Poverty doesn't discriminate, nor does its fighters.

Last week I posted about The Trussell Trust, calling out their undeniably powerful efforts to feed those in the UK who are not so fortunate and it got me thinking about the nature of the charity. The Trussell Trust are a Christian charity but do not discriminate those of other religions. How inspiring it is not to see such a divide, which almost certainly would be there just a few decades ago. Given that Christianity is the main faith of the UK, it almost makes sense for The Trussell Trust to be so far reaching and effective in fighting hunger in the UK.

This week, I learnt about another charitable organisation. One that has similar values in tackling not just hunger, but also homelessness and those affected by alcohol and substance abuse. However, this charity isn’t a Christian charity – it is Sikh and it’s called Nishkam SWAT.

Based in West London, Nishkam SWAT has been around in the UK since 2008 and were initially involved in a massive homelessness project, feeding and supporting hundreds of people they found to be sleeping rough. Since then, they have run a number of projects and continue to do so, such as their Elderly Care project, regularly spending time with the Elderly community, particularly those who have no loved ones to care for them, or their Healthcare project, buying a fully functional ambulance through fundraising, allowing them to give basic medical needs to the homeless. There are many more of these inspiring projects which you can learn about on their site, and there are some also planned for 2020 – a chance for you to get involved! They also rely solely on the work of volunteers to carry out their projects, with support from numerous partners and sponsors.

Impact of Nishkam SWAT’s work. Source: Nishkam SWAT

Now, I don’t like focusing on the detrimental impacts religious divides as this isn’t what FutureSphere is truly about, but it’s important to note that these divides do very much still exist. Why I am so inspired and excited by Nishkam SWAT is that they are Sikh charity who throw any perceptions of religious divide to the wolves – and how important is that in the 21st century? Very.

Sikhism itself teaches, amongst many other things, that one should be selfless and help anyone who needs it, irrelevant of their race, religion or creed and if you were to go to a Gurudwara, the place of worship for Sikhs, you would be well fed and given a space to be you in a spiritual home, regardless of your beliefs – with no expectation of paying them back. Beyond that, those who volunteer at Nishkam SWAT, are also of many different faiths and beliefs showing a true defiance of religious divide. With respect to sustainable development, the charity is a pioneer on multiple fronts, including the challenging of social and religious divide simply through their existence, but also through their primary function…

…to unite and transform financially disadvantaged communities by focusing on projects which make a difference to people‚Äôs lives in the short term and improve their prospects in the long term.

Nishkam SWAT

Some may say that you shouldn’t call them out for just being a Sikh charity, and I’d agree, but I’m calling them out for being a Sikh charity that has persistently, without hesitation, looked to help disadvantaged communities and importantly, establish themselves as a fighter for the unfortunate, no matter who they are or what tribulations may arise for themselves or for those they help. Their impactful work ties in directly with SDG 1 No Poverty and SDG 2 Zero Hunger and I also believe that we can attribute SDG 10 Reduced Inequalities, for their charitable work independent of discrimination as an ethnic minority. Massive amounts of gratitude and respect to Nishkam SWAT for all the work that they do, contributing to a better state of humanity!

Links:

Nishkam SWAT Website

New power unlocked to support London's homeless.

How many times have you walked past a homeless person in the last month? Quite a few. How many of those people you walked past have you stopped for and given something to? None. How many of those people you walked past have you spoken to? None. How many of those people you walked past do you think have hopes and dreams that they wish they could achieve? Every single one. So what are you going to do about it? Or better yet, what can you do about it?

youtube.com

Beam is the multiple award-winning London based company that makes the hopes and dreams of homeless people in London far more of a reality than their hardships typically allow for. Put simply, Beam is a public crowdfunding platform for homeless people in London, with the funds raised going towards the training and support they need to land stable, paid jobs like electricians, accountants, beauticians and so much more!

The concept of this business is inspirational. By harnessing the power of the web and the crowdfunding tools available, Beam targets the public’s goodwill to donate for causes that truly change lives for the better. The number of awards Beam has received is beyond admirable and its recognition by Forbes, the BBC, Financial Times and so many more, just goes to show why this 2019 Tech4Good Finalist is the epitome of progress for SDG 8 Good Jobs and Economic Growth and SDG 1 No Poverty, specifically through its decent job creation, access to financial services and promoting an active labour market program (albeit non-government lead).

Being a Londonder, I can appreciate how difficult it can be for homeless people in the city, particular in the colder months when nobody has time to stop walking, let alone donate something. Beam have effectively empowered the public to do more for the homeless in London than just dropping the odd coin or left overfood, which to be clear, does go a long way during hard times – it’s just that there is more that we can do to change the longer term hardships of the homeless and now we know how!

So much respect for the team at Beam for their impactful work, having so far drastically changed the lives of 156 people for the better already, getting them into stable, paid jobs. Please do check out their platform and feel inspired to donate, even a small amount, for the awesome cause of giving the homeless in London more than a fighting chance to achieve their dreams!

Links:

Beam Website
beam.org