The concept of Seva as derived from Hinduism is the notion of a selfless work or act meant only to benefit others in society without any expectations of a return upon it. Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, Foundry and SAWA World are all organizations that have sprung from this notion by not only working towards aiding those within their community, but also giving them the support to change their narrative and further become a resource themselves in creating solutions to impact their immediate surrounding area and beyond. As a stone makes ripples in the water that radiate outwards, these incredible support systems extend and multiply, creating a larger network within where people can help each other to not just survive, but thrive. Through this, all three of these unique and innovative organizations contribute to the betterment of their communities in many ways.
Chai Ghai is honoured to partner with these very worthy and valuable organizations that do so much for our communities. Our Seva is aligned with our partners, for those suffering from mental illness, addiction, or other health related issues and aims to help them obtain the resources they sorely need. In Hinduism, Karma is the currency of life. Karma is known as the law of cause and effect by which each individual creates their own destiny through thoughts, words, and deeds. Chai Ghai respects this law, and believes that through our thoughts, words and deeds we can create positive social change which can reshape the destinies of many. Giving back to our community is Chai Ghai’s Dharma, or Divine Law. We hope to help advocate and carve a path, to provide opportunity and a chance to contribute positively back to our communities and humanity as a whole.
Downtown Eastside Women's Centre has been a place where vulnerable women can go for support since 1978. Of the over 250 service providers in the Downtown Eastside, only 7 are women’s organizations and only 3 are available for women only. Located in one of Canada’s most vulnerable areas, they provide support in the form of meals, clothing and facilities to over 500 women each day. They are a source of stability, a safe haven; know as a surakshitthikaana in Hindi, where it is needed most. Among the many services they offer to their members are health supplies and information on housing, employment and education, as a means of lessening the economic disparity that has created such poverty in the Downtown Eastside. They are a place where women can turn in times of crisis and hopefully lessen future crises by creating a network where all of these resources are readily obtainable. By providing these necessities to vulnerable women their aim is to give some balance to inequalities that women in the Downtown Eastside face on a daily basis.
They also want to call attention to the many injustices faced by the disenfranchised in this area, so that further inroads can be made and resources can be provided for on a wider scale in order to educate communities on the ways in which this disparity can start to be leveled. The vital work they do within our community serves as a beacon upon which other likeminded organizations can look for guidance in providing these essential rights. They offer a space where women can come together for safety and support, both accepting and giving it and lending strength to each other. This is how their Seva shines in the Downtown Eastside. In a community too often neglected from the outside, they are a pillar of hope. The Ghai Charitable Foundation has donated $5,000 to Downtown Eastside Women's Centre and more contributions are needed, so they can further their efforts and continue to provide the services that they do. Chai Ghai sees the crucial need for organizations like Downtown Eastside Women’s Centre and wishes to help draw attention to them so they can both continue the essential services they provide for our community and also multiply and grow in other communities that need such a necessary support system.
Foundry offers young people ages 12-24 health and wellness resources, services and support. Integrating health care and social services under one roof, Foundry efficiently provides the best resources for youth on an individual, case by case basis. With the intention of being there for youth from a young age, Foundry hopes to give them the opportunity to create a plan that works for them. They want youth to thrive in whatever avenue of life they wish to walk down and hope to instill within them the necessary tools to navigate their place in the world. Setting young people up with the information they need to make knowledgeable decisions on their health, education and opportunities gives them the chance to create a healthier and more rewarding life. Foundry knows youth are susceptible to instability in an ever changing world. Youth need support and validation as they grow, and Foundry is proud to be an advocate for their best interests. They care deeply and are invested in the success of their clients.
Their Seva is strong in their commitment, by presenting all young people that walk through their door the chance to live their best life. Youth deserve to have people in their corner; advocates who want to see them thrive, and will try to encourage and nurture that within them. By igniting youth to heal, evolve, learn, and discover themselves, Foundry helps give them the assets to find their place in the world. Dr. Biju Mathew, Director of the Ridge Meadows Hospital Foundation and President of the BC Psychiatry Foundation helped establish Foundry and is an incredible example of how impactful Seva can be in a community and the larger world.Recipient of the BC Achievement Community award, Dr. Mathew also wrote a book titled Super 30 - Changing the World 30 Students at a Time. It is about teacher Anand Kumar who took underprivileged children off the streets of India and setthem with skills to get into IIT, which is the Harvard of India. This story has inspired a major Bollywood film and shows Sevain action.
Our Chai Ghai family has had the privilege to see firsthand Foundry’s Abbotsford location and we were captivated by the compassion and consideration that went into the facility. It is a place that is welcoming, whimsical, inclusive, and respectful. The Ghai Charitable Foundation has donated $5,000 to Foundry and we at Chai Ghai look forward to getting to spend more time there and contribute what we can to them. Foundry is one of the reasons Chai Ghai trusts in the goodness of people and the world is better because places such as it exists.
Sawa World is an inspiring global organization that empowers youth, while combating global poverty, by providing them with the tools to create solutions from within themselves. Sawa, meaning equal in Swahili, seeks to help those in poverty use their own unique ideas and skills to better their lives and those within their community. Using an innovative approach, Sawa educates local youth to utilize their natural resources and turn them into small-scale eco-businesses that quickly generate income and transform lives, all while protecting the environment.
Sawa World was established by Daphne through her conviction to alleviate global poverty and her belief in the collective. At the age of 7 she made a conscious decision to make the initiatives at Sawa her life's mission. Her belief in youth, her patience and persistence in fostering a global initiative to teach young people to learn, morph, blossom and grow has led Sawa to where it is today, a leader in creating solutions and opportunities for youth self-employment. By encouraging strength and resilience, leading by example and not letting hardships discourage or dissuade Sawa helps to inspire youth in their endeavours and empower within them the tools for success. Sawa World has reached hundreds of thousands of youth and helped train them to unlock their ideas and improve their station in life all by using their own hands and ingenuity. Through their great work Daphne was elected as an Ashoka Fellow in 2009 and in 2015 selected as a finalist for the Waislitz Global Citizen Award the same year that Sawa World won the Pan-African Award for Innovation in Education.
Chai Ghai believes, as is essential to the mission of Sawa World, that the solution can be found within. We are so happy to see an incredible organization such as Sawa World help create opportunities and foster within youth the knowledge and possibility to rise out of poverty. The Ghai Charitable Foundation has donated $5,000 to Sawa World and Chai Ghai hopes to assist them in raising more awareness for their organization. The youth helped by Sawa World display resourcefulness and creativity that truly inspires and we wish to further encourage other likeminded organizations and individuals to foster within them the ability to help themselves and others.
Karma- Cause and Effect
Chai Ghai and our products are inspired by the admiration we have for our ancestors. The Dharma that we glean from them through their strength, love and devotion to family and community radiates the energy of life. It is through this knowledge and their unconditional love for all living beings, that we feel it is of the utmost importance that we give back, however we can. Through their teachings we learned from a young age that a person’s merit comes not from how much wealth they acquire, but from their integrity and ability to affect those around them in a positive way.
As outlined by Brahma, the universe aligns people with things and situations with matching vibrations. The higher ones vibration, the more they will see things that are beneficial to everyone’s well-being, and can thus be manifested within reality. Vishnu protects the universe and plots to bring those who can heal each other together.
These ideas are some of the reasons why Chai Ghai feels it is so important to be able to contribute to Downtown Eastside Women's Centre, Foundry and SAWA World and we feel very blessed to align with them in our shared crusade to improve the lives of our fellow humans. The notion of Seva is strong in these important organizations and it is that thought among others that make Chai Ghai so proud to be their ally in the quest for a more equal, transformative and empowered world.