SOS collaborations makes history in Sending Out Strength to combat social issues during COVID19

By Our Reporter
SOS Collaborators

Successfully delivering self-help and empowering strategies reaching out 2,000 plus individuals—and it is just the beginning!

Considering the importance of SHAMSHIR’s recent SOS ‘Sending Out Strength’ Movement, for the first time in the history of Australia’s multicultural education sector many academic institutes have joined forces with SHAMSHIR and its ‘SOS awareness and educational sessions’ to assist individuals understand the Australian legal expectations, Law and Legislation against family violence, students at risk procedures, impacts of social-isolation and an active involvement in sports for personal well-being at a wider level. The collaboration of SOS with vocational institutes is successfully delivering self-help and empowering strategies reaching out to 2,000 plus individuals from almost 40 multicultural communities.

Saru Rana, founder SHAMSHIR is actively engaging wider communities in addressing their concerns has become a matter of utmost importance and an integral part of the struggle to prevent long-term effects. Earlier with a community supportline, and now educational and awareness undertakings combined with sporting opportunities, Saru Rana and her team SHAMSHIR is effectively delivering much needed aid to socially isolated people to empower them with the life skills and values which can prevent their descent into a life of a traumatised mind, giving them a positive outlook on their future.

Ms Saru Rana

Showcasing direct successful experiences of SHAMSHIR’s previous international projects MINI ME and The Dark Campaign, Saru and Team SHAMSHIR confidently is making this new initiative SOS a greatly adaptable vehicle through which well-being and empowerment of all is persuasively taking place around Australia and across the globe.

Saru with the SOS movement had again tapped into this well of positive energy engaging wider communities contributing greatly to people’s health and psyche, promoting its importance and recognising its positive impacts on the empowerment of people for their health and well-being.

In spite of these pandemic situations, the SOS ambassadors has internationally launched discussions on seeking potential(s) to assist with social awareness, giving people a sense of belonging, friendliness and support in combating loneliness and social isolation through social awareness and sports.

Saru states self-help and empowering strategies are used to effectively build resilience of at-risk women and children, strengthening their life skills in order to minimise risk factors and maximise protective factors. She adds, “While there is no pretence that sports can be the solution to many problems, still in many communities it is nevertheless considered to be an important vehicle to tackle a number of key risk factors related to family violence and social-isolation”.

Mr Jordan Capel
Mr Jordan Capel, Diversity and Inclusion Officer—SACA 

Sport is such a crucial part in a person’s physical and mental wellbeing, never more true than in the current pandemic we find ourselves in. Sport and physical activity offers people the opportunity to escape from the workplace or house environment they find themselves in. It is also a great way to develop social skills and relationships with like-minded people. Exercise and sport is scientifically proven to benefit psychological health and help combat depression and anxiety. It can lead to:

  • More confidence
  • Better concentration and alertness
  • Reduced levels of overall tension
  • Improved cognitive function
  • Higher levels of life satisfaction
  • Increase in critical thinking and judgment skills
  • Enhanced ability to cope with stress
Mr Shekhar Mittal
Mr Shekhar Mittal, CEO Australian Adelaide International College 

“It’s not whether you get knocked down, it’s whether you get up.”

To me, this great quote by the great American football coach Vince Lombardi summaries relationship that sports have with resilience. I have been a sports’ enthusiast all my life and have learnt a lot of things from it. But if there is one thing, I value the most amongst my learnings from sports, it is resilience.

We live in stressful times. From careers to family lives to health, a normal human being is besieged with challenges all around and it is only a strong character that can help you sail through such storms. Though sports teach you to be strong, yet—with its ups and downs—it also warms you up to not being too harsh with yourself. It makes you radically open to something that is beyond your control. If we were to draw a parallel in life, there is plenty that is beyond our control and it can all be so overwhelming. But thankfully, there is help available. All you have to do is… ask. I believe with sports and self-help we can take the failures in life with our head held high and get up even when life has knocked us down.

Mr Balwinder Singh Jhandi
Mr Balwinder Singh Jhandi, CEO Jabin Hopkins institute Of Technology 

We are encouraging our students with a safety plan through SOS—Sending Out Strength to support with information in their hardship around social issues and isolation during COVID19. Whilst circulating the list of services to call in an emergency in most vulnerable situations ensuring students safety and well-being, we are lending out a helping hand to find support and resources in order to identify their strengths and assets, and help students build and expand upon them, so they find the motivation to help themselves. As the CEO of Jabin Hopkins Institute of Technology, I believe in the importance of letting students know the best way to reach you if help is needed, so the vulnerable people around us can create their safety plan during the current pandemic around us.

Mr Robbie Benipal
Mr Robbie Benipal, CEO Hope Training College of Australia 

Many new immigrants, especially students find it difficult to talk to anyone about their hardship and social issues around them. For many men and women who are either experiencing loss of job, abuse or social-isolation, friends and family are often not the first people they talk to about it in many multicultural communities. These vulnerable people may not know how to find help. It takes a lot of time, planning, help and courage to seek help sometimes; and SOS—Sending Out Strength from our end as a CEO of Hope Training College of Australia is the first step to support our students to the utmost level. It’s important for people to know that help is available from people who know and care about the situation.

Mr Mohinder Singh and family
Mr Mohinder Singh, CEO Endeavour Study Centre 

Raising a family of two, juggling work and many other things in life and having gone through some of the stages of life, I have realised that life can sometimes be overwhelming and stressful. So, if you have some stress, you are not alone! Talk to someone close to you, reach out to any government/ non-government agencies available or simply call your close friend. Talk to someone whom you trust but don’t be silent. Be hopeful and realise the strength inside you and remember you are not alone in this! We all are with you in your difficult times and we send you a lot of strength from us—Riya, Abhay, Naresh and Mohinder.

Mr Rakesh Mahajan
Mr Rakesh Mahajan, CEO Ausyes Migration & Education Services 

Being a Registered Migration Agent, I come across many migrants who struggle to adapt a new life in Australia leading to different kinds of stress. I would like to say to everyone out there if you are feeling low or stressed, don’t hesitate to seek help from your friends, institutions, government and non-government bodies. They are all there to support you, guide you and protect you. Believe in your inner strength.

SOS strategies within the vocational institutes will be used not only as a way to prevent extremism of trauma in people, but have self-help approaches and sports play a major role, in real terms, help improve lives by increasing health and wellbeing of all. As Rana, puts it, “ensuring the development of all and the access to support mechanisms can make a remarkable impact, and positively contribute to building resilient societies that are considerably less prone to radicalisation. Apart from SOS’s ‘a talk can do a lot’ slogan, sports in any form can also provide an outlet.”

For the same reason, with SOS, 2,000 plus individuals are being made part of programs run by South Australian Cricket Association (SACA) having them involve in various cricketing settings, especially for ones who had never experienced it before.

As there is no one size fits all, conditions influencing potential isolation and loneliness, and with many nuances of family and domestic violence in which individuals are considered at risk, Saru agree that the challenge could only be undertaken with the driving force strongly involving people closest to the problems on a local, national and global basis. Engaging distinguished role models to whom women and children can look up, trust and confide in is one among many part and parcels of this new empowerment-based initiative.

SHAMSHIR is aiming its new initiative SOS to go far beyond participation in the sports activities, which even means enabling people to experience leadership roles for themselves: It’s about building strength at the grassroots level, so they gain influence in the society and eventually are able to influence a change in the society. And, Saru with SOS is successfully creating networks with people who share the same values across the world.

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