Monday, December 14, 2009
Friday, December 4, 2009
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Wednesday, November 18, 2009
CHHOTA UDEPUR, NOVEMBER 17, 2009: For the people of Baroj and the staff of Lok Seva Kendra (LSK) Chhota Udepur, November 6, 2009 was an exciting and memorable day, with the visit of special guests.
Mr. Hans-Jürgen Dörrich, Director of Jugend Dritte Welt, Germany; Mr. Reinhard Heiserer, Director of Jugend Eine Welt, Austria; and Mr. Michael Mager and Mr. Jörg Einsiedel from the Grohe Company, Germany, visited LSK to understand the progress of the projects underway there. After a warm welcome by the staff of LSK, the guests made a few quick stops at the bakery, technical centre and other programmes running in the campus. The highlight of the day, however, was the visit to the village of Baroj, where LSK is implementing a watershed project supported by Jugend Dritte Welt.
At Baroj, the guests were greeted enthusiastically by the villagers, who had prepared a grand programme in their honour. After the programme, they visited the various sites in the village where watershed work is underway, and interacted with the people to understand the impact of the watershed on their lives. The LSK staff explained the methods used to execute the project, and took note of suggestions made by the visiting team.
Through their visit, the team was able to see the difference that their support has made to the lives of the people. After spending several hours in the village, the guests left with a sense of satisfaction and the intention of returning as soon as they can!
CHOTTAUDEPUR, NOVEMBER 17, 2009: With the release of the Gujarat Government’s order calling for social audits of the NREGA across the state, Lok Seva Kendra (LSK) Chhota Udepur began facilitating the process by organising a training programme on 5th November for members of the Village Vigilance and Monitoring Committees (VVMC) from villages in Chhota Udepur Taluka.
The session was conducted by the staff of LSK, who had themselves attended a similar programme as members of the Taluka Resource Group. More than 120 committee members from 19 Panchayats, as well as the TDO and other local officials, attended the session. The objective of the programme was to enable the committee members to understand the concept of a social audit and prepare them to conduct the audits in their own villages.
Since then, LSK has also been involved in facilitating the actual audit process in 22 Panchayats in the taluka. This experience has revealed that much more preparation is necessary to strengthen the committees, improve the audit process and ensure transparency in the implementation of the NREGA. At present, LSK is involved in ensuring that true and verifiable audit reports are presented during the ongoing Gram Sabhas in Chhota Udepur Taluka.
Monday, November 9, 2009
“It was well organized and timely managed program that provided us an opportunity to learn about socio-cultural and agricultural conditions of tribal.” one of the students named Nirav stated in his thanksgiving speech.
The students and the faculty members of B.A. College of Agriculture, Anand Agricultural University, Anand had an enriching experience at Narukot Education Society, Narukot. Rev. Frs. Stanny, Brain and the staff of Development Society left no space for them to complain. They in fact, remained on their toes to make sure that the students and the faculty members would have a comfortable stay in order to fulfill their desired educational objectives while enjoying marvels of nature in and around the campus.
It was under Rural Agricultural Work Experience of the college, a total of 68 students and 17 faculty members stayed at Narukot from September 22 to October 11, 2009. During this course of time, they visited at least thirty villages to have an interaction with the farmers to learn about land holdings, irrigation, practices of crop production, animal husbandry and horticulture. Apart from that, they were also interested in learning about socio cultural life of the villagers.
In addition to that Fr. Stanny keenly shared his experiences of being in the Society and in this area working for socio economic and cultural development of the tribal. They were blissful to know about mission and vision of the Society. The boarders too were lucky to receive wisdom and knowledge from some of the learned and experienced professors who were obliged to talk to them about techniques of crop production, weather forecasting, remote sensing etc.
Friday, November 6, 2009
KAWANT, NOVEMBER 6, 2009: November 3, 2009 was a unique day for Don Bosco Kawant as it celebrated the Yuva Day for the youth of Kawant taluka. The crowd that was supposed to be expected was just 100, but then the numbers went on to cross 180. It was an amazing sight to see youngsters in the Hall, waiting anxiously to begin this day of animation. This Yuva day was an event organized by the Youth Coordinator, Br. Ramesh Durairaj . The Youth day began with a prayer service well animated by the boarders. The remaining part of the day was well organized by the staff of the DISHA DON BOSCO development office, Kawant.
Monday, October 26, 2009
Navi Mumbai, October 26, 2009: Don Bosco launched the Self Help Group movement at Nerul in Navi Mumbai with a training programme on October 23-24, 2009. The training was conducted by Ms. Surekha Pednekar and Mr. Melvin Pangya from the Don Bosco Development Office, Matunga. The first day of the programme was dedicated to helping the participants gain an in-depth understanding of the present socio-economic and political situation, and the impact it has on weaker and marginalized sections of society. On the second day, issues pertaining explicitly to Self Help Groups were taken up. This included sessions on the objectives of the SHG movement, methodology for forming of groups and strategies for the successful running of the groups.
A total of 23 participants attended the training programme. The sessions were extremely lively and the talks were interspersed with games, songs and other practical exercises. At the close of the programme the participants resolved that they would immediately go about forming SHGs in Karave village. A training workshop will be held for these newly formed groups on November 25, 2009 at Don Bosco, Nerul.
And then October came. What a joke! A Central Government circular declaring the start of the ‘Year of the Gram Sabha’ ordered that all Gram Sabhas be held on 2nd October instead of on the appointed dates. The order had been carelessly delayed at the district level, and reached the various blocks only on 1st October.
Friday, October 2, 2009
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 25, 2009: The batch of July ’09 of the Bosco Plus skills training programme concluded at Don Bosco Matunga with 24 youth successfully completing their training in basic life skills, spoken English, computer skills and retail management. From those who had lost their jobs recently to students who had dropped out during their school or undergraduate studies, these young people from the slums of Mumbai were eager to learn the skills that would enable them to secure decent employment.
A valedictory function to formally mark the end of the course was held on September 24, 2009 at the A.V Hall at the Provincial House, Matunga. This certificate distribution ceremony was held on behalf of Bosco Plus and Tata Trent Ltd., who collaborated with the former in conducting examinations and interviews with the students. The event was graced by the Guest of Honour Mr. Nirmal Naik, Senior HR Manager, Tata Trent Ltd. Besides the team from the Mumbai Development Office, in attendance for the event were Fr. Savio Silveira, Mr. Robin Thomas, Program Co-ordinator, Tata Trent Ltd. and Mr. Niranje Amte, Examiner of Retail Management at the Garware Institute. The event commenced with the opening address by Ms. Surekha Pednekar from the Development Office which was followed by a welcome song by students of the current batch.
Fr. Savio Silveira in his address mentioned the only objective of Bosco Plus was to train the students for a period of two months and help them secure a job. Mr. Niranje Amte, in his address spoke about ‘Reviving and Revising’. Drawing from his long experience and citing a simple example of the Hare and Tortoise story he mentioned that even slow learners are helpful in winning the race. It’s Co-operation and not competition that wins at the end of the day. Mr. Robin Thomas whilst addressing the students said that the facilitators will only provide the resources for the battle but the ultimate battle on the field has to be fought by the students themselves.
Mr. Nirmal Naik, the chief guest who presented the students with their certificates, encouraged them to make the most of what they have learned and to build their careers one step at a time. After giving them a brief idea about the retail sector he encouraged the students to sort out their queries.
The vote of thanks was delivered by Sagar, a student of the July batch who secured an over all first position. He expressed his gratitude towards the course facilitators and thanked them whole heartedly for their support. The students in turn expressed their determination to sharpen their skills at every opportunity. Kudos to the Bosco Plus team who are surely headed towards Saksham!
Monday, September 21, 2009
KAWANT, SEPTEMBER 21, 2009: The staff of five centres in the Gujarat region—Kawant, Chhota Udepur, Alirajpur, Narukot and Kapadvanj—gathered in Kawant for a training session conducted by the Unnati Organisation for Development Education, in preparation for the upcoming October Gram Sabhas in Gujarat.
The 31 staff members who attended the programme took full advantage of the opportunity to clarify their doubts regarding the procedures of Gram Sabhas and the planning of works under the NREGA. Their field experience in dealing with these topics over the last one year threw up many interesting questions, and also enabled them to explore possible solutions to the problems dogging the smooth functioning of the NREGA and Panchayat Raj Institutions in their villages.
The resource persons, Mr. Roshan and Mr. Jasmin, also described Unnati’s experiences and strategies for strengthening the people through Gram Sabhas. By means of a detailed explanation followed by an analytical exercise, they went on to train the participants in facilitating social audits of the NREGA through Gram Sabhas. The programme ended with a question and answer session during which the participants were able to clarify some of the finer points involved in the NREGA planning process.
The staff who took part in the session came away with clearer knowledge and increased confidence in their ability to empower NREGA workers in their villages through Gram Sabhas.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
WALVANDA, SEPTEMBER 19, 2009: Bosco Yuva Sanghtana organized a three days residential training programme on NREGA and role of Panchayati Raj Institutions for the village animators at Walvanda centre, Taluka- Jawhar from September 11- 13, 2009. The purpose of the training was to strengthen the animator’s capacity and elucidate their role at the village level. 43 animators from Jawhar and Mokhada block attended and participated in the training. The resource persons were Mr. Saby Francis and Mr. Arun Hivale from Organization SPREAD.
The emphasis was laid on the Perspective Building of the animators, on social development, the situation of the tribal community by using different methods like Venn diagrams and games.
Dr. Anil Patil, professor at the Jawhar K.V. College, addressed the animators on the Adivasi lifestyle with live examples and strongly clarified their role at the village level. It was an inspirational and motivational session for the animators.
The last day of the training started with the folk Adivasi action song ‘Aamhi Adivasi por’ by a participant. The resource person gave inputs on MREGS and NREGA. Mr. Melvin Pangya explained the main provision under this Act and the work proposed in the Gramsabha by villagers. The training enhanced the knowledge of the animators to think in a positive way and work effectively in the villages.
The training ended with the action plan of work by every animator for six months on awareness building at village level and creating a network for activities of the Gram Sabhas. One animator from each centre shared their experiences about the training.
Friday, September 11, 2009
The women present for the training program honestly said that they thought women were not allowed to attend any Sabha. During the power point presentation many of them raised questions about a Samiti.
After the presentation a movie on Gram Sabhas was screened. Post lunch Fr. Mayank Parmar spoke about various ways to take village problems to the higher authorities’ during the Sabha and the importance of NREGA in Gram Sabha.
The most interesting part of the training was the mock Gram Sabha. During this session Fr. Isaac posed as the Talati, Fr. Mayank as Sarpanch and the staff members as Gram Panchayat members. The social worker conducted the Sabha. The participants learnt how a Sabha was held and what responsibilities do different Samitis carry.
The participants were cleared of their doubts and were immensely grateful to Don Bosco, Kapadvanj for organizing the training programme. The training ended with the vote of thanks delivered by social worker Nikunj Parmar.
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 10, 2009: The R&D department of Shelter Don Bosco, Matunga conducted an animated Workshop for Social Workers as Counsellors on the September 9, 2009, for 18 Mumbai based NGOs working with children, youth, slum communities, commercial sex workers, domestic workers and those working with children in municipal schools. 40 participants from these various backgrounds attended a very effective, animated and interactive workshop.
The workshop was initiated by Fr. Barnabe D’Souza. The sessions were conducted by Prof. Tarana Pitawala of SNDT University and Director of Sinara Education and Career Counselling Insitute and Ms. Rupal Vador co-author of a Manual “Social Workers as Counsellors” by the R&D, published by Tejprasarini.
Prof. Pitawala got the group involved in practical nuances of counselling in their situations in the field. There were several sessions in getting the participants taking roles of the ‘counselled and counsellor,’ counselling skills in listening, rapport building, assessing the problem and goal setting, understanding the situation and responding accordingly.
Ms. Vador went through the Manual ‘Social Workers as Counsellors’ with the participants on how to use the manual in their settings. Each participant was given a copy of the manual. This prompted the participants to request for the other manuals of the R&D centre.
Fr. Barnabe introduced the FINO Savings cum identity card to the participants and gave them an opportunity to discuss it with their Directors to take it further for implementation in their organizations.
The Workshop ended with an announcement of a follow up workshop on October 10, 2009, in Maria Ashiana, Lonavla for the NGOs of Pune district on the same topic and a soon to be released (October) manual on ‘Eliciting People’s participation in Community Development’ a research based manual on Shelter Don Bosco’s experience of working for urban and rural communities.
Monday, September 7, 2009
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER7, 2009: A cultural programme and felicitations marked Teachers’ Day celebrations on Saturday, September 5, 2009 at the Maschio Centre, Matunga. The celebrations were organized by Don Bosco Development Society to felicitate teachers from the community centres at Mahim and Matunga and Bosco Plus at Dharavi.
Amidst the chatter of the excited children, students who had gathered from different areas welcomed Fr. Edwin D’souza, Guest of Honour and the teachers by way of an aarti. Soon after a short cultural programme followed which saw the students put up songs and dances in appreciation for their teachers. In their own way the students not only entertained but also provided valuable information about the origins and history of the Teachers Day celebrations in India.
Fr. Edwin D’souza, in his address made a mention of two important words that the children need to use towards their teachers, namely, ‘Thank You’ and ‘I Love You’. He also said that the best gift a student could give a teacher would be that of excelling in their studies and other activities.
In the end floral tributes were handed over to the teachers. At a time when the country struggles to give teachers their due recognition, in a small corner of Mumbai, these under privileged children with twinkling eyes came forward in gratitude and humility to appreciate their teachers – their second mothers. The aisles of Maschio Centre echoed of ‘Thank you teacher’ long after the children had left for their homes.
MUMBAI, SEPTEMBER 7, 2009: On Friday, September 4, 2009, Don Bosco Development Society (DBDS) organized a one day
workshop at Dharavi, in association with Ekvira Mitra Mandal, a community organization. The workshop focused on developing and promoting awareness about RTI among women who are part of the Self Help Groups and the Tailoring Course at Mahim and Dharavi, as well as providing a platform for these women to interact with each other.
Along with the 120 women, present for the workshop, was Fr. Elson Baretto, Director of DBDS and Fr. Savio Silveira, Executive Director DBDS. Fr. Elson, in his motivational address made mention of an anecdote ‘Ghar ka malik kaun?’ This got the women all ears for the workshop.
The resource person for the day was Mr. Praful Shinde, a leading RTI activist for the last twenty years from Sampark Sanstha. Mr. Shinde, a former resident of Dharavi, mentioned that he felt more than comfortable to deal with women coming from a place where he resided earlier. After giving a brief history of the origins of the RTI Act, Mr. Shinde step by step dealt with the whole process of RTI. The four hours workshop also consisted of an open forum for the women to raise questions and clear any doubt about the RTI. Issues ranging from education to poverty and governance were raised, with the women showing awareness about various social and general issues in their neighbourhood.
Surekha Pednekar, from Don Bosco Development Society, said, "This workshop was primarily designed to allow the women from the slum areas to learn about this tool and allow them to solve any doubts they may have about its operation."
Shweta Bharati, a resident of Mahim who participated at the workshop said, “I am thankful to DBDS and more than happy to have attended this workshop. This information will surely help me and my fellow residents to deal with the water issues in our area. We not only learnt about RTI, but also got to know the mindsets of women from different areas and their views."
In conclusion, Ms. Pednekar delivered the vote of thanks. The women left the community centre high on energy already discussing how to make the best use of the information they have received.
Saturday, August 29, 2009
KAWANT, AUGUST 29, 2009: August 27, 2009, marked a major event for Don Bosco Kawant, as the students of Standard IX visited Singalda village to witness a Gram Sabha LIVE!
Before visiting the village, the students were briefed about the importance and purpose of Gram Sabhas through two short videos dealing with the benefits of attending Gram Sabhas and the practical problems that people face while participating in them.
The students were welcomed by the Sarpanch and Talati of the village, and were given a place of honour at the very front of the gathering! As the meeting progressed, it was obvious that the officials were making a special effort to conduct the proceedings properly and answer people’s questions, even if it was only an attempt to leave a good impression on the children! The people of the village were also happy to have the students in their midst, and this strengthened their resolve to participate actively in future programmes.
27th August 2009, Kawant
For the first time in the history of Don Bosco Kawant, development has taken a new shape—empowerment through Gram Sabhas.
2. Encourage educated people to take part in the Gram Sabhas. This includes individuals such as teachers in the village school and rural health workers.
3. Ensure total involvement of the people. Make sure that people are informed about their Gram Sabhas at least 15 days in advance and are prepared through role plays, discussions and other methods.
4. Check the implementation of resolutions. Every ‘tharaav’ passed in the Gram Sabha should be followed up at the village, taluka and district levels.
5. School children should be taught about Gram Sabhas. These children are the future leaders of the village, the ones who can guide the better implementation of village programmes. Prepare them to be talatis and mamlatdars and local leaders.
6. Clarify the role of the organization. The organization’s function should be that of animating and guiding the people, creating awareness about their rights and duties, and enabling them to secure their dues.
7. Teach youngsters in the village to access and disseminate information. Young people can be taught how to use computers and study various schemes that can be implemented in their area.
8. Focus on building unity in the community. This is necessary to get any resolution passed and carried out.
I believe the best is yet to come, wherein all the people begin to realize the importance of Gram Sabhas as a tool for Empowerment and Development.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
BORIVLI, AUGUST 21, 2009: Bosco Yuva Sanghatana, Borivli organized a three days training program on Self Help Groups for the poor and marginalized women from Shivaji Nagar. Thirty five women from Gouri Nagar, Shivaji Nagar and Sai Dham slums attended this training programme.
The training began with the lighting of the lamp by Fr. Anaclete D’mello and Fr. Anthony Santarita. Mr. Melvin Pangya introduced brief the organization and its various initiatives in the province. He mentioned that the organization not only works in urban but also to reaches out to the poor and marginalized groups in the tribal areas. Fr. Anaclete, in his address encouraged the women and said that It was indeed commendable that women from Shivaji Nagar came together to learn about Self Help Groups. He added that the organization is ready to expand the support not only women but also wants to reach out to youth and children of the area.
The session began with the introduction of the participants by way of an ice breaker. The women actively participated in the training. Societal analysis, concepts and importance of SHG’s and how to conduct meetings were the areas that were touched upon in the training.
Mrs. Anju Limbachiya one of the participants expressed her gratitude and said that the training served as an eye opener. The participants have assured that they would willingly work under the guidance of the organization. The training helped to clarify their many doubts related to SHG’s. The training ended with the song “Hum Honge Kamyab”.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
CHHOTA UDEPUR, AUGUST 18, 2009: S. F. School ground, at Chhotaudepur
was abuzz with activity on August 4, 2009, as more than fifteen thousand tribals gathered for the Rally and Jahir Sabha for Tribal Rights of Forest Land and Forest Assets under Forest Act of 2006 organised by the Adhivasi Mahasabha, Gujarat on World tribal Day. Apart from the tribals, 39 NGO partner- members of Adhivasi Mahasabha from Vadodara, Dahod and Panchmahals districts, 69 Van Adhikari Samitee members and tribal farmers from villages of Jambughoda and Halol talukas participated in this rally.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
In the next session Mr. Amar Patinkond, Principal of St. Joseph’s Industrial Training Institute oriented the participants on the Modular Employable Skills (MES) programme. He explained the salient features of the scheme and emphasized the importance of this programme in the skill development sector today. He presented a few concepts and ideas involved in delivering quality training to the young through these short-term programmes.
Monday, August 17, 2009
MUMBAI, AUGUST 14, 2009: The Shelter Don Bosco Research Centre (R&D), Matunga conducted workshops between August 10 and 13, 2009. Three major workshops were held on Basic Research Techniques for Co-ordinators/ Social Workers, Critical Field Reflection/ Analysis for Field workers and Advanced Practices of SPSS (Quantitative) and NVivo (Qualitative) Packages. The workshops were excellently executed by Dr. Bipasha Biswas, Assistant Professor, School of Social Work, St. Louis, Missouri (USA).
The staff members from Balprafulta, Development Office, Shelter Don Bosco and the R&D participated in these different workshops and had a lot to contribute as well as learn in the interactive sessions. Dr. Biswas gave an insightful orientation to the Micro system that social work is done in. She provided that work done even with individuals has to be referred to in the Meso system, the Exo and the Macro system. The workshops dealt with deisgning and managing small scale immediate field studies. It helped field workers to critically analyze their field interventions, reflect on their cases during report writing and consequently bring more effective inputs to their reports and the organizations’ interventions.
The three workshops were aptly culminated with field visits and meetings with groups from the various community sites of the displaced populations the R&D has been involved with. An enriching experience through which the participants understood that work interventions need to be more effective and focused.
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Melvin Pangya WALVANDA, AUGUST 13, 2009: Bosco Yuva Sanghatana organized a three days residential workshop for the Grampanchayat Members on August 7- 9, 2009 at Walvanda centre, Jawhar on the Importance of NREGA and Role of Panchayati Raj Institutions. The purpose of the workshop was to strengthen the Gram Panchayat members to implement the NREGA Act at the village level and allow the participants to have a better understanding about the Local Self Government. Forty three participants attended and participated in the workshop.
The inauguration of the workshop began with the traditional lightening of the lamp by the Sarpanch, Mrs. Sunanda Laxman Geval and other Panchayat members. The resource person from SPARSH- Center for participatory learning gave inputs on perspectives of Development and Poverty. The session was focused on explaining the NREGA Act: its main features, different formats, the administrative structures to lodge complaints. It also dealt with the role of GramPanchayat and importance of Gram Sabhas. The session was well executed and the participants visibly had their doubts cleared.
In the end Fr. Anaclete D’mello addressed the panchayat members and spoke about the role of the members in creating awareness. He also perceived that each family should have a Job card. He mentioned that there should be more participation from women to be present at the Gramsabha and demand for the work.
The Panchayat members were encouraged and enlightened about this workshop. Mr Mahadu Khirari, Sarpanch from Aase expressed that the workshop really helped them to understand the role of Gram panchayat in the village development. Participants pledged to take active part in awareness building.
The workshop ended with the lighting of the candle by each participant- a sign of spreading awareness in tune with the song “Hum Honge Kamyab”.
MUMBAI, AUGUST 12, 2009: The afternoon of August 11, 2009, saw the collaboration of Jan Shikshan Sanstha and Babali Pada Rahivashi Seva Sangha with Bosco Yuva Sanghatana with an objective of empowering women from the slum area of Babali Pada. More than fifty enthusiastic women gathered for the inauguration at the Empowerment Centre which will conduct a full fledged practical training in the field of tailoring. Fr. Anaclete D’mello graced the occasion as the chief guest.
The inaugural function commenced with the welcoming of guests by a traditional aarti. The opening address was delivered by Mr. Gajanan Gavade who introduced the chief guest and the other honorable guests. He stated the goals of the organization which focuses on empowering the marginalized women by making them independent. Mr. Melvin Pangya briefed the participants on the merits of the organization and its various initiatives in the filed of social development. He categorically mentioned that the organization intends to work not only with women but also the marginalized youth in our society.
One of the participants Mrs. Manisha Bamane took the opportunity to thank the organization for its dignified work in the field of women empowerment. She also mentioned that the local Mandal has done comendable work by collaborating with Don Bosco.In his address Fr. Anaclete thanked the local mandal for giving the opportunity to work with them. He further elaborated on the spectrum of opportunities that lies not only within the slums of Mumbai but also with the tribal’s of Thane District. One of the programmes in the pipeline is a course for the unemployed youth in spoken English, Computer Education and Life Skills.
Mr. Dayanand Patil, a Development Office staff member reiterated the eagerness of the committee in ensuring success of this programme by mobilizing the local mandals. The programme concluded with the vote of thanks to all its members.