leave a lasting impact on the environment. Another environmental project involved the volunteers cleaning at the Fallowfield Secret Garden. The afternoon was spend at Overton House care home, bringing a little joy to the residents by running a Navratri festival dance workshop, teaching the residents traditional dance and putting a performance on for the residents. The last project saw a thirty strong volunteer team cook for the homeless and distribute the meals.
Over one hundred students from Hertfordshire, Brunel, City, Queen Marys, Kings, LSE, Roehampton, Westminster, St. Georges, Kingston & Greenwich spent the day at Bhaktivedanta Manor temple in Watford working on a range of activities. These included: planting hyacinths, weeding, cleaning the pond, general ground cleaning and making cards for terminally ill children
URI International, Uganda
United Religions Initiative (URI) International ran a number of Sewa Day projects including one in Kampala, Uganda, planting trees, mangoes and potatoes at a school for the families of local prison workers and offered mentoring and career advice to the students.