UNITED SIKHSWinner of the Sikhs and Charities Award
December 31, 2010
17th Poh (Samvat 542 Nanakshahi)
Press Release
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Start a ripple! Be a Wave of change -drop your pebble in the water and donate today!

The biggest waves start with the smallest ripples in the water.  Be the one to drop the pebble, that starts the ripple, that creates the wave!

Never forget Elie Wiesel's call to action, "Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented."  Donate today to UNITED SIKHS!

As the end of 2010 approaches, TIME IS RUNNING OUT!  Make your tax deductible donation today to help UNITED SIKHS continue it’s work throughout the world.

At UNITED SIKHS, you know your money is going to the projects you donate them to. Our low operating costs allow us to dedicate 90 cents of every dollar toward the project it is intended for.
UNITED SIKHS has worked tirelessly to protect the rights of Sikhs globally.Your support has contributed to changing lives all over the world!!

In reflecting on this past year, UNITED SIKHS staff would like to thank each and every one of you for making the accomplishments of this organization possible.

We serve you in 3 major areas: 

I) International Civil and Human Rights (ICHRA)  Highlights: 

  • In the United States,
    • For the first time the Sikh community collectively expressed  issues to members of Congress at the 2010 Sikh Summit. Over 30 lawmakers approached with concerns that most affect the Sikh community by 60 community leaders, including concerns of airport security, watch-list issues, being counted in the Census and employment discrimination.
    • Safeguarded the rights of Sikhs to wear their kirpans at a major California University and working with a national Testing Center to provide a formal accommodation for Sikhs.
    • Filed formal complaint with EEOC regarding a TSA agent's right to wear the kara (without restrictions)
    • Investigations pending regarding formal complaints filed with TSA regarding the mistreatment of the Dastaar at airports
    • Ongoing work with Department of Justice Civil Rights Division and US Attorney’s offices across the nation to apprise them of hate/bias crimes against Sikhs
    • Actively engaged with US Attorney’s office across the country to increase awareness about Sikhs and Sikhism
    • Launched several campaigns highlighting the most critical issues of Sikhs

                       * Sikh Census: Identify yourself as a Sikh Campaign
                       * Bullying Prevention Initiative
                       * Education & Awareness trainings with law enforcement and
                       * Equal Employment Opportunity Commissions throughout the nation 

  • At the 3rd Global Sikh Civil Rights Conference, Sikhs from around the world gathered in Vancouver, Canada and engaged in a dialogue with experts, advocates, authors, and academics on topics of Sikh civil and human rights, including women's rights, minority rights under international law, religious discrimination /accommodation, and right to kakaars in public spaces.
  •  Launched the global “Protect Our Identity” campaign. This campaign is for the community, by the community and of the community. Have you volunteered or donated yet?
  • Assisted a Sikh family from Afghanistan (a surviving widow and daughter) after the Taliban had killed their husband and father in immigrating to Canada. Rehabilitated 24 families who were also threatened by the Taliban in Pakistan.
  • In Japan, UNITED SIKHS was pivotal in obtaining the release of Bharpoor Singh from prison while he awaits a decision on his asylum application.
  • UNITED SIKHS Australia is currently working with the Tasmanian Police to implement the Kirpan card into their policies and procedures manual, and with the Western Australia police to formalize the Sikh Turban as acceptable headgear for practicing Sikhs.

  • Right to Turban continues in Europe!! UNITED SIKHS filed a claim against France in the United Nations in December 2008 and are awaiting results soon. This has a direct impact on the 9500+ Sikh families living in France.
  • UNITED SIKHS filed a law suit against a school in Belgium to protect a Sikh child's right to wear their dastaar. The result of this lawsuit will impacts approximately 600+ Sikh families. 

Speak up, make your voice heard, volunteer or donate to ICHRA projects now!

 

II) UNITED SIKHS Aid projects:  The overwhelming support of the Sikh community earned us a mention in President Barack Obama's speech at the National Prayer Breakfast earlier this year.

  • Sikhs across the world united to support the ongoing UNITED SIKHS Haiti Relief Efforts. With your support we were able to:
    • Serve 33,200 meals (langar) between January and March
    • Distribute food to an additional 150,000 people
    • Provide temporary shelter and medical supplies to over 5000 Haitians displaced by the earthquake
  • Floods devastated the Panjab region in Pakistan and India. With generous contributions from our community members across the world, we were able to:
    • Distribute emergency food and non-food item kits to flood-affected families of Pir Sabaq, Gandaree and Dagoona in Resalpure distribution point in Nowshehra City, Pakistan
    • Provide food items for flood victims seeking refuge in Gurdwara Panja Sahib
    • Distribute 15,000 kg of rice to families affected by the floods in Pakistan.
    • Send food and supplies to flood affected families in 15 different villages in Panjab.
    • Give cash aid 50 rural families in 16 villages in India that had suffered extreme losses. These were families affected by farmer-suicides.
       
  • UNITED SIKHS’ staff and volunteers provide free food to the hungry as part of the “Feed the Hungry” program, implemented in Canada, Malaysia, USA, UK, and Australia at least every other month. UNITED SIKHS. In San Francisco UNITED SIKHS Feed the Hungry project fed 872 people in just 1 day.
  • UNITED SIKHS-UK served Langar to passengers stranded at London Heathrow Airport due to the volcanic ash cloud.  
  • UNITED SIKHS-Kenya is installing a water pump that will cater drinking water to over 5000 residents of the Nyanza district, and setting up medical camps to supply medicine to hundreds of underprivileged Kenyan adults and children in Buru-Buru and Kyole.  

We could not serve the people we do without the support of generous community members like you! Volunteer or donate to UNITED SIKHS Aid projects now.

 

 III) EduCare (Education & Healthcare) & Empowerment Highlights:

  • Continued to provide homework help to young students in Richmond Hill, NY and Carteret, NJ
  • Community partner and sub-grantee on Project RICE (Reaching Immigrants through Community Empowerment) for diabetes prevention and education work in the South Asian community in New York as part of the NYU School of Medicine Prevention Research Center
  • Screened nearly 250 community members at various screening events for blood pressure, cholesterol, blood glucose and BMI
  • Researched needs of youth members of Richmond Hill as part of the grant for the Advocates for Community Youth (ACY) project by Partnerships for After-School Education (PASE)
  • UNITED SIKHS UK assisted international students by signposting them to existing services which they may need, such as accommodation services, job seekers, health services etc.
  • Conducted diabetes and healthy lifestyle classes as part of “Yes You Can Defy Diabetes” supported by the New York State Health Foundation, The New York State Diabetes Campaign, Faith Fights Diabetes.
  • Represented the community at the National Community Committee, one of the guiding committees of the Prevention Research Center (PRC) program of the Centers for Disease Control (CDC)
  • Supported and  Conducted youth camps such as the West Coast Sikhi Camp, Khoj retreat (CA), Miri Piri Camp in Michigan
  • Became member of the Queens Cancer Action Council (as part of Queens Library Healthlink) to increase awareness and education
  • 210 STARAE scholarships to Sikh children from low income groups in India
  • Learning Value Series: workshops for excellence in all fields – students wrote poetry and sold peace cards for New Year in Delhi, India to raise funds for scholarships to children in Punjab.
     

The community needs your support. Speak up, make your voice heard, volunteer or donate to EduCare & Empowerment projects now!

 

Honors and Awards:
  • Recognized before the New York State Assembly by the Speaker of the House of New York, for the Civil and Human Rights Advocacy and Humanitarian Relief Efforts 
  • Received the ‘Sikhs and Charities’ Award at a prestigious Sikh Awards ceremony held at The Grosvenor House Hotel, London, October 10, 2010, for best demonstrating ‘that it has the community at heart and has had a positive impact whilst improving the health and wellbeing of Sikhs”.
  • UNITED SIKHS-USA became member of USAID, the first Sikh organization to EVER to become partner of USAID
  • Signed MOU with RedCross in New York to work jointly on disaster relief. 
  • UNITED SIKHS-Kenya was recognized by Kenyan Government as a Humanitarian Organization and awarded 2.5 acres of Land for the building of a Hospital.
  • UNITED SIKHS-UK was recognized and awarded by Sikh Channel in UK for Humanitarian relief in Haiti.
  • In a ceremony, the Jordanian Army Major Mohamad Twabi & Army officers in Port-au-Prince, Haiti honored Jaipal Singh, coordinator of the UNITED SIKHS Urban Design & Development Team.

Without your generous contributions of time, money, and spirit, the work we do could not get done. 

Each of your individual ripples in the water helped create a wave of change this year! But the work is never over, the battle never won, and we need your help to keep going! 

We urge you to keep the current strong, don't let the tide change-donate today to help us continue our vital and important work throughout the world!

CLICK HERE TO MAKE A 2010 TAX-DEDUCTIBLE DONATION NOW!

Issued by:
Ilana Ofgang
Legal Fellow
law-usa@unitedsikhs.org
1-888-243-1690

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Our Goals

. Protect & safeguard our Civil and Human rights by providing assistance through
. Fight against hunger, deprivation and provide Disaster Relief through 
. Educate and Empower (EduCare)

 

With the help of donations from supporters such as you we will continue to see improvements in our socio-political and economic environment

 

 MAKE YOUR VOICE HEARD!

 Click on the link below http://www.surveygizmo.com/s3/397854/2010-Global-Sikh-Civil-Rights-Report

Forward the link to friends and family who may be interested in participating. The more people complete the questionnaire, the stronger we can advocate for our rights in the global community
Contact Us

You can help those affected by countless crises around the world each year by making a financial gift to the UNITED SIKHS, which will provide immediate relief and support to those in need. You may donate online at www.unitedsikhs.org/donate  or send your donations to a UNITED SIKHS office nearest to you, whose details can be found at http://unitedsikhs.org/contact.php .

OUR MISSION

To transform underprivileged and minority communities and individuals into informed and vibrant members of society through civic, educational and personal development programs, by fostering active participation in social and economic activity.

UNITED SIKHS is also an avenue for networking between like-minded organisations to establish and nurture meaningful projects and dialogues - whether social, cultural or political- to promote harmony, understanding and reciprocity in our villages, towns and cities.

UNITED SIKHS is a coalition of organisations and individuals, who share a common vision based on the belief that there is no greater endeavour than to serve, empower and uplift fellow beings. The core of our philosophy is an unwavering commitment to civic service and social progress on behalf of the common good.

Accordingly, UNITED SIKHS has sought to fulfil its mission not only by informing, educating and uplifting fellow beings but also by participating in cross-cultural and political exchanges to ensure that the promises and benefits of democracy are realized by all.

We at UNITED SIKHS believe that the development of enlightened and progressive societies can be made possible by socially conscious groups of people who make a commitment to develop and direct human potential. Our work, efforts and achievements stand as a testament to our faith in this vision.