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  • 19 Apr 2022 12:21 PM | Rachappa Bellappa (Administrator)

    Sewa International Joins Hands with Conscious Planet to Promote the Save Soil Global Movement

    Atlanta, GA (April 19, 2022): Sewa International, through its Vasundhara Sewa program and its continued commitment to environmental causes, is supporting the Save Soil movement.

    Save Soil is a global initiative launched by yogi and visionary Sadhguru to “invoke a conscious approach to soil and the planet.” One of Save Soil’s main objectives is to have countries across the globe enact necessary laws and policies that will “increase the organic content in cultivable soil” and address the catastrophic environmental degradation issues facing humanity. Joining the Save Soil movement are thousands of experts, community leaders, celebrities, governmental agencies, and heads of state.

    After initial media coverage in the US, where Sadhguru was interviewed by Trevor Noah and Joe Rogan on March 21, he began a 100-day, 20,000-mile motorcycle journey across 27 countries. Sadhguru has traversed major European countries and cities, where he spreads the Save Soil message at large public events and in meetings with experts. He has engaged with major European media as well as government leaders. He emphasizes the pressing need to formulate policies that address the looming threat of soil degradation, how to regenerate soil, and work to ensure the health of Mother Earth.

    Globally, 52 percent of agricultural land is already degraded, and the UN Food and Agriculture Organization predicts we only have 60 years of soil use left. Fortunately, there are proven solutions that could help reverse this calamitous trend if concerted steps are immediately initiated. Leading agencies such as the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification and United Nations Environment Program are offering their support and expertise to ensure the success of these efforts. The movement has also received resounding support from several Caribbean nations, the Commonwealth of Nations, the “4 per 1,000” Initiative, the World Food Program, the Food and Agriculture Organization, and the International Union for Conservation of Nature, among others.


    Sadhguru at the United Nations in Geneva, joining the panel event “Save Soil: On Planetary and Human Well-Being”. The panelists joining Sadhguru include (left to right) Nadia Isler (Office of the Director-General, United Nations), Dr. Naoko Yamamoto (World Health Organization), and Stewart Maginnis (International Union for Conservation of Nature).

    Sewa International will support Save Soil’s efforts through initiatives that engage its volunteers and the communities they live in. In alignment with the “Students for Soil” global initiative, Sewa will kick off a poster campaign involving the youth, amplifying their messages and designs through social media. Sewa then plans to continue the momentum by encouraging children to adopt and care for plants as well as join nature outings. These efforts reflect a commitment to join hands to facilitate Sadhguru's vision of spreading the Save Soil message to 3.5 billion people.

    One thousand plus LEAD (a program engaging high school and college students) participants will be conducting various activities and managing campaigns bringing awareness about soil health to their communities. They will also be participating in the Earth Day poster campaign.

    Sewa International’s forty-three chapters will be conducting soil conservation and awareness activities. They will also be involved in observing Earth Day on April 23 and are organizing a national evening webinar to unite experts and environmental leaders. Those involved will take the "Vasundhara Sewa" pledge: “I pledge to take steps toward the betterment of my Mother Earth. I will spread awareness to others. I will expand my knowledge and actions to reduce the carbon footprint and improve the environment and my community.” The pledge can be taken at sewausa.org/savesoilpledge.

    “We in Sewa have always promoted the principle of serving all beings, sentient and non-sentient. Sewa means selfless service, and helping Sadhguru and his team spread this message of protecting the Earth is very much part of our goal to serve people by helping them lead safe and healthy lives in a beautiful environment,” said Prem Pusuloori, Director of Projects and Programs, Sewa International.

               

    About Sewa International

    Sewa International (www.sewausa.org) is a 501 (c)(3) Hindu faith-based charitable nonprofit that works in the areas of disaster recovery, education, and development. Sewa has 43 Chapters across the USA and serves regardless of race, color, religion, sex, age, disability, or national origin. 

    About Sadhguru

    Sadhguru is a yogi, visionary and a two-time New York Times bestselling author. He has been conferred three presidential awards in India, including one for his environmental work as well as India’s highest annual civilian award for exceptional and distinguished service.

    Over the years, the founder of Isha Foundation has also launched large ecological initiatives that have created a blueprint for economic development that is ecologically sustainable. He has spoken at the United Nations, World Economic Forum, World Bank, the UK House of Lords, TED, and countless global companies. He has also been invited to talk at universities like Oxford, Stanford, Harvard, Yale, Wharton, and MIT, among others.

    About Conscious Planet – Save Soil Movement

    The Conscious Planet Movement to Save Soil is a global civil movement to inspire a conscious approach to saving our soil and planet. This is, first and foremost, a people’s movement. Its aim is to activate the support of over 3.5 billion people (over 60% of the world’s voting population) to make ecological issues an election priority for governments across the globe.

    The Conscious Planet Movement aims to urge and support governments in formulating policies that will address soil health in their country and make farming activity more soil friendly to halt and reverse further soil degradation globally. The primary recommendation of the Save Soil Movement is for governments across the world to legislate policies that will mandate a minimum of 3-6% organic content in all agricultural soil in their country. World leaders, influencers, artists, subject matter experts, farmers, spiritual leaders, NGOs are among those who have pledged their support to rekindle humanity’s relationship with soil.

    Learn more at SaveSoil.org. For media inquiries, contact media.americas@savesoil.org.


  • 8 Mar 2022 12:30 PM | Rachappa Bellappa (Administrator)

    Sewa International Plays Key Role in Evacuating 467 African Students from Ukraine


    Houston, TX (March 09, 2022): Sewa International Europe played a key role in evacuating 467 African students, including 367 from Nigeria, and another 100 from Namibia, Zambia, and South Africa, from Sumy, the northern region of Ukraine bordering Russia, on Tuesday, March 8. Sewa volunteers coordinated the evacuation efforts responding to a request by Shina Alege, the Nigerian Ambassador to Ukraine.

    Nigeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, thanked Sewa International Europe for “their amazing facilitation and coordination”. In his message, he also thanked the Government of Ukraine for providing the buses, and Shina Alege, Nigeria’s Ambassador, “for his determination and perseverance”.

    Sewa Europe volunteers received the request on March 5 from the ambassador and worked closely with the Sumy State University coordinators, Sumy city administration, and the Nigerian Student Representative, Moses Fehintola. The evacuation took place around 1:20 PM Ukrainian time. The students were taken from Sumy to the Romanian border where they are expected to board flights to their countries.


    Sewa volunteers pictured with a few of the international students they helped evacuate from the war zone

    Sewa International volunteers in Europe have helped nearly 12,000 individuals in the last sixteen days since the war started. Over 100 Sewa volunteers are working within Ukraine, and fifty volunteers are working in the border locations assisting people to cross the border. So far, Sewa has helped stranded people from twelve nations.

    Sewa helplines continue to receive calls from stranded people and 350 volunteers from 25 countries across the globe are involved in answering the helplines and arranging for food, shelter, transportation, and other types of help in Poland, Romania, Slovakia, Finland, the United Kingdom, and Germany. Sewa is receiving outstanding support and cooperation from many Hindu religious (dharmic) organizations such as the International Society of Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) and Swaminarayan Sanstha (BAPS) as well as citizens in bordering countries such as Poland and Romania. Volunteers from ISKCON and BAPS are working together with Sewa volunteers in serving food, providing shelter, and in reaching out to people who need help.


    Nigeria’s Minister for Foreign Affairs, Geoffrey Onyema, thanked Sewa International for coordinating the Nigerian students’ evacuation from Sumy, in the northern region of Ukraine on March 8 2022.

    “It is really heartening to see that Sewa’s efforts to help the African students have been fruitful and they have been evacuated from Sumy. We thank the Ukrainian Government for providing the buses and a green corridor to help these students leave the war zone. We thank Ambassador Shina Alege for providing Sewa an opportunity to serve these students who were stuck in Sumy and facing danger,” Sewa volunteers Atul Sethi from Ukraine, Nilesh Solanki from the United Kingdom, Divyang Pandya from Norway, and Heramb Kulkarni from Finland said over a WhatsApp call.

    Sewa Europe is continuing its efforts to help stranded people and people affected by the war in Ukraine.

    To volunteer or for information on Sewa’s efforts, please visit https://sewaeurope.org, https://fr-fr.facebook.com/SewaEuropeOfficial/ or call +35 8504839418.


  • 2 Mar 2022 12:26 PM | Rachappa Bellappa (Administrator)

    Sewa International Helps Over 3,200 Evacuate Ukraine, Many Others Wait Their Turn


    Sewa International Europe’s initiatives under the Global Sewa Movement to help the stranded in Ukraine

    Houston, TX (March 02, 2022): As airstrikes cause extensive damage and people flee Ukraine in large numbers, Sewa International volunteers in Europe have helped more than 3,200 individuals in the past six days to cross the border to reach safety. Sewa volunteers are working with another 3,680 people who have registered for evacuation through the Sewa helpline.

    Over 250 Sewa volunteers spread across many countries in Europe are coordinating relief efforts in eighteen Ukrainian cities. Working closely with Hindu Swayamsevak Sangh (HSS) volunteers, Sewa units in Ukraine, Finland, Poland, Romania, Hungary, and Denmark are fielding calls from stranded students and others seeking help and directing them to a volunteer who lives close to them for further assistance.

    “The situation on the ground is as challenging as it can get. Sewa and HSS volunteers are taking calls from people in distress and working  24 x 7 to help them evacuate. More than 35 Sewa volunteers are working on the ground in Ukraine. We are seeing an increased call volume as the war intensifies,” a Sewa volunteer from Ukraine, deeply involved in coordinating the relief work, explained over a WhatsApp call.   

    Sewa is helping people to reach Ukraine’s western border by bus, train, or other modes of transport. They are distributing food packets, establishing temporary shelters, or working with local hotel owners to provide fleeing students a place to stay until they leave for their home country.


    A bus arranged by Sewa Europe for students from India to travel to the western border of Ukraine

    Heightened Fear

    “After a student from India was killed in shelling in Kharkiv, the second largest city in Ukraine and an epicenter of the current war, there has been a heightened fear among students. Due to the danger posed by the war to civilian lives in the city, helping people leave Kharkiv has been our top priority. In nearly 80 percent of the situations, we have been able to help the caller when they call the Sewa help number for the first time,” Heramb Kulkarni, a Sewa volunteer from Finland said.

    As per reports, about 9,400 students from India are in Ukraine and seeking help to leave the country. According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, over 660,000 people, mostly women and children, have left Ukraine within five days of the beginning of the war. Students stranded in Ukraine are facing multiple challenges, including threat to their lives, non-cooperation from local officials, not being allowed to cross the Ukrainian border, lack of food, and money.


    International students in a bus, pictured in an unidentified place, and gathered near one of the border posts

    To register for assistance, Sewa is asking people to complete an online form at -- https://bit.ly/SewaUkraineHelpline.  More information related to Sewa’s Ukraine relief efforts can be accessed at https://linktr.ee/sewaeurope, https://www.facebook.com/SewaEuropeOfficial,  or https://www.instagram.com/sewaeurope/sites.


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