London: 60 women from many cultures and faiths came together to share in a coffee morning with the Religions for Peace UK Women of Faith Network and the Brahma Kumaris Women and Spirituality Group at the Brahma Kumaris National Centre in North London. The theme of the morning was Compassion in Action and diverse organisations were present enjoying each other’s company, catching up with old friends, making new ones and hearing about the social community activities, not just locally, but globally.
Ravinder Kaur Nijjar, the Chair of UK Women of Faith Network, shared about the initiative called Share a Meal – Gift a Meal. The idea being that sitting down together sharing food is a donation to society in itself. The value of this donation of time produces multi fold results of friendship, creativity, a secure space and a raising of female self-esteem. They are more than just fund-raising opportunities, they also provide a time and a place for women to inspire, encourage and grow in each other’s company.
Hilary Wright, from Marys Meals, a Scottish based Christian humanitarian organisation, gave a presentation on the initiative of providing one nutritious meal each day for children in 15 countries. The local communities are trained to assist in the teaching and feeding of the children.
She demonstrated the real use of monies donated that for every £1 donated 93 pence goes to provide meals. One can also donate towards providing backpacks holding simple items for the school day.
Cindy Lass spoke of her project, All Hearts Beat as One. This is not a fund-raiser but is an opening for people to come together and use their sewing skills to embroider a heart. Her desire is for people all over the world to join their hearts together as one family.
Georgina Long, the Interfaith Co-ordinator for the Brahma
Kumaris, interviewed Agya Oberai about her work with battered women and the homeless in her borough. After a lifetime in nursing she now selflessly gives of her time and energy to support the most disadvantaged. She expressed how, at the age of 73, she is able to serve her community with the support of her spiritual life.
In small groups, two questions were discussed: Do I have enough resources of love and compassion to share, even when I feel I cannot take care of my own needs? How willing am I to put compassion into action?
There were interesting returns from this interaction:
- What you give to all, including yourself, is WHAT YOU GET.
- Natural compassion is within all of us more than we know!
- Compassion is the CARE of my being!
- Belief in myself comes with gratitude and faith.
- First have love for myself, then I am willing to share that love fully with others when I am non-judgemental.
Maureen Goodman, Programme Director of the Brahma Kumaris closed the event finalised by leading everyone into a beautiful reflection on the morning.