ABOUT SEWA UK
In the ancient Indian language of Sanskrit, Sewa means Service – a unique concept of Service – Selfless Efforts for Welfare of All. Sewa UK is a Hindu faith-based humanitarian non-profit service organization. Sewa is a universal concept, which involves performing an act of kindness without expectation of reward. It is performed selflessly and without ulterior motive. As a concept, Sewa in embedded in Indian traditions, and is actively promoted by different cultures and faiths – as the core belief is the same – to sacrifice your time and resources for the benefit of others without expectation of anything in return.
Sewa UK operates in two distinct areas:
1. Relief and rehabilitation following a disaster
2. Support and promote projects that cater for People with Disabilities (PWDs)
Advocacy & Outreach
It matters to us and our donors that we engage with opinion formers and participate in awareness raising campaigns that seek to inform and educate others about the importance of the Millennium Development Goals.
- Be the change – we lead a delegation of community leaders to 10 Downing St to meet with the Minister for International Development to brief him about our campaign that reached over 100,000 people internationally. Please click here for a copy of the flyer.
- Read what the Minister of International Development said about Sewa International in a parliamentary debate about eradicating poverty in India. Please click here for a copy of the text.
- Briefing to the Secretary of State for International Development – we organised a briefing on Sewa International to the Secretary of State.
- As a result of our work with the British Prime Minister, Rt. Hon. Tony Blair, in a speech on faith & globalisation, he recognised Sewa International for its humanitarian work. Read his speech here
- On a regular basis we organise and participate in seminars and conferences on subjects related to humanitarian assistance and the millennium development goals.
- Sewa UK spoke about issues surrounding food poverty at “Asian Diaspora & IF Policy Debate”, on Tuesday, 4th June 2013 at the House of Commons.
How Sewa Is Funded
Whilst we provide a cast iron guarantee all donations for specific campaigns and appeals, usually for humanitarian & natural disasters, are free from all administrative costs that we may incur, we also raise funds through general fund-raising activities to fund our administrative costs and office.
These ‘general’ funds are treated and accounted for separately, so that we can provide a transparent record of our financial position.
We shall endeavour to clearly state in our promotional materials those campaigns which we waive all administrative costs.
- Dhiraj M. Shah, National Chairman
- Bharat Vadukul, General Secretary
- Narendra Shah, National Treasurer
Governance & Ethics
As a charity, we consider our obligation to being transparent and accountable to our donors as being central to our purpose. We comply and promote the guidelines set out by the Charity Commission of England & Wales and also of Companies House, as we are a registered company, limited by guarantee.
We believe communication is vital in promoting our work. To facilitate a better understanding of what we do, we are committed to the following:
- Organising an Annual General Meeting in which we provide a comprehensive annual report, which provides a detailed overview of our past years activities and a declaration of our financial position. The annual report will include our vision for the future also.
- We seek to provide information of all campaigns, appeals, and other news about our work through the media. We will also provide the same through our website, in order to promote greater awareness of our continuous efforts.
- We encourage visits by delegations and individual donors to the projects we’ve funded who then provide reports that we distribute through our newsletter and use as case studies to present at suitable events.
- We endeavour to make ourselves approachable and accountable by welcoming all forms of feedback by any means of communication. In the case of a complaint, we require these in writing, by post or email with your name & contact details included.
We’re often asked why we limit our fundraising to disasters and humanitarian tragedies in India. Whilst, we would like to extend our reach to other parts of the world that require expertise and funding, our obligations to our donors mean that we’re responsible for every penny they donate. We’ve worked with partners in India, and have built strong relationships that ensure we abide by charity laws in the UK that stipulate that we account for all the money that’s donated to us. We believe our experience and understanding of India is the reason why people donate money to our appeals and help fund our activities in the UK. Because of this, we’ve decided to focus on India.
We fund programmes that provide immediate relief, rehabilitation and ultimately help to rebuild devastated communities by funding education and healthcare related projects, amongst others, as they remain the primary challenges to meeting the Millenium Development Goals.
By nature of being an organisation that is supported by a diverse group of unpaid volunteers and operates on a consensual basis, we are a conservative and prudent organisation. What this means for you:
- We will not make any decisions in haste, and therefore seek to ensure that all funds raised are disbursed with the long term interest of the beneficiary in mind
- Since our inception in 1989, we’ve built Sewa UK into a charity that enjoys widespread support in Britain. Our reputation as having depth in the field and grass-root understanding should not be jeopardised for short term gain.
- We will be accountable for every penny that we spend. In the case of making payments to foreign partners, we will expect a full, audited, paper trail. This ensures we can work in confidence and with knowledge that our hard work and effort is being channelled correctly.