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Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What does the word Sewa mean?
A. Sewa is a Sanskrit word that translates to "Service above self."
Q. What is the Sewa movement?
A. The Sewa movement began in India in 1989. It spread to UK in 1991. Currently the Sewa movement is in seventeen countries including, Australia, Canada, Guyana, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Trinidad & Tobago, the UK and the USA.
Q. What is Sewa International?
A. Sewa International is a Hindu-faith based nonprofit charitable organization registered under US IRS Code 501 (c) (3). All donations to Sewa international are tax deductible in the US. Sewa International was incorporated in 2003 and got its nonprofit status from the IRS in 2004.
Q. What is Sewa International and what is Sewa USA?
A. In the US, they are the same.
Q. Is Sewa USA is a faith based organization?
A. Sewa USA is a Hindu-faith based organization that serves humanity irrespective of race, color, gender, religion or national origin. Sewa USA follows Hindu religious principles while serving humanity:
- Serving Humanity is Serving God (Nar seva Narayan sewa)
- All living beings are one family (Vasu deiva kutumbakam)
Q. How big is Sewa USA?
A. We have 38 chapters spanning 20 metros in 25 US states. In 2010, our 1000+ volunteers contributed 72,000 hours (or 36 full time equivalent) for our flagship project.
Q. What are the domestic programs of Sewa USA?
A. The flagship project is the Bhutanese Refugee Empowerment program. Our Chapters regularly conduct and participate in relief, rehabilitation, fundraising, food drives, marathons, habitat for humanity, adopt-a-highway, and keep-your-city-clean, projects that benefit the local communities where our chapters are based in.
Q. What are the International programs of Sewa USA?
A. International programs are in areas of disaster relief and rehabilitation, education, health, microenterprise, women empowerment, and tribal welfare.
Q. What countries does Sewa USA fund projects in?
A. Sewa funds projects in India, Guyana, Peru, Kenya, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, and Trinidad & Tobago.
Q. Where do you get funds?
A. Primarily by public donations. We are supported by people like you who donate for programs that Sewa USA works on. We also get funds from private, Corporate or public foundations, and, grants from governments.
Q. Is there a minimum I should donate?
A. No. People as young as 3 years to seniors donate to Sewa causes that they believe in from $10 to thousands of dollars.
Q. What is your overhead?
A. Very nominal - about 5% including all administrative and bank fees.
Q. Who are the beneficiaries?
A. Funds for projects in the US directly go to the designated poor and needy beneficiaries. Services are delivered mainly through our volunteers who work through our chapters in the US. We make program grants to other nonprofit organizations domestically and internationally, through an exhaustive vetting process that includes performance track record, financial viability, core competency, and management strength.
Q. Does Sewa International serve only a particular religious group?
A. Sewa International does not discriminate based on race, color, gender, religion, or national origin.
Q. When was Sewa International started ?
A. Sewa movement started in 1989 in India.
- Sewa International in the USA was incorporated in 2003, and got its nonprofit status in 2004.
- Sewa International in the UK was established in 1991.
- As of 2012, Sewa movement is active in 17 countries including Australia, Canada, Guyana, India, Kenya, Malaysia, New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Tridindad & Tobago, UK, and USA.
Q. How can I become a volunteer?
A. Send name, email and contact phone number to email@example.com indicating your interest.
Q. Does Sewa International USA work with other organizations?
A. Yes. Sewa USA is open to working with organizations that furtherits mission.
Q. How can I contact Sewa USA ?
A. You can contact us by the following means:
- Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us at (708) USA-SEWA
- Write to us at P.O. Box 820867, Houston,TX 77282-0867
Q. Has Sewa International won any awards ?
A. Sewa International has won a number of awards in the US in New Jersey (from New Jersey Legislature and Somerset County Board of Freeholders), in Cleveland (Federation of India Community Associations' Friends of India Service Award), and in Houston.