One Billion Rising, one woman at a time

More than 750 residents of 15 regional women’s shelters have received gifts from Sikh volunteers. -
More than 750 residents of 15 regional women’s shelters have received gifts from Sikh volunteers.
— image credit:

On Feb. 14, the World Sikh Organization of Canada (WSO), along with Guru Nanak’s Free Kitchen (GNFK) and several gurdwaras united to join One Billion Rising by providing treats to the residents of 15 women’s shelters in the Lower Mainland.

More than 750 residents in Abbotsford, Surrey, New Westminster and Vancouver were provided with chocolates and flowers along with items such as baked goods and cards.

One Billion Rising began as a call to action based on the staggering statistic that one in three women on the planet will be beaten or raped during her lifetime. With the world population at 7 billion, this adds up to more than one billion women and girls.

Many local gurdwaras participated in the initiative and served as drop-off locations in addition to providing desserts prepared in the langar or free community kitchen.

Participating gurdwaras included Gurdwara Sahib Brookside, Gurdwara Sahib Kalgidhar Darbar, Gurdwara Sahib Sukh Sagar, Guru Nanak Sikh Gurdwara, Khalsa Diwan Society Abbotsford, Gurdwara Nanak Niwas and Sri Guru Singh Sabha Surrey.

In a touching gesture, Ms. Mangat’s kindergarten class at Guru Angad Dev Elementary School in Newton prepared Valentine’s cards for each shelter (above).

“GNFK is dedicated to enriching people’s lives through regular, sustained, and meaningful volunteer service,” said GNFK Council Member and volunteer Roveen Kandola.

“Our work is based on the basic humanitarian principles of sharing, inclusiveness, community, and public service. We are thankful to WSO for providing this opportunity to us.”

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