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’s 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