Rick was there to meet with Amma’s “Amrita Serve” humanitarian team after receiving an e-mail three weeks earlier expressing their decision to integrate SevaChild’s vitamin A administration program into their 108-rural-village initiative. This meeting was the culmination of several visits to Amritapuri Ashram over the past three years, and will most certainly lead to tens of thousands of rural village children receiving vitamin A and albendazole through Amrita Serve’s 108-rural-village campaign.
The realization of this collaboration represents another step forward for SevaChild’s long-standing strategy of promoting vitamin A administration in rural villages and urban slums through many of India’s most highly regarded and remarkably successful humanitarian organizations.
With the training of Amrita Serve’s village staff members now complete, its integration of vitamin A administration is set to begin this month. (See “Training in the Himalayas” in this newsletter).
The Shift Network is an online organization specializing in transformational education: its goal is “To help humanity evolve and create a sustainable, healthy, peaceful and prosperous world.” Service, or seva, is a cornerstone of The Shift Network’s philosophy, and they wanted Rick to talk about the nature of service and how to develop seva through insight and receptivity to one’s own intuition.
Richard Bergin is a professional videographer with an impressive history and significant expertise in conducting similar “on location” interviews. Richard’s exceptionally insightful questions, as well as Rick’s comments on the subject of how to recognize and develop one’s own personal calling to serve, made for an informative interview on this unusual subject.
SevaChild will be posting this interview on YouTube after it has been edited, and if you are already receiving our newsletter, you’ll be sent the link via e-mail.
You may recall reading in SevaChild’s 2016 end-of-year newsletter the report about Divine Shakti Foundation and its part in last year’s Mayakund village event. The Foundation contributed to the event by showing educational videos on health and hygiene, and by feeding over 500 hungry village inhabitants from a kitchen they set up right in the slum.
Divine Shakti Foundation is one of India’s most remarkably successful humanitarian organizations, serving men, women and children throughout India with programs that promote health, education, ecological responsibility and hygiene. SevaChild is honored to welcome Divine Shakti Foundation to its network.
There are an estimated 10,000,000 children under the age of five at risk of vitamin A deficiency disorder in the State of Uttarakhand alone. Divine Shakti Foundation, in concert with SevaChild and three of our regional vitamin A administration partners, have all pledged to work together to eradicate VADD disease in Uttarakhand. Click here to read more about Divine Shakti Foundation’s remarkable humanitarian work.
Two of SevaChild’s instructors traveled over 1,000 miles from Hyderabad in the south to conduct the one-day training on the practical application of vitamin A administration and record-keeping procedures necessary to create and manage ongoing vitamin A administration programs.
It is interesting to note that two of the more prominent agencies participating in the training, Divine Shakti Foundation and Rural Development Institute, made separate commitments to eradicate vitamin A deficiency disorder in Uttarakhand – where an estimated 10,000,000 children are presently at risk of VADD. Both the named organizations have been delivering aid to children and families at the bottom of the socio-economic ladder for decades.
It goes without saying that we at SevaChild are very much moved by this heightened level of dedication to serving young children at risk, and we are eager – and able – to support these organizations with the vitamins and training they need to accomplish their formidable goals.
A group of contributors from Seattle has financed the installation of a water supply system, built a shelter for preparing midday meals at one of the three schools, replaced and re-painted a rain-damaged schoolhouse roof and ceiling, painted all three schools in the village and even built a house for the family of a sponsored child after their home had literally been destroyed in a storm.
Now the Seattle group is endeavoring to build a community center in the middle of the village; it will be a place where villagers can come together to discuss community affairs, children can gather for tutoring classes and indoor games, and skills training workshops can be conducted for the adults. The communal facility will be able to accommodate approximately 80 villagers at any given time and, after funding has been secured, be completed in two months’ time.
The community hall project will implement traditional building techniques to create a structure that is simple yet utilitarian, and the same methodology can be utilized in future for the erection of customized dwellings that are affordable and comfortable for inhabitants.
The dozen or so village adults who will be helping the American SevaChild volunteers build the community center will derive an added benefit: they will be learning a trade that they can use to build more of these modest dwellings – not only in their own village, but in the numerous rural areas in its vicinity.