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Youth Wing - Serve the Planet 2014: Children are our Future

What is Serve the Planet?

Serve the Planet is a global youth-led service initiative that started last year in 2013. It is undertaken to celebrate Bhagawan Baba\'s Avatar Declaration Day on October 20th. All overseas Sathya Sai Organisations are devoted to carry out this project under the direction of Prasanthi Council, as a sacred offering on this epoch-making day.

On this significant day in 1940, Bhagawan, out of His infinite love and compassion, announced His Avatarhood to the world. He declared that the purpose of His Advent and Mission was the transformation and redemption of mankind through love. All through the 85 years of His sojourn on earth, He was engaged in this Mission of Love through selfless service to humanity. In fact, His central message \'Love All, Serve All\' has been a shining light, guiding millions of devotees and followers around the world in their spiritual journeys.

"The core of the spiritual discipline of service is to see everyone as yourself and yourself in everyone. You are not doing service to others, you are doing service to yourselves, to the God in you who is equally present in all" - Sathya Sai Baba 21/11/1981

The project, "Serve the Planet", is an effort to focus the attention of those all over the world on the importance and significance of Service with Love.

A reminder of what we did in UK last year...

The Serve the Planet global theme last year was to “feed the needy”. Last year, the UK worked with the Trussel Trust and donated in total 4.5 tonnes of food to various food banks across the country. Many centres around UK have continued with this initiative as an on-going service activity. Trussel Trust members have also attended and spoken at some of our National Programmes last year.

As well as the food bank initiative, in 2013 all 8 Regions in the UK fed just over 1,000 homeless people in total. A Laksharchana was also conducted on 20th October itself to pray for all those suffering in the world, reciting the Divine name 100,000 times.

A full report of Serve the Planet 2013 from each country involved can be read on the link below. Please note that UK falls under Zone 9a.

http://www.sathyasai.org/files2014/STP2013InternationalReport.pdf

What is the aim and theme for Serve the Planet in 2014?

The theme for Serve the Planet around the world this year is “Children are our future”. On the Avatar Declaration Day, and in the week leading up to it, various service activities will be undertaken by individual countries based upon locally identified needs.

Apart from bringing devotees from all Centres together under a shared vision, the project aims to provide a wonderful opportunity for everyone to participate fully in this initiative, be it children, youth, adults and the elderly. It is an opportunity to reflect His Message of loving and serving all.

When carried out together by the Sai family around the world, on the same day, with a singular focus, the impact on our planet will be amplified manifold. It is also hoped that this project will create a lasting effect upon local communities throughout the UK, by our united and sustained efforts through the various Sai Centres around the country.

What is the UK doing this year?

This year, we will be working with Refuge UK by offering emergency items that are required for victims of domestic violence, in particular children. The types of emergency items will differ by location but typically will be food and toiletry items. Items offered by SSSSO UK will be distributed by Refuge UK to those victims of domestic violence that are under their care.

There will also be local initiatives undertaken within the Regions of UK. More details will be cascaded soon; various presentations will be made shortly in all UK Centres/Groups that will provide more information.

A dedicated website has been set up and can be found on link below

http://www.srisathyasai.org.uk/servetheplanet/

Who are Refuge UK? [source: Refuge UK website]

Since 1971, Refuge has led the campaign against domestic violence. They have grown to become the country’s largest single provider of specialist domestic violence services. On any given day they support 3,000 women and children through a range of services including; refugees, independent advocacies, community outreach and culturally specific services.

We pray to Swami to guide us as we make this humble offering for this year’s Serve the Planet initiative of “Children are our future”.

With Love,

Nishal Govindji-Bhatt, Region 5 Youth Coordinator
UK Youth Lead for Serve the Planet 2014