Posts tagged ‘UNITED SIKHS Humanitarian Aid’

UNITED SIKHS hosts its 45th Blood drive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha,Carteret, NJ

Marking yet another anniversary of the unfortunate 1984 attacks on Harmandir Sahib(Golden temple) in Amritsar, UNITED SIKHS, in collaboration with Community Blood Services (CBS), hosted a blood drive at Gurdwara Singh Sabha in Carteret,,NJ. More than 40 community members participated and generously donated blood. This was UNITED SIKHS’s 45th blood drive and yet another attempt to serve the community in every possible way.

According to America’s Blood Center’s(ABC), only 38 percent of the U.S. population is eligible to donate blood out of which less than 10 percent do annually, and about 1 in 7 people entering a hospital need blood. One pint of blood can save up to three lives and with the support of Gurdwara Management and CBS, we were able to collect more than 40 pints of blood in this blood drive.

UNITED SIKHS has been consistently conducting blood drives in different communities to respond to this vital and crucial need of people all
over the world. A big thanks to all those who donated blood at the drive and those who perform this sewa on a regular basis. Also, we thank the management of Gurdwara Singh Sabha at Carteret,NJ who has always been very supportive and compassionate in organising such drives.

We cannot undertake such important projects without the support of generous community members like you. Please volunteer or donate today!

To organize a blood drive in your region write to For more information on Blood Drives or other UNITED SIKHS Community Service initiatives, visit us at


United Sikhs Directors in Africa: Joshua’s message from Rusinga

Human stories the world over are the same – the triumph of faith in the divine in all of us. United Sikhs Directors are in Kenya and narrate their impressions from interacting with the local communities.

The first in the series is a touching story of someone who would like to share the gift of vision with his community in Rusinga:

UNITED SIKHS Team traveling to Rusinga island

Rusinga Island in the Nyanza District of Kenya is in Lake Victoria – the second largest lake in the world in terms of surface area after Lake Superior (USA). The Island is less than 100 km south of the Equator. Its temperate climate makes it a viable destination for tourists all the year round. There is a causeway connecting the island with the mainland. One can drive all the way from Nairobi or come through Kisumu cross by ferry from Lwanda (Naya).

Joshua was visually impaired in 1999 due to cataract. He learnt to live with it till Jaswinder kaur, Director, United Sikhs Kenya met him in 2008. She was on one of her campaigns to assist in medical treatment for people from remote areas who could either not afford it or went without it simply because Medical facilities do not exist in or near their communities. She brought him along with many others from the community to Nairobi for eye surgery. They got their vision back and today, Joshua is a happy man.

Joshua Oyugi in Rusinga on donated land with Jaswinder Kaur and Gurvinder Singh

He can see again and how – he sees a small clinic in his community for which he has donated a piece of land to UNITED SIKHS. He envisions the makeshift school near his land to have a better structure and an ambience where children can learn and grow to be proud citizens. He would like to see his community share in the mainstream economy starting with the basic benefits that they deserve.

Director of UNITED SIKHS from New York, Hardayal Singh mentioned how small things like a chair or a book can light up a child’s face. The simple concept of lunchtime at school does not exist for many children because their parents can only afford one meal a day. The beauty of this Island and other tourist attractions in Mbita nearby are enthralling, but not so the lack of basic amenities for the communities that live here.

Primary School Children in Rusinga with UNITED SIKHS

There is a need for a mobile clinic to rush children who suffer from snake bites to the nearest hospital – locals narrated instances of Python, Alligator, and Hippo attacks.

Dawn is not far though. Our team has had the opportunity to spend some time with the locals and other volunteer organizations that work in these areas. Volunteers work with local leaders without consideration of race/religion/country or any other affiliations. Together, we will achieve Joshua’s vision – for children and communities everywhere.

Diary entry of a UK Volunteer in Chile

A few weeks ago UNITED SIKHS volunteers left London Heathrow Airport to help with humanitarian relief efforts in Chile. We have just received email below from volunteer Baljinder Kaur whose diary experience is blogged below.  Just days before leaving Baljinder was helping give hot meals (Langaar) at Heathrow airport when flights in UK and Europe were grounded by the Icelandic ash cloud.

It is with your support these humanitarian efforts can continue, please keep look out in coming days for more information and photos of work being carried out in Chile.

Hi all,

I`ve managed to find a hut/home which has internet access – and asked if I can use it in with the very few Spanish words we`ve learnt here from a young girl who teaches me Spanish.

We are very busy now with langaar and the distribution of the container- The container arrived on Sunday and we were really surprised with what Canadian UNITED SIKHS had packed! They packed almost everything we needed to start a langaar from scratch, for example they packed us matches, candles, UNITED SIKHS volunteer t-shirts. The amazing part of this is that these boxes in particular fell out of the container as soon as we opened the doors – otherwise there is no way we would have found them until much later.

The local ladies came yesterday to help peel the vegetables and prepare langaar and they will be coming again today – which is really good as we can cook more and they now also feel part of a community.

The distribution of food and clothes is going well – two of the volunteers take the food (cereal boxes, baby milk, rice, etc…) and drive to remote areas in a car. There is a lot to do here so we normally wake early in the morning and go to sleep very late at night.

The locals really enjoy us being here and are leaning alot about Sikhs. There is one local called Maximo who comes into the community centre where we have set up the langaar (and where we sleep) very drunk – he`s told us that something very bad happened to him and that’s why he now drinks – but he said since the earthquake-tsunami we (Sikhs) are now here so that’s something very good that has happened. However when he does come we try and feed him as much as possible and as each day goes by I actually think he comes less and less drunk – so perhaps us being here will change his life around as well.

Anyway I need to get back to the community centre – i have left both Gurpreets washing massive pots for tonight’s langaar.

I will most likely email next when get back to the UK.

Yours faithfully
Baljinder Kaur

Humanitarian Response Highlights/Key Priorities-Pakistan

humanitarianhubsanddistribpoints-pak1st Sep 2009, Peshawar: Jean-Maurice Ripert of France has been appointed Special UN Envoy for Assistance to Pakistan

UN completed a high-level mission to Mingora in Swat District to assess the prevailing humanitarian situation

All 4,830 schools occupied by IDPs have been vacated and rehabilitation of schools has started

Situation Overview: According to the government, as of 24th August over 233,450 families of the 329,000 families registered and verified by the North West Frontier Province (NWFP)  Government as Internally Displaced People (IDPs), have returned to their places of origin.  The districts to which the people have returned are: Nowshera, Peshawar, Mardan, Charsadda and Swabi. The above is again based on the reports from the UN.  Many of the IDPs still haven’t received the IDP status as they have been living with their friends and families.  The Sikhs who came from Khuram Agency and Orakzai Agency fall in this category. Continue reading ‘Humanitarian Response Highlights/Key Priorities-Pakistan’ »