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Global volunteering Initiative launches ‘Sewa Day Schools’

Press release June 19, 2013 Education

Global volunteering initiative Sewa Day has launched its new programme ‘Sewa Day Schools’ aimed at getting more school children involved in helping others.

Sewa Day Schools
Sewa Day is a global volunteering initiative that takes in October each year. Sewa Day Schools encourages volunteering in schools.

The Sewa Day Schools programme includes a separate brand identity, a specially-designed schools information pack for teachers; new schools resources including Key Stage 2 lesson plans for the PSHE & Citizenship curriculum; a school Assembly presentation and guide; case studies of successful schools’ volunteering projects and a video to support its aim.

Sewa, a Sanskrit word meaning “selfless service”, is a universal concept that more schools are embracing in a bid to build better relationships with their local community. Last year 75 schools, and approximately 30,000 pupils, took part in the week preceding Sewa Day, which usually takes place in October each year, and the charity hopes to treble that number for 2013. The three principle aims for Sewa Day are to alleviate human hardship & poverty, improve the environment and bring a little joy. Teachers are urged to register on Sewa Day website before 21st September 2013 to access the free resources and be entered into a prize draw for one lucky school to win an iPad*.

In March 2013, five outstanding schools projects were recognised as those with the spirit of selflessness who devoted time to the service of others. The Sewa Pioneers Awards recognise outstanding social action projects that create a positive impact on local communities and act as a catalyst to inspire further selfless action. Among the winners, warmly welcomed by Members of Parliament to The House of Commons in London, was Barham Primary School in Wembley.

Head Teacher Karen Giles said, “Sewa Day contributes well to the PSHE, Citizenship, Community Cohesion and Religious aspects of our school curriculum. Ofsted judge overall effectiveness, the quality of education, in outstanding schools by, ‘thoughtful and wide-ranging promotion of pupils’ spiritual, moral, social and cultural development (which) enables them to thrive in a supportive, highly cohesive learning community.’ Sewa Day is important because it is the beginning of a commitment to a lifetime of selfless giving. It is a springboard, a catalyst for change to be inculcated in the lives of our pupils.”

Since its launch in 2010, global volunteering initiative Sewa Day has exceeded all expectations with tens of thousands of people rendering their service to others, selflessly. The first Sewa Day took place in November 2010. Over 5,000 people, of all ages and from all walks of life, participated in over 130 projects across the UK. By the second Sewa Day, which took place in September 2011, the initiative had gone global with 15,000 people taking part in projects across 15 countries. Sewa Day 2012 was even bigger with an estimated 50,000 people taking part directly and through new partners in over 20 countries. Sewa Day takes place on Sunday 6th October 2013.

 Sewa Pioneers Awards 2013 Winners – Schools (in alphabetical order)

 UK

*     Barham Primary School, Wembley, London - Pupils provided entertainment at a local care home for the elderly.

*     Ealing Tuition Service, Ealing, London - Pupils worked with the Ealing Council Park Rangers' Nature Conservation programme helping to clear a public footpath in the local area.

*     Radford Primary School, Nottingham - Cooking meals and taking them to a homeless soup kitchen, going to a day centre and talking, entertaining and taking part in activities with the elderly day centre users.

Global

*     Our Own English High School, Dubai - The school hosted a Tree Plantation Event as part of the One Million Trees Initiative and raised awareness among the students regarding the need to preserve the planet by planting trees.

*     The Kindergarten Starters, Dubai - Students took part in a musical performance that addressed the existing social and environmental issues. The play engages with the audience to highlight how service brings peace and harmony.

About Sewa Day

The aim of Sewa Day is to provide people with a chance to give back to the community through volunteering on a single day to make a difference. As such each event organised must be based on at least one of the guiding principles below:

•     To relieve hardship and poverty

•     To bring a little joy

•     To help the environment

All the events take place on the same day or for schools during the week and do not include any fund-raising activities. From infants through to pensioners, anyone can get involved and make a difference. Community groups, local councils, schools, temples, mosques and businesses have enlisted their support for this initiative.

This year, Sewa Day takes place on Sunday 6th October 2013

Sewa Day is a registered charity (no: 1146848). For further information visit www.sewaday.org

For more information and images of Sewa Day projects that have taken place, please contact Sanjay Mistry on 07810 368 772/ [email protected]

* Competition Terms & Conditions apply. Please refer to the Sewa Day website for details

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Sewa Day Schools
Sewa Day is a global volunteering initiative that takes in October each year. Sewa Day Schools encourages volunteering in schools.
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Barham Primary School Sewa Pioneers Award Winners
Barham Primary School, winners of the Sewa Pioneers Award, pictured here with Virendra Sharma MP at the House of Commons, London
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