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Region 3 - June 2012 Update

Values Alive Camp at Meadfurlong School, Milton Keynes

Another very successful Sathya Sai Education in Human Values (SSEHV) Values Alive camp was held on Saturdays 19 and 26 May 2012, in a local school in Milton Keynes. Meadfurlong School has hosted eight camps with Milton Keynes Sai Centre since 2003. Around 57 children from Fishermead and Oldbrook enjoyed a series of activities aimed at developing the innate values.

The five human values (truth, love, peace, right conduct, and non-violence), which are the core tenets of the SSEHV programme, were the essence of the camp. The day started promptly at 8.30am with an assembly based around the camp theme of WATCH: watch your words, watch your actions, watch your thoughts, watch your character and watch your heart. Thereafter, the children were taught about these values through the five teaching techniques (silent sitting, quotation, storytelling, group activity and singing). The day progressed with cooking, drama, a design and technology creative project and sporting activities, all as part of a curriculum aimed at developing human values.

The activities were run by Milton Keynes Sai Centre with a team of very enthusiastic and energetic volunteers. The schoolchildren, aged 7 to 11, enjoyed the day to the fullest. Their lunchtime was very different from usual, which is normally chaotic. At the camp they first gave thanks and then ate in silence with calm music in the background. This was definitely a new experience for all of the children: most of them said that they were able to taste the food better, enjoy every mouthful and they preferred their lunchtimes in the hall like this.

Nelly, aged 7, said "It was enjoyable and fun! We got to learn watching our thoughts and words because we can hurt people."

In response to the question, "What did you learn over the last 2 weekends?" Sergeys, aged 8, explained, "We learnt how to be good to people."

Natalia, aged 10, elaborated, "It was a really exciting way to learn new things – more fun than school! I love coming to school on Saturdays if it was just like the values camp."

One of the volunteers, aged 14, was a pupil who had attended two previous Values Alive camps. She enjoyed interacting with the children and loved participating as a teaching assistant in all of the activities. Well, Milton Keynes Sai Centre and the school have yet again provided the children an opportunity to experience and grow with good values.

Submitted by: Nirasha Ramlugan - event organiser

Eashwaramma Day Celebration – Foster Hill Sai Centre – Bedford

The Foster Hill Sai Centre Sai Youth rose to the 'dharmic' challenge of organising an uplifting and informative programme for the Eashwaramma Day celebration on the 6th May 2012.

Before paying homage to the Mother of our beloved Sai, the Sai Youth joined hands to decorate the altar with simplicity and charm. The programme commenced with Bhajans led by the SSE children and the Sai Youth.

This was followed by a charming and heart-warming Indian classical 'Bharatnatyam' dance to the Mudhugare Yashoda song by our youngest, 4 year old, SSE student.

Some of the other SSE students performed the following choral recital on the value of a family in our lives:

What is a family?

A family is very special
We all want to be happy
To live in loving kindness
To live with our mummies and daddies

Family love is very special
A love as soft as a dove
To have this love is essential
A love that comes from above

Family love is based on truth
Which brings peace as its roots
From peace comes love
A great blessing from above

Therefore, treasure your life
Given as a gift from the Almighty
Be prepared for any outcome
As it is YOUR destiny
The session concluded with Aarti and a reading on the life of Eashwaramma, a mother so blessed but a lesson in simplicity to us all.

Submitted by: Foster Hill Sai Centre, Bedford

Ilford Sai Centre Eashwaramma Day and Buddha Poornima Celebration on 5th May 2012

An exciting evening started with centre devotees arriving early and eager to take part in a double celebration, despite having earlier attending the National Eashwaramma Day celebration in Hatfield. The altar was adorned with the beautiful photo of our Lord Sathya Sai Baba, Shirdi Baba, mother Eashwaramma and our Lord Buddha.

The evening started with Omkars, Gayatri mantras, Vedam chanting and multi-faith prayers signifying the divine message of unity of faiths.

Baba says, "Bhajan is a disciplinary process by which 'Kama' (desire) and 'Krodha' (anger) can be kept away. In this busy age of fear and anxiety the remembrance of God and repetition of his name is the one means of liberation that is accessible to all." Group devotional singing commenced with Ganesh and Guru bhajan, followed by the sweet loving voices of the young ones who provided a glorious musical atmosphere, creating enormous vibrations in our lovely temple. Baba’s leela never ceases to amaze us, with the children giving such an outstanding offering.

Readings were researched and presented by SSE Group 3 and Sai Youth emphasising the meaning of Buddha Poornima, the true devotion of mother Eashwaramma and the total essence of motherly love. The beautiful prayers concluded with the message of love and the whole gathering thoroughly enjoyed the musical items.

The preparations for Eashwaramma Day consisted of workshops, spanning a number of weeks, for all the children to produce poems and posters. Many young talents were displayed at Ilford Centre for a few weeks. Everyone was a winner and certificates of achievements were presented to all the participants. Special prizes were also presented to the different age groups: under-5s, under-12s and over-12 years of age. The poems were truly inspiring and some brought tears to the eyes, as Swami's children are the true examples of leaders in the world.

Mothers from the centre had the opportunity to present the certificates and the prizes. The winning children read their poems and celebrations came to an end with Aarti, vibhuti and sweets distributed to all. This was a truly moving day which touched the hearts and souls of everyone present and left a loving smile on everyone's face.

Submitted by: Sheila Ring, Spiritual Coordinator, Ilford Sai Centre