Mohanji’s birthday was celebrated joyfully in various parts of the world by the volunteers of the ACT Foundation, touching lives in many different ways – by donating food, school supplies, clothes, etc. It was indeed a fitting tribute to Mohanji as he believes strongly in giving and taking care of Mother Earth.
In Serbia, volunteers have been particularly creative about serving. The activities took place in various places in different ways.
In Belgrade, service to the homeless and birds
ACT volunteers from Belgrade donated 11 packages of food to the homeless in the city. Touched by the modesty of these people, the team experienced fullness of hearts and thought about the values in life.
Another group of volunteers fed birds on the streets of the city and thanks to the nice weather everyone enjoyed this gathering.
Reforestation near river Tamiš, clearing garbage, and helping two families.
Near Zrenjanin, ACT volunteers gathered and planted 34 mulberry seedlings, cleared rubbish from the riverbank, and visited two families living in difficult conditions to donate food. On February 22, in cooperation with Association ‘Zelene šape’, the afforestation of Banat and the clearing of the Tamiš river coast was done with the goal to restore the beavers and birds to their natural habitat as a contribution to the biodiversity of the area. 20 bags of waste were collected. This small contribution to Mother Earth was due to the inspiration of the founder of this platform, Mohanji.
Visit and donation to the Association for Assistance to the Mentally Disabled People in Kula.
Thanks to donations from the citizens, ACT Foundation in Serbia has been able to provide elemental components for the establishment of a sensory garden for the rehabilitation of people and children with mental disorders within this association. They were donated a trampoline, two lazy bags, a swing egg for vestibular stimulation, six interactive Montessori boards and a fountain for audio and visual stimulation. ACT volunteers had a beautiful time chatting and singing amidst laughter and hugs with staff and users.
On the occasion of Mohanji’s birthday, the devotees from Macedonia visited three needy families and donated food and hygiene supplies. Also, more than 100 kg of food was donated to a shelter of cats and dogs, and they spent some time playing with these animals.
Split and Pula visited a Youth Correctional Facilities home with vegan cake and donated two packages of cosmetics for boys and girls. Tuition fees were paid for two children.
In Split and Rijeka, food and a bike were donated to five families. The volunteers also visited a cat shelter and donated food and pellets.
In Krk and Zagreb, feeding of fishes, birds, and horses took place.
During February, multiple seva activities took place to celebrate Mohanji’s birthday. Tiggywinkles, a Wildlife Specialist Hospital Trust in Bucks was given items from their wish list. Items included small animal cages, bird food, printing paper, and an ink cartridge.
More than 80 people at the Mother Teresa Soup Kitchen and more than 65 people at the DENS shelter were provided with food on 2 different occasions. Toiletries and underwear were also donated to the homeless.
In Dickwella and Panadura in Sri Lanka, 100 underprivileged school children were identified and were given school shoes, socks, and water bottles. Their parents were given dry food parcels and sarees. The families were also given a meal on this special day.
All the volunteers are grateful and feel very privileged to have been given these opportunities to help here in the UK, and also in Sri Lanka.
BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA
The team in Bjeljina visited and gave donations to a poverty-stricken family.
In Pilar, a town that is an hour and a half away from the main city, John dedicated the day’s seva to Mohanji for his birthday. The celebrations also extended and brought joy and love to the children of St. Joseph Orphanage.
Mauritius Mohanji Association celebrated Mohanji’s Birthday in an Ashram for senior citizens. Lunch and dinner Seva was sponsored by Mai-Tri donations and the Seva team. Some of them needed special attention as they weren’t able to eat by themselves.
The Seva team shared how they could feel these residents needed attention and care. They felt happy to be able to spend some time and bring some spark into the life of the seniors.
ACT team cooked and served vegan lunch for many children who came to Shumbashaba from a very impoverished background. Special cakes were served too. The team felt a lot of love and gratitude for Mohanji through this selfless service.
Mohanji’s Birthday month seva continued over the last Saturday in February 2020. It also formed part of the weekly Saturday seva for the children at Shumbashaba, who come from homes of severe poverty and hardships. Children were provided with golden sun-soaked bananas, crunchy red apples, and nik-naks. There were muffins for the after-lunch treat. A piping hot lunch of samp and bean soup was served at the garden table. There were about 75 children. Those beautiful faces were heart-melting for the volunteers.
Mohanji’s birthday celebrations were done at a children’s shelter where the children were served peanut butter and jam sandwiches, hot dogs and party packs.
Saturday was spent in Seva activities. 100 beans bunnies (hollowed out bread with beans curry filling), 100 freshly baked vegan cupcakes prepared by the ashram baker and juice were offered mostly to kids from a very destitute informal settlement. Three huge bags of clothes were offered to the South African Prevention of Cruelty to Animals charity shop. The following weekend 150 medical packs consisting of everything required for a first-aid kit and hygiene were also donated to the destitute.
In Addis Ababa, volunteers handed out food packets consisting of injara, shiro, pita bread, pita roti and water to 124 street dwellers in celebration of Mohanji’s Birthday. The volunteers felt immense gratitude for this opportunity to serve.
Even though there were floods and roads were closed, some kids came to make birthday cards and to wish Mohanji a happy birthday. The rainy season has hit the area of Cuzco quite severely. The Peru team started food seva in that region in order to be of help to the many orphans left behind. The area is plagued by deadly mudslides.
In celebration of Mohanji’s birthday, volunteers organized many events across the USA and in Varanasi and Bengaluru in India too. Food was served in multiple locations.
CORAL SPRINGS, FLORIDA
Florida started Mohanji’s birthday celebrations with a brown bag lunch drive. A team of moms and kids prepared peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. PBJ sandwiches, clementines, oat bars, and chips packets were included in the lunch bags. The team prepared 76 lunch bags and donated them to the Broward Outreach Homeless Shelter.
MOUNTAIN VIEW, CA
Pizza, pasta, fruits, cookies and salad were served at a Women’s homeless shelter on February 22nd. On 23rd February, bread, jam, peanut butter, oat bars, clementines, oranges and bananas were donated to a local homeless shelter.
The team in Houston donated food to The Ballard House in Katy and served food for about 50 sick people under medical care. They donated idly (steamed rice cakes), sambar, coconut rice, pasta, spaghetti, lemon rice, pulav, peanut butter sandwich, gulab jamun, curd rice, juice, fruits, and cereal bars. The team of volunteers were not only willing to donate food but were also willing to travel to the place to serve food.
The Ballard House is a shelter for sick and recovering patients and their families. The patients and their families enjoyed the scrumptious meal and thanked Mohanji. Captivated by Mohanji, an inmate sought assistance in downloading the meditation on her phone. The next day after doing the meditation, she texted the volunteer saying that she felt very relaxed and nice. The team of volunteers felt blessed for this opportunity.
A food drive was organised on February 22nd. As the regular soup kitchen was not available, within two weeks the team located a place, very aptly called the Friendship Center in a nearby town called New Britain. It was a soup kitchen and a homeless shelter in one building and they were open to receiving any food. Arrangements were made with the cook in charge for vegetable rice and pasta trays. To this, fruits, snacks such as cookies and health bars plus water bottles were added. 5 trays of pasta, 3 trays of vegetables and fruits, granola bars and water (71 bananas, 6 lbs of apples, 6 lbs of clementines, 148 health bars including fruit and grain bars and chewy chocolate chip granola bars, and 155 water bottles) were served.
ACT USA and ACT South Africa participated in seva activities during an Acharya program in Varanasi. Our volunteers went to an Ashram complex that has a school for boys, an old age home hospice and an ashram for sadhus (saints). The poor and homeless people are fed here daily.
On February 19th, our volunteers spent some time chatting to the elderly ladies there and also gave a donation for medicines. ACT and Ammucare (India) sponsored lunch. 120 people were served dahl (spiced lentils), chapati (flatbread), jalebi (an Indian dessert) and fruits. There was abundant food available for everyone to enjoy and lots of leftovers too which was not expected even by the organizers.
On February 20th, our volunteers made arrangements with the shrine of Kitcheri Baba to serve early morning breakfast. These incredible volunteers serve 1000 meals every day to the poor and homeless in Varanasi. The shrine is across the road from the Kashi Vishwanath complex and Kitcheri Baba has a massive cooking pot on site where he cooks fresh healthy dahl, rice, and vegetables to serve those in need.
ACT USA sponsored lunch on 22nd February at Manav charities which hosts foster and special needs kids. Lunch was cooked for approximately 60 kids. The kids also sent adorable videos wishing Mohanji a very happy birthday.
Food Drive was conducted for the homeless in downtown Toronto. Mai-Tri -Method, where several participants received Mai-Tri and Blood Donation Camp was held at Mississauga.