Empowering community has always been the vision of all initiatives of the Vincentian Service Society Centre for Rural development. The history of the Vincentian social work perspective always was with the marginalized sections of the society. The empowering perspectives have been realized through the development initiatives planned in, planned with, and planned for the people by the networking partners Vincentian Service Society Centre for Rural development implemented in different parts of the world, especially the South America, African and Asian Continents. The major focus of the community development initiatives was tribal and rural reconstruction that answer with the development challenges of the area where we work. To be in the forefront of community development initiatives, the networking partners have associated with various funding partners like Karl Kubal foundation, Missio, messerior, Manos Unidas etc...some of the major projects in this perspective are..
Women Empowerment is visualized as one of the means to remove the vulnerability of the marginalized sections of the society. Integrated approach on women empowerment is being realized through various initiatives that promote women's self-dependency and contribute to the nation building. Instead of formulating new self-help groups of women, contributing to the strengthening and capacity building of women to make use of opportunities and exercise freedom to control their own life is promoted by the network member institutions of the Vincentian Service Society Centre for Rural development. Training to income generation activities, financial support to initiate self-employment at zero interest and subsidy, job opportunities in the baking units, stabilizer units are being implemented in different parts of the country. The empowerment is not limited to economic or allied dimensions of life rather empowering them to avail legal awareness on domestic violence, counseling etc is opened for public use. This is more realized through legal counseling centres supported by local self-government and state government. The approach is been successful and made use by multiple beneficiaries irrespective of caste, creed, sex. The increasing demand for self-employment support and training needs to be addressed with the support of the new funding partners who are people oriented.
Networking institutions of Vincentian Service Society Centre for Rural development responding to the need of the hour, increasing old population of the country have initiated various geriatric care projects in different parts of the world. Hundreds of old aged people are cared and served in old age homes managed by its networking agencies. Home for Old Aged Couples, Single Woman and Man Old Age Homes, palliative care units etc majorly managed by Divine Charitable Trust, De Paul charitable trust. Geriatric care is extended to Old Age clubs with the support of the communities to provide spiritual, recreational, medical and physical assistance. As part of providing regular support to old people both physical and psychological, regular meetings of the old age club are organized in every month. The gathering of such clubs work as opportunities for sharing and supporting each other as people in the same board. Support from the Vincentian Service Society to such initiatives is extended in terms of seminars, spiritual services, recreational services etc. Around 100 to 150 people are supported in this endeavor. Financial assistance to this is extended by well-wishers and benefactors locally and needs further support of people of good mind.
Public health service delivery is part of the government systems but gap identified in the system needs to be addressed by non-governmental organizations and private. Increased demand for health service delivery is not addressed adequately due to the limited availability of service delivery centres and medical professionals. Quality public health or community health becomes, therefore, a challenge to both government and private sectors. Addressing communicable and non-communicable diseases in the rural and urban sectors involves resources that facilitated by the system. Vincentian network of social work agencies have been in the forefront in the health service delivery, especially in addressing community health issues both communicable and non-communicable diseases in the rural and tribal.
It is initiated by the Vincentian Service Society to save the life of the people in crisis and accidents. The ambulance service aimed to provide speedy and low rate service to the poor needy patients Kerala. The service of the ambulance is provided in three districts of Kerala namely Thrissur, Ernakulam and Kozhikode. The service is available 24 hours. The society manages ambulance service with the financial service of the well-wishers and benefactors. Presently the ambulance service is managed by VSS and its life saving volunteers including trained drivers. The service is highly demanded by the public, specially poor and needy. The service needs to be extended in different parts of the country along with group of volunteers who are ready to support the service and intervene during the accidents as rescue team.
Addressing increasing demand for medical care and health delivery in rural and tribal areas of the country the networking agencies like Vincentian service society, Divine Charitable Trust, De Paul Extension Services, Bhimadole Development society, Vincentian Mission Society etc... have been conducting medical camps to deliver the health care services specifically on communicable diseases. Intensive awareness programmes on non-communicable diseases and life style diseases have been initiated by these societies in different parts of the country. Thousands of people being benefitted from such camps and awareness programmes. Celebration international days on cancer, TB, HIV/AIDS, mental health is marked as its expression of interest in public health.
Timely health education, specially on sexual health and hygiene to the adolescents will facilitate personality development and reduce stress and anxiety related to physical and mental health of the age. Adolescent club formation, peer to peer education, counseling, seminars and workshops, sexual health and hygiene awareness programmes etc are organized as part of this project by our networking partners De Paul Extension Service and Vincentian Service Society. The project is implemented by these member institutions in association with local self governments of kerala and James Cook University, Australia.
Understanding the need of health service delivery in the remote village of India and Africa, the networking partners have rural health centres. The rural health centres mainly managed by nurses and supported by the service of the doctor's visit on regular intervals. The centres work as link between people and community for awareness and health promotion. Inadequacy of system based public health service delivery on time increase in mortality rate and morbidity rate in rural and tribal areas. The service of health centres established in rural and tribal villages saves hundreds of life and removed them from the clutches of witches and superstitions related with diseases. In adequacy of volunteers, especially of medical professionals in Maharashtra is a challenge to this project.
Addictions to drugs and alcohol is becoming alarming among the young and old generations alike in India. In order to de-addict them professional and scientific approach is a need of the time and then help them to come out of the cocoon of self-madeportraits of personalities. Divine Charitable Trust has established Divine De-addiction centre for the rehabilitation of the drug addicts and alcoholics. The centre treats a good number of persons under the abled leadership of medical and social work professionals. The addicts are closely observed and treated by the multi professional team and enables the patients to come out of withdrawal symptoms. Along with the treatment of the clients the family members are also given counselling services for better rehabilitation.
The poor people who are suffering from serious ailments that needs costly medication and treatment procedures are assisted either partially or fully through financial assistance by its networking member, Vincentian Service Society. More than 100 people with serious illness like cancer, kidney failure, heart diseases, arthirtes, cerebral meningitis etc are assisted per year scrutenized by an expert committee.
Bhimadole Community Development Project supported by Karl Kubal Foundation was implemented by Bhimadole Development Society. The project focused on the health awareness, community building, housing and income generation activities for economic sustainability. The project was implemented in 32 backward villages of West Godhavari district of Andhraparadhesh. Though the project duration was five years the project activities are still continued by the BDS as part of its professional commitment to the people and to address the challenges of the other segments of the development such as education, rural reconstruction, environmental hygiene and water scarcity. The society manages income generation activities like stabilizer manufacturing, tailoring unit etc. The school drop out of the area is a major challenge before the agency though it struggle to implement child labour school with the support of well-wishers and benefactors.
Vavarath Village Development is one of the major challenges faced by Vincentian Mission Service Society (VMSS), Ahmednagar, Maharashtra. Vavarath is a village resided by tribal and nomadic people along with resettled oustees of the Mulla Dam with no access to mainstream society and poor civic amenities. The village development issues has been addressed by the VincentainMission Service Society since 2000 by establishing a tribal school, health centre and village boarding. The children of the area have been initiated to the education in vernacular language upto matriculation. Both boys and girls are educated in the school and accommodated in the hostel built with local facilities. The village health care was in the hands of the quack doctors and witches and is been slowly relieved from them by providing intensive health care awareness and services by our health care volunteers and medical professionals. Since the area is 50 kilometers away from the nearest city and in the midst of jungle and firing range of army the availability of the professionals is a challenge. Though water is easy accessible to them the drinking water is still oasis to them due to the non-availability of the electricity. The VMSS has been struggling hard and left no stone unturned to organize the community and address development challenges. It is in need of funding partners to build the community that are promoted with wellbeing...
De Paul Housing project is yet another challenge addressed by Vincentian Service Society Centre for Rural development various networking partners like Divine Charitable Trust, Vincentian Service Society, Bhimadole Service Society etc. Land and house gives address and identity to the poor who are out casted in the society. The housing issues of the poor is being addressed by these networking partners by providing 5 cents of land and a small house of 300 to 500 sft. They have been able to construct and hand over almost 300 houses in different parts of the country. The housing projects have been supported by various funding partners of both foreign and domestic ranging from corporate to individual well-wishers. The project still needs to be continued so that hundreds of the request for an abode can be addressed.
It is a documentary programme started by Goodness TV in the year 2012 to provide support to the sick people in the society. This documentary programme will provide information on bed ridden persons in the society who are in need of care and support. The programme will be telecasted through Goodness TV in India and Divine Vision in abroad. Those who watch the documentary will be helping the sick people. Till now through the programme it supported 37 sick people and gathered around 90 lakh rupees for the same.
Building people is the best way to improve the quality living of generations. Understanding the significance of education to build individuals, families, community and society the member institutions have initiated scholarship programmes to educate the academically excellent but economically backward students. Hundreds of students irrespective of their caste, creed, and sex are assisted through various scholarship programmes. The member institutions play key role in the implementation of this project. There two modes of assistance; Student led assistance which is called De Paul Eductional Assistance programme and Institution led education assistance Programme.
De Paul Education Assistance Programme is an initiative of Vincentian Service Society to impart quality education to economically backward and academically excellent students and help them to be self-reliant. Students are motivated to contribute some amount to the DEAP programme by which the needy students of their school is assisted to continue their education. The best performing students to contributing to this endeavour is awarded publically. The needy students are identified by the committee consists of school principal, teachers, students and representative of the Vincentian Service Society. The programme mainly implemented among the school children upto 12th standard.
In the onetime assistance programme, it was given assistance to the children to accomplish educational needs. The support will be giving as cash and paid in one time. This will be an instant assistance give to the students and do not require repayment.
As per the Ongoing Education Programme, it is intended to support the children who have done their elementary education from De Paul Boys homes. The assistance is given to the children to enhance them to attain a job and accomplish their wishes. Through the OEP, it has supported children to find their own job by receiving qualitative education.
Rev. Fr.Varkey Kattarath is the founder of Vincentian Congregation and the scholarship is arranged in the fond memory of him. It is a merit based scholarship programme to the children who show excellence in their studies and hail from the poor economic background.
Interest Free Loan Scheme is an education assistance provided to the children who are unable to pay the fees in big amount. Through the programme it was given assistance to the children by giving an amount of money to pay their fees. Those students will be repaying as instalment in the monthly or weekly bases. There will not be any interest paid by the beneficiaries for the amount that they received.
Educational institutions of member institutions of the network are encouraged to contribute certain percent of their income to the scholarship of the students of the respective institution they study. Accordingly hundreds of students are assisted to learn in the quality educational institutions and become self reliant. The beneficiaries of this project is selected by a team consists of principal, Head of the departments and Management of the institution. In order to identify the meritorious candidates to the scholarship applications are invited and reports of both financial status and academic status is sought from the candidates and relevant stake holders. The screening committee will study the application and submit before the scholarship committee of each member institution.
The programme is to financially assist the economically backward students to pay their fees and other expenses without paying the interest of the fund they receive. An amount is generated as revolving fund with the support of benefactors and the same is distributed among the worthy candidates who pursue professional courses. Once the candidate's course is over and employed well the beneficiaries will contribute the amount they received without fail to the revolving fund. This will assist in the allocation of fund to the needy candidates of the society.