THIS holiday season Sewa International Trinidad and Tobago is undertaking one of its biggest humanitarian drives as they continue to provide assistance for flood victims. The not-for-profit organisation has issued a flood relief appeal and is calling on the public to make a deposit to Sewa International TT or sponsor Sewa TT Relief packs, worth $100, at any partner supermarket up until December 25.
In the days and weeks following the recent floods, 300 volunteers have spent 11,850 hours providing assistance to those in need. Between November 27 to December 4, 10,219 meals were prepared and delivered to 25 areas severely affected by floods. Volunteer doctors visited patients who were marooned in their homes and could not be moved easily and transportation was provided for those marooned at home who needed to purchase medication and other supplies. Sewa TT’s partners and volunteers also provided large bottles of drinking water and assisted with clean up and sanitising of homes of the elderly, the diasabled and others who were psychologically affected by the floods. Sewa TT has also opened a free self-service laundry. Because the floodwaters damaged many washing machines, Sewa TT installed washing machines and dryers at the Sumatee Sabha Shiv Mandir at Bamboo Grove #2 as part of its flood relief efforts. Free laundry detergent is also provided.
This year the non-profit organisation has partnered with the Miss India Worldwide Trinidad and Tobago pageant to organise an additional 3000 packages to help those affected by floods and others who are in need.
Since 2013, Sewa TT which promotes volunteerism and philanthropy has been providing relief to persons affected by natural and man-made disasters. The NGO was created by young professionals who identified gaps in our society as it related to disaster relief.
Thousands of meals distributed
“We developed a programme that will help us be more organised as a country. We identified five areas that are required when there is a natural disaster–blood, food, water, clothes and health screening,” says President of Sewa TT, Revan Teelucksingh. “Over the years we have been practicing these regularly, we have done over 40 blood drives with 1000 persons in our database. During the major Covid 19 lockdown when the state was collecting less than 10 units a day, Sewa TT was able to organise five blood drives, adding 300 units at a critical time for the country.”
Sewa TT has been organising and distributing food packages every Shiv Ratri, Eid and Christmas; during emergencies they have provided thousands of meals and dry goods. On three separate occasions the NGO has distributed 3000 food packages with funds and items sponsored by members of the public. Because water is usually an issue during every major natural disaster the Sewa TT engineering team has been experimenting with water purification kits and other systems to purify water, adds Teelucksingh. During its last clothes drive, Sewa TT distributed close to 30,000 pieces of clothing.
The organisation’s health screening programme which has been running for 10 years includes a cadre of volunteer doctors and non-medical volunteers that assist in times of need. During the pandemic, Sewa TT established the first private mass vaccination site where more than 85,000 persons were vaccinated in three months.
For its latest flood relief appeal, Sewa TT is calling on members of the public to help flood victims and make a deposit to ‘Sewa International TT’ Republic Bank Account 8708 0110 7401 or sponsor relief packs directly at partner supermarkets. To do so, visit any of the following supermarkets listed below, inform the cashier that you would like to sponsor a ‘Sewa TT Relief Pack’. ‘Sewa TT Relief Pack’ will appear on your bill. The NGO will collect all items for relief packs from supermarkets for distribution to affected areas.
West Bees Supermarket–Diego Martin and Tacarigua
Croisee ChaseMart–Chase Village Flyover
Croisee Supermarket–Calcutta #2, Freeport
Low Cost Supermarket–Cunupia Main Road
Persads D Food King–Mayaro to Pt Fortin
S&S Persad Supermaket–Mayaro and Rio Claro
MS Food City–Penal
Massy Stores–all locations
Xtra Foods–Arima, Grand Bazaar, Chaguanas, Endeavour
Super Quality Supermarkets–Couva, Endeavour, Trincity