Wednesday, December 13, 2017
ADVT 
Youth Speak

Making a Difference

By Jasleen Kaur Brar, 16 Nov, 2017
  • Making a Difference

Life is not meant for fulfilling one’s desires alone, it is meant to support everyone. 

 
 
 
 
British humanitarian, Audrey Hepburn once stated: “As you grow older, you will discover that you have two hands – one for helping yourself, the other for helping others.” 
 
Currently, there are over 7 billion people inhabiting the planet. In translation, there are over 14 billion hands, hands of which can proactively assist others, or not bother doing anything. There are some individuals who keep their hands to themselves; however, there are those who use their hands to help others, to positively impact the world. 
 
From a very young age, I was determined to travel the world and visit third-world countries. I have always had the vision to improve the lives of poverty-stricken individuals. In 2016, I finally saw my dream develop into reality when I joined a non-profit organization, Sikh Sewa International Society of Youth (SISSY). 
 
 
SSISY aims at providing local and international relief to unprivileged individuals and supporting child education in India. As the secretary of SSISY, I have helped spearhead fundraising events, bottle drives, and soup kitchens in the Lower Mainland. Accordingly, profits received from such events were used towards local charities including the Salvation Army, Cyrus Centre, and The Warm Zone. 
 
Recently, in December 2016, I had the opportunity to travel with SSISY where our team held a vision camp in Buttar, Punjab, for villagers with insufficient funds. Over 150 residents received eye examinations and surgical procedures at no cost. A few weeks before our arrival, villagers were notified via announcements and a lot of interest was generated. 
 
While patients enthusiastically waited for their eye examinations, SSISY volunteers provided tea, refreshments, and warm meals. As I served in the waiting area, the patients complimented, “Well done,” “Thank you” or “God bless you.” Regardless of the struggles these villagers have gone through, they welcomed me with warm smiles, and blessed me ever so kindly. Elders showered us with their blessings and I understood that this is the direction I want to push myself towards. In that instant, I sensed that this is the greatest way to serve humanity, by doing “Sewa,” to provide service to those in need. 
 
My visit to the vision camp has become an enriching experience. It has allowed me to believe that life is not meant for fulfilling one’s desires alone, it is meant to support everyone, regardless of caste, religion, colour or gender. 
 
In Canada, everyone is granted the freedom to happiness, but in some countries, the concept of a peace of mind does not exist. Therefore, it is our duty, as humans, to help our fellow brothers and sisters and there is no greater way but to serve them. 
 
Volunteering with SSISY has opened a door of endless opportunities for me to give back to the world and my community. I am very thankful to God for giving me the chance to join such an impactful organization and spread love and kindness everywhere. 
 
 
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
 
Jasleen Kaur Brar is an grade 11 student at Abbotsford Traditional Secondary School. She wishes to pursue a career as a Registered Nurse in order to continue serving others. In her spare time, Jasleen is an active volunteer who participates in community events, and an athlete who competes in karate tournaments and will try out for this year’s BC Karate Team. 
 
 
To contribute to this column, please email us:

MORE Youth Speak ARTICLES

Public Speaking: When Nightmares Come True

Public Speaking: When Nightmares Come True
Public speaking is the reality not only of the classroom, but of the world. Some may seem to have the innate capacity to enthrall others with the power of charismatic words. Others are simply uneasy with the very idea of speaking to a daunting sea of faces. 

Error 404: Self Not Found

Error 404: Self Not Found

In today’s global ocean swarmed with buzzwords such as interactivity, technology and connectivity, we are ironically least connected with the self. Social media unlocks the capacity to constantly stay in the loop about what others are doing and allows for you to broadcast yourself to the world. 

Be the most Authentic Version of Yourself

Be the most Authentic Version of Yourself

I entered the world of pageants and soon found that the many negative perceptions people held were an injustice to the ambitious, intelligent and talented women I met.

What to do with an Arts Degree

What to do with an Arts Degree

Truth is, nine out of 10 students go through this exact same phase some time or the other during their university life.