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Love and Light

Region 1 - Youth-led Easter “Eggstravaganza”

Some people think the Easter bunny isn’t real… Region 1 decided to prove these people wrong, by keeping the Easter bunny spirit alive ourselves. Arguably we didn't have long floppy ears, but we definitely had the right intentions. We felt that during the long Easter weekend, we tend to take for granted what we have by booking a sneaky short holiday, or even just using the four days to have a relaxing time off. However what we all usually forget is that there are some people who are forced to experience this weekend in a very different way. Sometimes these people have to undergo unfathomable treatments; what is even worse is that a large number of these people are young children, with a terminal disease.

Therefore, Region 1 Youth decided to continue an initiative that has been continuing for a few years. However this year we wanted to tie in our regular collections with a purpose. We wanted to experience Swami's teachings first hand. One of the nine point code of conduct is practice ceiling on desires. We felt that we could easily implement this teaching within this project, by encouraging everyone to donate Easter eggs, by putting a ceiling on a desire they have, in order to give them the capacity to be able to give Easter Eggs to children in need. We decided to set an initial target of 108 Easter eggs. However the youth decided to get their entire centres involved from the adults down to the children.

As the Easter egg counts started to trickle in, we got word from Brixton Sai Centre who had really worked together as a centre to collect over 108 eggs just by themselves. The whole centre from the elderly down to the youngest children in the SSE classes all contributed. There was one young girl, who really touched all of our hearts. Not only did she fuel inspiration to the rest of the Region, she made each and every one of us contemplate on our own understanding of selfless Love. This little girl, at a mere age of 5 years old, decided to give the only Easter egg she had, to children less fortunate than her. This egg wasn’t a normal egg, it was specially personalised for little Aayushi. We asked her if she was sure she wanted to give her only egg away, and her answer was: “In the Easter egg, there is a chocolate smiley face, I thought, if I donate my Easter egg to children in hospital that will make other children happy.” She also went further to say, “No children should be in hospital during Easter, they should be celebrating Easter with their family.” If you have ever had doubts as to what selfless service is, I’m sure five year old Aayushi, will be more than happy to teach us all the true meaning to this wonderful teaching of our beloved Lord. 

Little Aayushi, doesn't even realise that her selfless act of service, not only made a huge difference to another little child in hospital, but also made a huge impact to all the youth in the Region. From that day, the collection numbers sky rocketed! We went from about 150 eggs to a mind blowing, 840 Easter eggs. With this many eggs, we decided that we could help more than just one hospital. We then called up various children hospitals around us, some of which were puzzled as to who we were and questioned our motive for donating so many Easter eggs. A simple explanation about our Service organisation, and how we as an international organisation that partake in various service activities around the world, put their minds to rest. Some hospitals were so happy that they wanted to find out more about us and our organisation and wanted to see whether we could work together on other projects in the future. We ended up donating this abundance of Easter Eggs to four children hospitals: Royal Marsden, St Georges, Evelina and Great Ormond Street. 

This project really showed us what we can achieve when we all work together, especially when we have a great foundation laid down to us by our Divine Bhagavan. Furthermore it showed us that the small act of one small child can create a domino effect that influences a plethora of people to be inspired to do the same.

Region 1 Youth Team