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Our Lady of Salvation Church - Dadar - Mumbai - INDIA

Community Centre

Head:                   Jennifer Fernandes
Asst. Head:           Sunita Borkar
Priest-in-charge:  Fr. Mario Mendes / Bro. John Pereira

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“He has sent me to bring good news to the poor, to bind up hearts that are broken; to proclaim liberty to captives, freedom to those in Prison” Isaiah 61:2

 

History: The Bombay Archdiocesan Synod held in November 1980  recommended that every parish set-up a centre for Community Organization (C.C.O) to tackle a wide range of problems in a systematic way and give perspective and vision to the task of empowering the marginalized by an ongoing study and analysis.

 

The Parish of Our Lady of Salvation took this step by inaugurating the Centre for Community Organization on 15th August 2001 and is now associated with the Federation of Centers for Community Organization.

 

Salvation Centre for Community Organization works with all the sections irrespective of caste, creed , religion or gender and with a special focus towards the development of the poor and the needy.  

 

Aims and objectives: Salvation Centre for Community Organization seeks to organize all sections of the community; to empower the marginalized and the oppressed especially women and children, making them self-reliant through awareness and motivation programmes. It endeavors to establish bonds of equality between the marginalized and the rest of society.

 

Major Activities:

         Self –help groups

         Income-generating programs

         Tailoring course

         Spoken English classes

         Awareness programs

         House worker’s placement

         Bal Mandal in the communities

         Children’s activities

         Streets plays  

         Library

         Networking with other centers

         Case-work ( Individuals in distress needs)

         Counseling

         Home-visits

         Preventive health care

"I have surely seen the affliction of my people…. I know the suffering of my people ….I will deliver them ….. (Ex 3:7)

Answering to the call of the Spirit, the Parish of Our Lady of Salvation set up a Centre for Community Organization (CCO) on 15th August 2001 to respond to the wide range of problems in a systematic way, and give perspective and vision to the task of empowering the marginalized. The CCO works with all the sections of people, irrespective of caste, creed, religion or gender, and with a special focus on the development of the poor and the needy.  It seeks to empower the marginalized and the oppressed, especially women and children, through awareness and motivation programs.

WHOM ARE WE SERVING.......

We reach out to a wide spectrum of people and attend to those in need giving them “what is rightfully theirs’. In this way, the CCO reaches out to the distressed women, children, youth, domestic workers, victims of alcoholism and their families, victims of legal injustice, prisoners, socially and financially disadvantaged, etc.

WHAT ARE THIER DIFFICULTIES…..

Dadar is at the heart of the city of Mumbai and over the years it has become one of the commercial places with thriving markets, thus making it pulsating, alive, vibrant and much more. Despite these growing developments, people however continue to be deprived of the most fundamental needs and are marginalized, leading them to situations of extreme deprivation. People are facing severe struggles of life and are finding themselves unable to cope up with what life and society demands. Families are in crisis and under the threat of declining values: young people are facing complex problems; parents are unable to handle their children and youth, as they are over-exposed to the mass media. Families are suffering due to the demolition of their houses and injustices done to them by the landlord. Unemployment due to recession and retrenchment is very common. Various types of legal injustices are faced by many. Domestic violence is on the rise. Health- related issues, addiction, harassment to Senior Citizens by their families, confusion faced by the young with choice of career, and so on, are common cases that come to our notice.

The CCO has been rendering wonderful service in answering to the various needs of the community and has continuously initiated numerous projects and activities to support the community.  

WHAT ARE WE OFFERING THEM……

We offer them relevant services to “help them to help themselves”. To cater to the various needs we have Self-Help Groups and income generating projects for women, tailoring, spoken English, counseling and guidance, capacity building, various awareness programs, employment guidance, domestic workers group, attention to domestic violence, visit to families and communities, BAL Mandal group for children, street plays, etc. We also welcome students placed for fieldwork giving them an opportunity for exposure and experience in the field of social work.

Another unique feature of the Parish is the availability of the ‘community fund’. It has been a boon to the needy people of the Parish and a number of children are being helped to pursue their education through this fund without which it would have been difficult for them to continue their studies. Thanks is due to the Parish community which supports this genuine cause. Apart from financial help from the Community Welfare Fund, the CCO also follows up such families in need to see that they are helped and guided to cope up with their situation in making them self- reliant. 

HOW DO WE DO IT....WHAT ARE OUR STRATEGIES

Development can take place only when one realizes that they are in an oppressive and marginalized situation. Therefore we gear towards people-centred development which allows individuals to become aware of their reality and come out of their problems. Sufficient guidance and help is given when they come to seek help. We also assist them to realize their own capacities, resources, knowledge, and potentials and having drawn from them we try to make them aware that they are the  protagonists of change to take ownership of their own development.

WHAT ARE OUR STRENGTHS….

       The success of the Centre’s work can be attributed to the fact that it has always worked in collaboration with the efforts of the various Cells of the parish, namely Medical Centre, Women’s Cell, Alcoholic Anonymous,   Al - Anon Group, Civic and Politic Cell, Prison Ministry, Employment Bureau, House Worker’s Cell, Legal Aid Cell, IRD Cell, Bal Mandal, Senior Care Ministry and Care and Comfort Ministry. The Parish is blessed to have these various cells to cater to the various social needs of the people. Each Cell has got its competence to offer, and all of them working together multiples  power and effectiveness.

The heads of the CELLS do meet together to plan the vision and mission where it becomes a “connectors table” as each Cell offers to extend help to one another, to mobilize efforts and work in partnership and collaboration.

Networking with other CCO’s, Archdiocesan bodies like the Centre for Social Action, Federation of the CCO’s, OLCM, National Domestic Worker’s Movement, other NGO’s and likeminded individuals are important aspects of the Salvation CCO.

The Parish Pastoral Council members and the Small Christian Community Animators have also been involved to a great extent in extending their help whenever needed. The CCO is working towards involving a model partnership in development with the Small Christian Communities. It is trying to encourage the communities to feel responsible for their members.

THE REASON BEHIND OUR SERVICE......

The Salvation Parish CCO believes that every human being, created in the image and likeness of God, is sacred and transcendent, and that his/her dignity should be realized in a community with others. It also believes in the ethical position that all people are entitled to a certain standard in terms of material and spiritual well being. Therefore it takes the side of people who suffer injustice, acknowledging their equal worth and dignity. So we are proud to say that the Parish of Our Lady of Salvation through various  activities of its CCO tries to reach out in a tangible way to the needy and the marginalized so that they may all experience an ‘abundance of life’. 

 

How you can help?

 

The co-operation of individuals and groups has been instrumental in the implementation of the aims and objectives of the Salvation Community Centre. Hence it is our fervent plea that you patronize our cause either through your valuable service to the Community Centre or by offering your financial support.

PHOTOGRAPHS OF COMMUNITY CENTRE

 Address:
Our Lady of Salvation Church
S.K. Bole Road,
Dadar (W), Mumbai 400 028
INDIA
 
Tel.No.: 24224471 / 24370180