As an offering of love to Bhagawan Sri Sathya Sai Baba on His 95th Birthday, the SSIO initiated a programme titled Global Adoption of 95 Communities. As part of the programme, we plan to adopt at least 95 communities around the world, in a sustainable manner. The goal of this project is transformation of the heart – for both SSIO volunteers and the recipients of the service, as taught by Bhagawan.
Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of needy people by providing education, healthcare, food, shelter, drinking water, and other services. I urge all SSIO members to participate in this wonderful opportunity.
Narendranath Reddy, M.D., letter to members of the SSIO, April 12, 2018
Inspired by the call to serve selflessly, the SSIO initiated a worldwide service project as a humble offering to Sathya Sai Baba for His 95th birthday in 2020. What began with the goal of adopting at least 95 communities, has grown by leaps and bounds driven by the devotion, dedication, and enthusiasm of members of the SSIO. Currently, there are over 150 communities that have been adopted, that are being served, and that will be cared for in the future. The choice of which community to adopt is dependent on local needs, local socio-economic and socio-political situations and varies widely from country to country.
We are happy to report that we have received an enthusiastic response from around the world. As of September 7, 2020, we have adopted 158 communities in 41 countries. We should keep going, acting on our good thoughts, and staying energised to complete these sustainable projects.
Suggested Types of Projects
In keeping with Sathya Sai Baba’s broad scope of service activities, the types of projects shall include but not be limited to broad categories such as: medical, environmental care, service, education, healthcare, youth issues, women’s issues, and children’s issues.
Type of proposed activities on the suggested projects
Sathya Sai Baba has always stressed the importance of the environment and that humanity is responsible for nurturing the environment, which provides sustenance. Suggested types of activities include planting trees, go-green campaigns, awareness presentations, songs, or drama presentations/competitions on preserving the environment and activities to keep the environment clean.
Suggested service activities include building new homes, repairing and painting homes, building and repairing children’s play areas, clean drinking water projects, soup kitchens, caring for the homeless, building libraries, encouraging community participation in old-age homes, orphanages and many other such activities.
Education can be a key adjunct to other service activities, and Sathya Sai Baba emphasises the importance to society of character education. Examples of educational activities include Education in Human Values (EHV) classes, parenting skills classes, EHV programmes/exhibitions (dramas, music), tuition/tutoring, public speaking, and debating.
Activities to engage, educate, and encourage youth are crucial. Such activities may include free tuition/tutoring, book reading clubs, public speaking/education sessions on topics such as drug abuse, alcohol abuse, relationships, time management, and smoking avoidance. Other activities may include games (football, cricket, basketball) and indoor activities (singing/bhajans/choir, human values plays, chess, and board games, fun academic quiz competitions).
The SSIO has many ongoing medical camps and clinics worldwide that serve the needy with love and compassion totally free of cost to the patient. Teams of doctors and other medical professionals also travel all over the world to provide needed patient care. As an example, the Russian speaking countries have adopted the “Sairam” village. The SSIO medical teams have been serving this adopted village with medical camps. Other services provided include home repairs, education, and food distribution.
Women’s progress and welfare are at the core of a healthy community. Some of the many possible activities may focus on increasing awareness of the importance of women and their crucial role in society. Basic skills classes to teach and empower women with life skills and basic skills including cooking, sewing, and basic literacy and education. Women’s health issues are also an important aspect of educational and service activities.
Any sustainable activity to foster the welfare of children would be welcome. Some suggestions include: access to education, addressing and improving nutrition, teaching basic hygiene, basic recreational facilities, improving access to healthcare, and improving childhood safety at home and outside.
The Way Forward
The way forward is clear – keep working hard and keep engaging those already involved. We need to understand the impact of the worldwide adoption of communities in need. We urge you to inform and inspire others to participate in this community service. Please stay in proper communication with the leaders of the SSIO for guidance and remember that the SSIO is here to provide support.
Please encourage and motivate all countries to report. Please report all communities that have been adopted, by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org