2020 kicked off with some exciting activities. We had the opportunity to be at the Abode of His Legacy in Australia, the Sathya Sai College – Primary & Secondary campuses in Murwillumbah and Dungay. For several years now SSIO Australia members have participated in working bees at the primary & secondary campuses. The working Bee is another opportunity for us give back to the community by spending time in various clean-up activities in the grounds of the colleges. As a result, when the school term commences, students are back to a clean & tidy school, all geared up to absorb more knowledge.
The Sathya Sai College of Murwillumbah NSW is Australia’s Sai School, supported by the SSIO in Australia. It has recently won a local council sustainability award. Tweed Council is taking a proactive role in encouraging sustainability in their area by recognising the importance of management of the environment for social and economic wellbeing, as well as for preservation for the future. On 15 November 2019, they conducted the inaugural ceremony, presenting awards to Sustainability Champions. The Sathya Sai College at Murwillumbah was the recipient of the People’s Choice Award for Schools.
The slogan for the College’s submission was – ‘Learning about litter, living life cleaner and making it greener.’
The practices implemented at the school that were highlighted were: Red bin-free school grounds –avoiding rubbish for landfill, creating healthy habits by eating nude food – reducing packaging, connecting with nature during activities such as outdoor classroom day, weekly gardening activities, developing edible gardens by growing a “Juicy Fruit Patch” and using the 3 R’s: Refuse, Reduce, Recycle.
This comprehensive round of initiatives adopted by students, staff and parents, has gradually changed the waste management processes and culture of the school community. It likely has flow-on effects to the homes and the community, as well as installing positive sustainability awareness in the students. The success of the program has also been achieved thanks to the support of organisations supporting sustainability including Eco-Schools, North East Waste and Tweed Shire Council.
The Winter Working Bee is now one of two working bees per year in the SSIO Australia calendar of events. Whilst the Sathya Sai School, (now College because of the primary & secondary campuses), has been functioning for more than 20 years, there are still new SSIO Australia members at each working bee.
The working bee serves for a few reasons:
The working bee is typically organised just before the school term reopens, eliminating the need for another clean up. This creates a clean environment to welcome the students back to.
At last year’s Winter Working Bee, we had 50 volunteers from SSIO. This year, with Sai Baba’s blessings, we had 75 volunteers in total, of which 35 were Young Adults from NSW, QLD and VIC.
There was plenty of work to keep the Adults and Young Adults buzzing. To name a few, the Primary Campus hall was entirely repainted. A partition wall was put up in the science classroom so that students won’t get distracted when people walk in and out of the common area. Plenty of new plants were planted across both campuses.
At the secondary campus, the garden beds were given a new lease on life. New timber support for the garden beds were installed, and lots of new mulch was laid. The chairs which were in storage were taken out from the shed and given a complete wipe down, and they now look as good as new. The main storage was given a clean-up, creating more storage space. A team was dedicated to clearing the bush along the perimeter fence, creating a very neat and clean outlook of the school grounds for anyone driving by.
Needless to say, a lot of energy was required, and this was only made possible by meals prepared lovingly by the adults from NSW & QLD – a dedicated team preparing sumptuous meals throughout the day. We also had soup prepared by some of the parents for the volunteers.
The wind down activities on Saturday evening after dinner was a perfect end to a busy day. We had a bonfire, sang songs and shared reflections.
Please encourage members to attend the next working bee, especially if they haven’t been to OUR SAI school. It’ll be a nice winter getaway to warm & sunny Murwillumbah & Dungay.
2019 kicked off with some exciting activities. While the Young Adults of Australia were in a pilgrimage at the Abode of Supreme Peace, some of us had the opportunity to be at the Abode of His Legacy in Australia, the Sathya Sai College – Primary & Secondary campuses in Murwillumbah and Dungay. For several years now SSIO Australia members have participated in working bees at the primary & secondary campuses. The working Bee is another opportunity for us give back to the community by spending time in various clean-up activities in the grounds of the colleges. As a result, when the school term commences, students are back to a clean & tidy school, all geared up to absorb more knowledge. What used to be once a year, is now twice a year – in January & July. On 26 January, SSIO members from Gold Coast & Brisbane participated in the working bee. We had a target of 20-25 volunteers, but of course Sai Baba had His own plan and we had almost double that number. This allowed us to complete all the tasks efficiently and well before the rise of the blazing afternoon sun. At every working bee there are always SSIO members who are there for the first time, and it won’t be their last. Many have experienced Sai Baba’s grace during these working bees. Many more are looking forward to the next one in July so stay tuned for the details.