The SSIO of Australia & PNG is responding to the devastation created by the current bushfire emergency by encouraging its members to assist the affected individuals, communities and wildlife in a number of ways and expects this assistance will continue for some time.
Groups/Regions of the SSIO have already started providing assistance within their capacities to alleviate the distress created by the monumental nation-wide emergency. A national coordinated response is being activated in a two-phase approach. Dealing with the crisis as it unfolds and following this phase assisting with recovery.
The crisis phase is being dealt with by;
Prayers for rain to extinguish the fires and break the long-standing drought experienced by large areas of the country. Prayers are also being directed towards the welfare and courage of those adversely affected by the fires and the marvellous volunteers who selflessly fight the fires. Several regions and groups have organised special prayer sessions in this regard.
Collection and distribution of material support for those people in need through the fires. These requirements are being assessed, collected and distributed in consultation with local authorities based on needs. Members are encouraged to ascertain how you can assist by referring to your local group or region presidents or the Bushfire Service Coordinators; Vignesh Shanmugan, 0404905342, or Sudhesh Suknundan, 0408744169.
Authorities are recommending at this stage that cash donations are the most useful means of support. They have been swamped with donations of food, clothing and other materials to the point they are becoming a hinderance in their efforts to support those affected. The SSIO has established a fund for receipt of donations by members if they so wish to donate. The information for making these donations is available through the Presidents of individual groups and regions.
Members are encouraged to support local community initiatives and participate where possible, such as supporting local Evacuation Centres, provision of shelter to evacuees and supporting the various wildlife rescue services.
All supporting activities are ongoing until the end of this Summer. Members are asked to keep on working with your Region Presidents and Bushfire Service Coordinators. Always ask how you can be of support in these critical times.
More information will be provided as appropriate, especially in dealing with the recovery phase.
NSW Region West of the Sathya Sai International Organisation of
Australia & PNG have been co-organising this event since 2013. It is a
special end-of-year celebration and service offering catering for a large group
of youthful seniors aged between 60 and 95 years.
The group normally includes about 250 -300 aged and disabled clients
from the Western Sydney Region contained within the Auburn, Blacktown, Hills,
Holroyd and Parramatta Local Government areas. The diverse range of
nationalities represented includes; Bhutanese, Spanish, Chinese, Serbians,
Croatians, Egyptians, Turkish, Filipinos, Indians, Fijians, Sri Lankans and
The ACT Region for the past five years has been singing carols at IRT Kangara Waters Nursing Home in Belconnen as its key service offering during the Christmas festivities. IRT Kangara Waters Nursing Home, situated on the tranquil shores of Lake Ginninderra, has been designed to create a sense of community, while giving the elderly every opportunity to live a peaceful, healthy life. This service offering took place for the 6th year on 14 December 2019.
Around 20 Sai followers, predominantly from the Young Adults, Sai Spiritual Education (SSE) students and their parents, and SSE teachers of the ACT Region sang carols at this nursing home. These singers were ably supported on the piano by Sahana, an SSE student. Carols sung included well-known carols such as ‘Away in a Manger’, ‘Deck the Halls’, ‘Silent Night’, ‘Jingle Bells’, ‘Go tell it on the Mountain, ‘Drummer Boy’ and ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’. The carol singing was wrapped up with a solo piano recital by Sahana. Approximately 20 elderly residents attended the carol singing. Some of these residents clapped their hands and joined in the singing, while the vast majority listened to the singing appreciatively. The residents expressed happiness in being able to hear traditional carols that once used to be sung in their homes. The Sai followers mingled with residents by greeting each one of them, wishing them a Holy Christmas and distributing light refreshments.
This yearly service activity enables the Sai followers of the ACT Region to share their love and connect with the elderly citizens via carol singing in the true spirit of Christmas.
This activity also encapsulates Sathya Sai Baba’s messages during Christmas that every man is a messenger of God and this message calls for service with selfless love being the corner stone. Sathya Baba further states “In the Bible it is recorded that Jesus washed the feet of His disciples. Concerned about this, His disciples enquired what He was doing. Jesus answered I am washing your feet as your servant, so you may learn to serve the world” (Sai Speaks Vol. 17, 25/12/1984). The message Jesus gave was through His actions. He demonstrated to others His role as servant of mankind.
In the link below you will find a New Year 2020 Video Message in which Dr. Narendranath Reddy, Chairman, SSIO, reminds us of the four important commandments of Sri Sathya Sai Baba to redeem our lives. He expresses gratitude to Sai Baba for the four precious gifts to humanity. Dr. Reddy also outlines the theme of the 11th World Conference of the SSIO to be held in November 2020 in Prasanthi Nilayam, namely – Unity is Divinity and Purity is Enlightenment.
Free Yoga was organised for the men, women and children of Bundaberg at the Neighbourhood Centre on the 28th of November 2019, to celebrate the 94th advent of Sathya Sai Baba. The one hour session was attended by 15 participants across a wide variety of age groups. Vegetarian finger food was offered by members of Bundaberg Sai Centre and was received wholeheartedly by the participants.
Participant feedback included: “Felt relaxed and uplifted afterward; it was fantastic” “I enjoyed the Yoga session today, and I would love to join again” “Thank you all for the uplifting afternoon” We are grateful to Ms Tamar Boas, a yoga teacher, for an energizing yoga workout.