ACT Foundation Birthday Activities 2020

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.

EUROPE

SERBIA

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.

Zrenjanin - Mohanji's 55th birthday - Serbia - ACT

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.

ACT Srbija - Mohanji's 55th birthday

MACEDONIA

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.

Macedonia - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration

CROATIA

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.

Croatia - Mohanji's 55th Birthday - ACT Hrvatska

UK

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.

ACT United Kingdom - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration

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.

ACT in Sri Lanka United Kingdom - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration

BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA

The team in Bjeljina visited and gave donations to a poverty-stricken family.

ASIA

For all India Ammucare activities, click on this link.

PHILIPPINES

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.

Philippines, PIlar - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration

MAURITIUS

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.

Mauritius - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration

AFRICA

SOUTH AFRICA

JOHANNESBURG

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.

SHUMBASHABA

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.

ACT SA - Shumbashaba - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration

LADYSMITH

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.

Ladysmith - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebrationjpg

DURBAN

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.

Durban - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration

ETHIOPIA

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.

Ethiopia - ACT Foundation - Mohanji's birthday celebration

AMERICAS

PERU

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.

Peru - Mohanji's 55th birthday celebration-charity

USA

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.

ACT USA Florida-Coral Springs- Mohanji's 55th birthday

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.

ACT USA F- Mountain View, CA-Mohanji's 55th birthday

HOUSTON, TEXAS

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.

ACT USA- Houston, Texas-Mohanji's 55th birthday

MIDDLETOWN, CONNECTICUT

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- Middletown, Connecticut- Mohanji's 55th birthday

VARANASI, INDIA                 

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 in Varanasi, India- Mohanji's 55th birthday

BENGALURU, INDIA

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.

ACT USA in India- Mohanji's 55th birthday

CANADA

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.

Canada charity - Mohanji's 55th birthday

 

ACT SERBIA

My Loving Guru

Written by Shyama

As someone who has always shied away from sharing experiences with others, the recent article by Mohanji about writing testimonials was a gentle nudge to start! Writing this has been a beautiful sadhana for me, a way to express my love and devotion to my beloved Guru.

Towards the end of  2017, Mohanji was visiting Europe and I had the privilege of staying with a truly wonderful family who were hosting Mohanji, Deviji and Mila. It was an unexpected gift that gave me many unforgettable moments with Mohanji, treasured forever.

Before the trip, I spoke to the host family a few times, mostly to discuss what we would be cooking for Mohanji and the others who would be staying together for a few days. Dosa was number one on the menu, of course :). During one of our conversations, the host mentioned that he’d spoken to Mohanji the previous day and Mohanji had said, “Don’t worry about food, I can also help to cook.” When I heard this, my first reaction was to say, “Wouldn’t that be really amazing!” Having said that out loud, I somehow couldn’t imagine Mohanji in the kitchen. Anyway, we both agreed that Mohanji shouldn’t be cooking, it was not the done thing!

A couple of days after being together with Mohanji, Deviji and little Mila, we had gotten into the routine of making dosas in the morning for them. While talking with us about various topics during breakfast time, Mohanji would always make sure that everyone had eaten before leaving the table to carry on with His work.

One morning, I was sitting and watching Mohanji eat, thinking how lucky I was to do this beautiful seva, to make food for my loving Guru, to be there with Him and a group of really great people. Mohanji suddenly asked if I was going to eat. I replied that I would, a little later. He then said, “Shall I make dosas for you?” I can only imagine the expression on my face, a definite selfie moment I think! I could literally feel my eyes shining and my heart filling with love. My joyful response was, “Yes please Mohanji.”

Mohanji cooking

Mohanji proceeded to make dosas for all of us, with patience and skill. One minute He was like a child, saying, “Look, the dosas are coming out nicely,” and the next minute being the loving Mother and making sure we had all eaten well, serving dosa and sambar until we were happily full. Receiving food made by Mohanji was, I know, the yearning and prayers of lifetimes and the blessings of my parents. Words are not adequate to express the joy and love I felt, and still feel, whenever I think of this morning. Later Mohanji said that when one receives food from a sadhu, he or she will not want for food for a whole lifetime. Such a wonderful blessing.

An innocent wish that only lasted a few moments during a phone conversation turned into an unexpected and precious blessing from Mohanji. His love for us is unconditional and ever present. Filling us with joy, He’s guiding and guarding us. He’s with us always.

I finish with a prayer that I have learnt recently, one we sang during Mohanji’s birthday programme this year. It reminds me of the innocence, compassion and endless love that I see in Him.

Karpur Gauram Karunavataram |
Sansara Saram Bhujagendra Haram ||
Sada Vasantam Hridayaravinde |
Bhavam Bhavani Sahitam Namami ||

Meaning: The one who is as pure as camphor, the avatar full of compassion, the one who is the essence of the world, the one with the serpent king as His garland, always residing in the lotus of the heart, O Lord and Goddess, I bow to you both.

With love and gratitude,

Shyama

 

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