The 20 October is a special day celebrated by the SSIO. It marks the anniversary of the date in 1940 that its founder and guide, Sathya Sai Baba, declared Himself and took up His work of re-invigorating faith and love for God and guiding the transformation the individual and society through the practice of universal human values at a deep spiritual level and selfless service to those in need and the community in general.
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In conjunction with other material being provided by the Sai Medical Unit covering Sai Health Week, a webinar dedicated to R U OK Day has been produced. R U OK Day is an annual day set aside to remind us to look out for our fellows who may be suffering from various mental health related issues, such as anxiety or depression. The day is one that seeks to make us aware of an on-going need to be proactive in this care for those around us.
Whilst service to the community is one of the main drivers of the SSIO, another aspect of service is a commitment to respect and support of our Mother Earth for all she provides. A large range of service activities are undertaken by individual regions and groups of the SSIO within Australia. To further awareness and provide opportunities, the following initiatives are highlighted. Rydalmere NSW centre has a number of sustainability projects in place that provide examples of what can be undertaken on an ongoing basis by individuals and as a group activity.
The Sai Medical Unit, a team of health professionals within the SSIO, following on the success of a number of events and seminars run for the previous year’s Women’s Health Week, are broadening their approach to include men’s health issues in this year’s activities. In keeping with COVID restrictions, they are providing two online webinars focusing on mind and heart-related matters.
Whilst there was a lifting of some of the CIVID 19 restrictions in NSW, members of the SSIO Australia were able to support the valuable work done by the Sai College in Northern NSW by participating in a working bee to carry out maintenance and improvements to the college’s facilities. The College’s goal is to provide students with an academically excellent education based upon the NSW Board of Studies syllabus whilst incorporating the integration of universal human values within the curriculum.
We all know the earth is in crisis. Climate change, pollution, over-exploitation, habit loss and species extinctions are ever-present reminders of our need to change our behaviours. 2020 marks the 95th year of the advent of Sathya Sai Baba. To mark the occasion, Envirocare Australia, the SSIO’s environmental program, is sharing via 3 videos, ideas of 95 potential green pledges we can all take to make a positive change for the environment.
Education Week is an annual event observed in August by the SSIO with an emphasis on the Sai Spiritual Education program (SSE) encompassing the principles and aspects of education that Sathya Sai Baba taught for spiritual and social uplift and development. There is a primary focus on the human values of Peace, Truth, Right Conduct, Non-violence and especially Love, which are values enshrined in all the major religions.
There is an expression, ‘plant a tree for your grandchildren’. The trees we plant generally develop their full grandeur and potential well beyond the life of those who plant them. However, even during our short span, they provide numerous services to humankind and the entire natural environment: shade; climate amelioration, global and local; habit and air services to name a few, not to mention their aesthetic appeal. The SSIO Australia will again participate in the national tree planting drive.
The Sathya Sai College has had some important upgrades in its facilities and has been expanding its operations through 2019 and 2020 within both its Primary Education campus at Murrwillumbah and particularly with its Secondary Education Campus at Dungay. Of course, the restrictions placed upon schools during the COVID19 crisis have had impacts with online learning being an important development in the teaching delivery.
NSW Region West of the SSIO Australia is commemorating the 95th Year of the Advent of Sathya Sai Baba with two special service activities: a Birthing Kit promotion and a prolonged Ceiling on Desires initiative.