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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Sewa International Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Human Service Organizations, Human Services, International, International Relief

Mission: Serve Humanity in Distress Aid local communities in the US Promote volunteerism Tag line: Together we serve better Principles: * Serving humanity is serving Divinity - Nar sewa Narayan sewa * Let all be happy and prosperous - Sarve bhavantu sukhinah * Earth is on family - Vasudaiva kutumbakam * Service is the highest form of Dharma - Sevahi Paramo Dharmah

Results: Sewa has invested more than $5 million in the last three years to serve: * 48,000 Bhutanese refugees become better citizens in the US; * Rescued, provided relief for 6,000 Nepalese during the 2015 Earthquake * Adopted 350 post-2015 Earthquake orphaned children in Nepal; * Enabled 3,700 children in India and Nepal to attend school by providing books, pencils, school uniforms, tuition, computers, better teachers, etc.

Target demographics: Humanity in distress and aid local communities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 15,000 people

Geographic areas served: US, India, Columbia, Guyana, Sri Lanka, and Kenya

Programs: Disaster relief and rehabilitation [Hurricane Katrina (2006); Super storm Sandy (2013); Haiti Earthquake (2010); and Uttarakhand Himalayan disaster, India (2013);], Nepal Earthquake (2015); Tamil Nadu Flood Relief (2015-16); Education of needy urban, rural and tribal children, Women empowerment (vocational training, small scale entrepreneurship, in rural and tribal areas), Healthcare (Stop Diabetes via Yoga, health camps in urban and tribal settings), Refugee empowerment (in USA), and, Volunteer Capacity Building.

Community Stories

34 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sewa International has amazing volunteers who make working for a great cause fun to do.For a charity of such a large scale, they have amazing transparency, clear local driven projects based on the needs and efficient execution.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Working as a part of the Girls Toilet Project has had to be one of the most involved project of which I've been a part. The basis for event meant to fundraise for the project was truly understanding the context and premise of it. When managing SEWA USA's fundraising booth at the 2016 International Day of Yoga event in Philadelphia, I needed to have a very thorough understanding of each of the main fundraising events, which included this one; having this scrupulous understanding is probably the reason this project garnered the most attention at the event. Later, during the Cricket for SEWA fundraiser (exclusively for the Hygiene Project), I found that this understanding came in handy, not only to educate the audience members, but also to remind myself of why we all worked hard to plan the event in the first place.
I found that, at both events, people were most willing to donate after I reminded them that they were very fortunate to not have to place their daughters' futures on the availability of restrooms; this reminder was effective not only on them, but on me as well. And I think that probably sums up how fulfilling and humbling this project was.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Connecting with Sewa International as a teenager shaped my personal development and my understanding of what sewa (selfless service) truly means. After volunteering at various Sewa International events in Atlanta, I was able to dedicate my summer through the Yuva for Sewa internship in India. After my Master’s I had the opportunity to take a gap year and serve through Sewa International in various areas of India, Sri Lanka, and United States. Experiencing the work of Sewa at the local and global scale has given me insight into the bigger picture of things. It has been inspirational to connect with so many volunteers with powerful skill sets which they utilize to serve the community. As I come into contact with more and more organizations, the uniqueness of Sewa International’s vision and mission become even more apparent to me. I’ve observed that, for the volunteers of Sewa International, selfless service doesn’t just happen on the weekends or at an event. “Sewa” is a mindset.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I’ve been a volunteer and donor of Sewa International since 2007. I was looking to donate and raise funds for victims of the devastating floods that ravaged northern India, and this organization was a perfect match. The organization’s commitment to transparency and low overhead expenses, sheer diversity of projects, focus on organic and sustainable development through well-established partnerships; the ethics, character, humility and selflessness of the board of directors, the national executive, and program coordinators inspire and motivate me to continue to serve.

In San Diego, I was fortunate to participate in and lead a wide variety of activities such as raising funds for disaster relief and development projects in India, empowering local Bhutanese refugee families, organizing yoga & meditation workshops for health, conducting summer internships, and local community service such as beach and canyon cleanups and volunteering at food banks. At the national level, I streamlined procedures & workflows, introduced and administered new fundraising tools, deployed surveys and annual service programs, and social media marketing. I had the unique opportunity to plan and execute “Sewa Day” - a worldwide service event bringing together 100s of volunteers every year at cities and towns across the USA to make an impact in their local communities.

The annual national conferences are invigorating, and there is a genuinely warm atmosphere and sense of belonging to one large family. Since co-founding and leading the San Diego chapter and then serving as National Director of Special Projects, it has been a wonderful spiritual journey that has taught me a range of valuable life lessons and skills including interpersonal, communication, technical, marketing, management and leadership.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2012 when I was first introduced to SEWA International by a close friend and a dedicated Karyakarta, the first thing I did is looked at SEWA’S website. I was deeply inspired by what I learned from there. The most striking impact I felt when I saw the work being done around empowering Bhutanese refugees in US. I had some prior knowledge of this unthinkable human crisis but was not aware of the resettlement efforts. Any time you hear these types of crisis around the world you think that’s how it works and there is nothing you can do about it. This certainly is not true; organizations like SEWA International make the difference. I realized the great opportunity to get involved and be part of an organization whose primary mission is to serve humanity in distress.
I visited Bhutanese community in Western Massachusetts; met with several families and youths who were certainly not refugees by their heart and mind. I could see the hope in each one of the youth’s to become a leader and make a difference in their community and beyond. All they needed some directions and guidance to understand the new environment they were living in and setting up goals for themselves.
It was a learning experience from me as well. I learned, even after being in odd and challenging situations one could still think big and strive for it. That made my commitment to serve even stronger. I thought it was a “win-win” situation. It was like experiencing real world through hands-on work.
The other thing I learned from this experience is that people are not powerless. Sometime in life one might face a challenging situation but with a right kind of support you can re-empower them and bring them back on track. I have been involved with this community few years now and it gives me immense pleasure to see lots of youths in the community are now in good colleges and have a deep desire to work for their own fellow refugee families.
Then in 2013 came the Uttarakhand flood which claimed more than 10,000 lives, millions lost their possession and were forced to live in distressed conditions. This was very personal to me. I grew up in a small village in Uttarakhand and I know how difficult life can be in that part of the world particularly in remote villages. Now adding this unthinkable disaster to the already difficult life, one can only imagine how atrocious life could be. Sewa volunteers did an amazing work, on the ground helping those who needed immediate support and raising funds to support relief, rescue and rehabilitation. This is another such moment which made my bonds stronger with SEWA.
Through SEWA I have learned how empowering it is to realize that each one of us brings something unique to the table and how beautiful it is to share that with others in the hopes of them discovering themselves. SEWA has made a big impact in shaping me the way I am today. I look at the world with a different angle now.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sewa International is a ground roots level organization. Every project they take in, they make the project self sustaining! Amazing team of volunteers! and they build great leaders in the volunteers they make.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A organization helps all without any discrimination based on cast Creed religion or political beliefs. Keep up the good work.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

I came to know from my friend regarding the awesome work which Sewa International does for the underserv community. I donated for Nepal earthquake last year and have been getting regular updates on the rehabilitation progress till date.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sewa International's volunteers are dedicated and committed to serve the under served communities, promote volunteerism in the society and building bridges between communities.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have amazing experience with this organization. Each volunteer is so cooperative and humble it's treat to work with them and this organization.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Sewa in my opinion, functions to the very core quality of many civilizations across the globe, which is Compassion.

Speaking of various on ground activities, Sewa has numerous success stories which cannot be quantified due their very pristine nature.

Myself have experience the fun working with many volunteers in the United States and in India.

Sewa is lead by some of the finest, down to earth yet scholarly intellectuals leadership with great load of experience and maturity on their shoulders.

Most importantly the fund raised is channelized and used only for the cause for which one donates.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

People with great character are heading this organization! working selflessly and with passion to make a difference! Awesome organization to work for!

Provides opportunities are are endless!

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sewa International provides us with the resources and volunteering opportunities to help people in very unique ways that helps my volunteering work stand out among others

Every month we organize at least one volunteering activity, In October 2016 We went to particpate in Arizona Burn Phoenix project it was one of the touching expereince. Going through the less fortunate neighborhood and hearing all the calls of gratitude made me realize the importance of helping these people. Such a small thing, a smoke detector, that we take for granted in our lives, creates a huge impact on others' lives and teaches us to be mindful of the things that we have in life and to try and give those luxuries to the less privileged. The satisfaction from knowing that we saved more than 225 lives is immeasurable and was a truly unique opportunity to help others. Thanks to Sewa International for providing these kind of volunteering opportunities.

Aditya Sivakumar
BASIS Phoenix High School
Junior
aditya.sk2012@gmail.com
(623) 326-6838

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a project Coordinator for Sewa International I am deeply motivated by Sewa International's goal of Serving Humanity without any discrimination. Through its initiatives, Sewa Houston has served hundreds of Refugee and Immigrant students and has enabled them to find their place in this country. The impact of this work done at the grass root level is really powerful and I am proud to be associated with an organization like Sewa International.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I often say, I did not find Sewa but Sewa found me!:) My mom volunteered with Sewa in 2008, when we had an influx of Bhutanese refugees resettled in the US. My mom with other Sewa volunteers help collect food, utensils , clothes and basic necessities for the refugees. After that experience she became an instant fan! She puled me in and I started volunteering with Sewa in the summer of 2011 on the Bhutanese Empowerment project.

The beauty of this organization is that it not only provide you with the opportunity to give back to the community but also empowers you to take that action and bring the change you want to see. My journey with Sewa has been extraordinary, from being a youth volunteer to a full time sewa youth coordinator. All though out I have been inspired by the volunteers, the clients and the Sewa team in so many different ways. Sewa is like an extended family to me and that's what it is for all its volunteers.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Sewa:
 
SEWA not only helped me grow as a person in many ways but also allowed me to connect and impact the lives of people in community, using several platforms/programs and with different all ages of people irrespective of their origination/Ethnicity or religious background.  One of the best impact stories that I myself noticed was how close we can get to the students and to their families through Get Inspired program. Kids once they get to high school we cannot get them to speak to anyone or to their own parents that easily. But during this you get to talk to them and let them come up with their ideas and messages and that gives them to get enthusiastic to participate and learn what they are capable of doing. Similarly SDM Program connected me with many people in the community and learn how they appreciate if we do something good to the society we live in. Another great program that we do have is for people who would like contribute to bring a change by being hear with a very little amount that they can afford and be part of the changing India and rest of the children in other countries is Sponsor a child what a marvelous idea. When I talked to few people they were happy to be part of start contributing.
 
Thanks And Regards ,
Venkata Naga Prasad Kalavakolanu
 

7 Samita Apte

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I got connected to Sewa International two years back in Boston chapter and started working as Volunteer for Yoga for Diabetes program as I am a Certified Yoga Therapist, this program helped participants lowering the blood sugar. Very soon, I discovered the Various programs Sewa offer to encourage Volunteering and I started feeling joy of volunteering by Serving Homeless people through Feed the Hungry program. it has always been a pleasure meeting different people for conducting meaningful charity. Sewa International provided me a platform to feel the “joy of giving” and got realization that The Best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others. It has been a wonderful experience to work with like-minded people that always comes-up together with innovative ways to solve various problems instilling the spirit of Service above self. We, not only serve the local community but support various programs globally – It is a great honor to be associated with, Sewa International.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked as a public health intern in Sewa International USA in Seattle chapter. I really like it and have a great experience of preparing the Stop Diabetes Movement by yoga workshop in Bhutanese Refugees' community in Tukwila, WA. I provided the diabetes knowledge and how to prevent it with my intern partner under my supervisor. Thank you for all the team members!

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I wanted to help the Bhutanese refugees in Houston. Sewa gave me that opportunity, since I spoke Nepali I was happy I could help with their language barrier.

6 Ishita C.

Former staff

Rating: 5

I am a part of Sewa International and I work directly in the center helping with the kids tutoring. I can say for a fact that these kids need us and they appreciate our help. We are there to help them through the struggles they have in learning and in being brought to this country abruptly. They form personal relationships with us and life long connections. They don't just get education from us but also a sense of what it's like to be kind to others and this is a lesson they can only learn from experience.