Archive for the ‘Empowerment’ Category.

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.

Khoj Workshop on Decisions and Outcome

Khoj Retreat Workshop will take place on August 14th at the San Jose Gurdwara in California. Those interested, please visit www.KhojRetreat.com and register for the event for a nominal fee. Fee waivers are available.

There’s still time…so fill out and mail back your census form TODAY!

There’s still time…so fill out and mail back your census form TODAY!

  • If you have not received a census form in the mail, or think you were left off your household’s census form, you can pick up a Be Counted form to ensure you are counted.
  • Be Counted forms, available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Korean, Vietnamese and Russian, can be picked up in nearly 39,000 community locations nationwide and mailed back in the attached postage-paid envelope.
  • Don’t forget to write in Sikh under “Other Race” in Question No.9 if you want to identify yourself as a Sikh and support getting Sikhs counted in the 2010 Census!
  • Call UNITED SIKHS if you have any questions or concerns! 1-888-243-1690

ਪੰਜਾਬੀ ਵਿੱਚ ਜਾਣਕਾਰੀ – Census 2010 Information Flyer in Punjabi

Census 2010 Sikh American Census Campaign FAQ

Census 2010 Sikh American Census Campaign FAQ
This FAQ has been drafted as a result of many questions and concerns that have been expressed by members of the Sikh community in relation 1to the Sikh American Census campaign. We hope that the questions and answers below will provide clarity to any confusion, and you are welcome to contact us at law-usa@unitedsikhs.org.

Q1: What happens if I mark “Other Race” and write in “Sikh” on the Census Form?
A1: Currently, the Census bureau automatically codes all Sikh writeins as “Asian-Indian.” This is a problem because it doesn’t allow Sikhs to counted by the Census Bureau, even though many other nationalities and ethnic groups are coded and counted correctly. In conversation with Karen Humes, Assistant Division Chief for Special populations for the Census Bureau, members of the Sikh community asked how to get a code, and she responded that we should petition the Census Bureau. UNITED SIKHS submitted a petition, with the support Continue reading ‘Census 2010 Sikh American Census Campaign FAQ’ »

Support Sikhcess on Facebook for the Chase Community Giving Campaign

Check out this great effort by Sikhcess – UNITED SIKHS wishes them the best in winning these funds from Chase – take a look below and see how you can vote for change.

From Sikhcess:

Sikhcess, a community service based non-profit is competing against 99 other top non-profits to win $1 million dollars as part of Chase Community Giving.

Rather than focus on one issue or community, Sikhcess came up with a BIG idea.  What’s the best solution to facing global calamities, including war, crime, poverty and drug proliferation?

Providing a world-class education to the world’s children.  All 2.2 billion of them.

This curriculum will be taught by exceptional teachers and and role-models, who will provide educationally-rich experiences; incorporating values, world history, current topics, future concerns, science, wellness and lifestyle habits, reading, writing, math and analytics.

Future generations of our world will gain valuable insight and skills, including integrity, responsibility, compassion, the sense of duty, the value of community, global-awareness.

Our goal is to provide the world’s children, through educationally-diverse experiences and culturally-rich interactions, the confidence, wisdom, and ability to make positive contributions to our world.

Please vote and help change the world!

Place vote here: http://apps.facebook.com/chasecommunitygiving/charities/1077736?src=wallpost&ref=mf

West Coast Sikhi Camp Held in California

Caruthers, CA – “VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH”, said the campers for the last time to each other. Tears, smiles and hugs were abundant among the campers and the organizers. The mood was one of great happiness and joy at the successful camp, but a great sadness that the camp was over. “When is the next camp?” shouted one of the campers, which was met with smiles and cheers from the other campers and organizers.
The West Coast Sikhi Camp, with the limitless blessings of the Almighty, was a great success, above and beyond what the organizers could have hoped for. Seventy five lucky campers experienced 4 days of fun filled learning, activities and of course, the delicious langar. The organizers were very appreciative of the campers’ cooperativeness and enthusiasm over the camp.
The uniqueness of the West Coast Sikhi Camp was its focus on having Sikhs living and working among society provide their remarkable input. Shattering the stereotype that keeping the Sikh physical image and employment are incompatible, the speakers (local as well as international) presented their talks and led discussions on Sikh religion, the faith, its meaning and its experience to the riveted campers, most of which was in English. Rather than being a one sided lecture, the talks from various speakers were followed by an open discussion, which fostered an environment of learning and enthusiasm.
The organizers wish to thank the campers for making the first ever West Coast Sikhi Camp a great success, the parents for their great trust in feeding their children’s spirituality and all of the volunteers that stepped up and made the camp come together. We are greatly indebted to Bhai Manvir Singh and Bhai Ravjeet Singh who joined us from England, along with Dr. Gurtej Singh from Sacramento. The three well renowned speakers led various topics and talks to acquaint the campers with history and beliefs of the Sikh religion.
One last note from the West Coast Sikhi Camp organizers: See you at the next camp and stay tuned to www.WCSikhiCamp.com for announcements.

Caruthers, CA – “VAHEGURU JI KA KHALSA, VAHEGURU JI KI FATEH”, said the campers for the last time to each other. Tears, smiles and hugs were abundant among the campers and the organizers. The mood was one of great happiness and joy at the successful camp, but a great sadness that the camp was over. “When is the next camp?” shouted one of the campers, which was met with smiles and cheers from the other campers and organizers. Continue reading ‘West Coast Sikhi Camp Held in California’ »