Leveraging the Virtual Platform – Sponsoring Education: One Child at a Time AIM for SEVA McMaster
Top row from left to right: Karishma Mehta, Esha Karia, Daniel D’Souza, Eesha Srivastava; Middle row from left to right: Harshul Bhanjana, Amrit Marwaha, Anushka Hasija, Amy Paul; Bottom row from left to right: Sachi Thakar, Sabeeh Mallick, Swati Anant
By: Esha Karia, BHSc (Honors), Class of 2022
AIM for SEVA McMaster thrives as it helps lives! We are a ratified MSU Club that has been organizing events since 2019. The club engages with students and community members by spreading awareness and raising funds in order to help increase access to education both locally and globally. The club was started between four passionate students who wanted to teach others about educational equity. Over the past two years, the club grew from four students to 11 Executives and 25 General Members. Members on our team are from various McMaster faculties, programs and cohorts. Events such as an Art Auction, Speaker Series, Mindfulness Workshop and Charity Fundraiser initiatives, not only raised awareness to youth locally but also supported students living in AIM for SEVA hostels in South Asia. Although we had an online semester, this did not stop the drive and dedication of the members in our club. We surpassed all expectations and had an extremely successful year. Learn more about who we are and how you can get involved!
AIM for SEVA Canada (https://www.aimforseva.ca/) is a registered non-for-profit charity organization that promotes the access to education in rural communities of South Asia by fundraising to build schools and funding student educational needs. With a global, national and local presence in Canada, our club was the first chapter to bridge university students to this amazing cause. This year, we focused on running fundraising, advocacy and educational events for McMaster students and the larger community. In order to do this, we offered a free General Membership to our club to create a more intimate and connected online community. For our General Members we hosted many informative meetings and created bi-monthly newsletters that taught them about current social issues around the world, the AIM for SEVA charity, and how to get involved with service initiatives both locally and globally.
We ran team bonding events, raffles and game nights to build a stronger club dynamic. We collaborated with other clubs such as McMaster Friends of MSF to host a Jeopardy Night with the executive and general members of both clubs. This event was a way for us to educate more McMaster students, outside our club, about the AIM for SEVA charity and its mission on an internal and community level. Through the trivia questions, we were able to quiz students on the current initiatives of the charity. The event was very successful and allowed us to connect with multiple students in a virtual environment. In addition, we hosted public events such a weekly online speaker series called “SEVA Speaks”. We featured four guests: Chris Cummins, a six-time Tedx speaker, Bally Rakkar, a mindfulness coach, Stay Woke, a youth-run initiative, and Nimmi Papneja, a founding committee member of AIM for SEVA Toronto. SEVA Speaks consisted of self-reflection activities and group discussions that brought a diverse group of students and adults together to inspire positive change. Raffles were organized for the attendees to win prizes and raise funds for the charity.
Excitingly, SEVA Speaks had over 150 attendees and raised over $1000. Our donations sponsored two underprivileged children for a year at an AIM for SEVA school. This includes supporting their education, accommodations, food, clothing, and extracurricular activities. AIM for SEVA Canada is proud to acknowledge that all funds that are donated go directly to the schools. Finally, we ran an outstanding semester-long Instagram campaign called “A Morning Cup of Positivi-TEA” which showcased positive news stories in the media and AIM for SEVA success stories to brighten people’s days during these difficult COVID-19 times. We are so proud of the many accomplishments we achieved this year as we helped increase awareness and accessibility to education. Moving forward, our team is driven to grow and continue to make a substantial impact in the lives of students both at McMaster and abroad!
Follow us on Instagram and Facebook (@aimforsevamcmaster) to stay up to date with new events, member information and global news for next year!
OUR EXECUTIVE TEAM:
Co-Presidents – Esha Karia and Amy Paul
VPs of Promotions and Student Engagement – Karishma Mehta and Anushka Hasija
VP of Finance – Daniel D’Souza
VP of External Relations – Harshul Bhanjana
VPs of Events – Swati Anant, Sachi Thakar, Sabeeh Mallick
Secretary – Eesha Srivastava
First Year Representative – Amrit Marwaha
Check out our AIM for SEVA McMaster Newsletters:
February Newsletter– https://drive.google.com/file/d/1vIxiixUOBY2beu9-I-AD4qApqTcXGZYo/view?usp=sharing