While the COVID-19 pandemic has left us physically isolated, it has in many ways brought us together. Over the past few months, we have seen acts of kindness in the news, and social media, ranging from people and organisations delivering groceries to offering free services, and reducing rents.
Sewa in a changing world
Traditionally, in Sikh history, ‘Sewa’ (selfless service) has taken the form of supporting the community through the provision of basic requirements such as food, lodging, and clothing, for example, ‘langar sewa’ (the communal kitchen). During, the 2019 and 2020 YSPN Elevate Conferences, panellists comprising Sikh leaders from around the world explored the concept of sewa in a rapidly changing world and found that it can be applied in various forms to magnify our impact as a community. This is particularly important given the rapid growth in the Sikh population in Australia, with a 400+% increase in the number of Sikhs between the last two censuses (2006-2016).
Despite the Government imposed restrictions on social distancing and lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, Sikh organisations across Australia and New Zealand have been practising this modern concept of sewa in the most meaningful and impactful way for “Sarbat da Bhalla” (the welfare of all) by continuing selfless service in various forms including offering free food and delivery and providing free or subsidised services in the industries of health, law and justice, education and vocational.
Who can help you?
To make the efforts of the entire community most effective and help those people in need as much as possible YSPN has compiled a list of organisations in Australia and New Zealand offering help. You can find the resources under the Related Files section at the bottom of this article.
If you need assistance, have questions about what is being offered, or want to know your eligibility for these services, or have any other inquiries specific to the services, we encourage you to contact the organisation directly to obtain further information.
What is YSPN doing?
The YSPN Team has been finding ways to connect with the community and help as much as possible. As a result:
- We have digitised our free CV check program, and general career counselling advice to support the community during these tough times. For help on your CV or to find ways to improve it, send your CV and/or any questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll reply to you with feedback.
- If you're looking for a job, we’ve put together an article here which sets out the list of organisations currently hiring during this pandemic.
- We’ve delivered a webinar on physical and mental health well-being, delivered by two accredited experts, accessible on Facebook (and will be made available on our website shortly). We will also be delivering a steady stream of COVID related content and our usual types of workshops and marquee events (via webinar) with eminent, expert speakers to help you with your professional aims.
How can you help?
We are inspired by the goodwill and energy that has appeared from our communities and know that many of you will feel a duty, and responsibility to act. If you wish to volunteer your time or donate money or resources through YSPN, please send us an e-mail at email@example.com; or reach out to us through our social media channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram), and we’ll connect you with the relevant person in the team, or organisation which best matches your motivation and objective.
In these challenging times, let us take solace in the acts of kindness and sewa of many.
Note: The information above has been compiled using publicly available data and is, as far as we are aware, current as of 18 April 2020. While we have done our utmost to ensure the information in this article is comprehensive, up to date and as accurate as possible, we do not guarantee that this is the case and make no representation, statement or warranty to that effect. For e.g., we make no representation or guarantee that the organisations listed in this article are still offering such benefits, whether they are any terms and conditions applying to their service or whether you will be able to qualify to obtain the benefit. We are not responsible for any loss or liability you may incur in connection with the information supplied here. In the event you do find a mistake please contact us (via email, Facebook or Instagram) so, we can issue a correction as soon as possible and minimise any further impact.