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The RNDM Sisters are working with the Diocese of Muzaffarpur, Bihar over 25 years. Since then we are engaged in the developmental work through empowerment of women, supplementary education for children, children’s parliament, vocational training (tailoring) for young women (school dropouts), and Health Care through treatment for snakebite patients and other patients, with mobile clinic centres.
In Kanti, 90% is a rural population. The dalits (people of lowest strata) are the major vulnerable section of the society and the most oppressed community. The majority of the people in the area live in very poor and unhygienic living conditions. They are also the victims of superstitious beliefs, unfavourable customs and practices. The women are the worst affected victims of exploitation & injustice in their own families & society as they have no right under Parda (veil) system. Child marriage continues to exist even in this 21 century and it is another cause of concern.
The sisters started non-formal education and animation program in the villages. The aim is to empower, educate women and children in particular and thus to bring about overall community development. Working in the villages for years, we have identified youth as the important agents of social transformation in the communities. In order to bring changes in the society, we organized school going children and dropouts (aged between 8 -18) who are struggling in the society both socially and economically and named this programme as “Children’s Parliament”. This is a forum for child participation and to have the experience of governance within their means.
There are nine groups with forty children in nine villages under Kanti & Minapur villages. The children elect their ministers from their own parliaments and They try to bring the pertaining issues of the schools and health centres to the notice of officers concerned. If they fail to succeed in solving the problem, they bring these issues to the core committee called Village Educational Child Right Committee (VECRC) consists of children, parents, village leaders and together they resolve the issues.
LOCATION: Kanti, Muzaffarpur, Bihar, India
GOALS: Capacity building for youth leaders for all round development of their personality, social, economic development, and to grow towards sustainability. To make the children and community know about child rights through various training programmes and help those to become responsible citizens thus become the agents of change in the society.
The activities involved in are; direct family visits, formation of Children’s Parliament in nine villages, formation of Village Educational Child Right Committee (VECRC), orientation programme, election of children minsters and appointment for various affairs, monthly meeting of Children’s Parliament in the villages, monthly meeting of VECRC, inter personal meeting with children, monthly Hamlet Meeting, various training and awareness programs for Children’s Parliament, training program for VCRC members, training and awareness program for parents of the children, training and workshop for support staff, relief activities and exposure visits to other places.
Direct beneficiaries are 360 young boys and girls who are involved in the children’s parliament
Indirect beneficiaries are 360 children’s family members (5/6 members in a family) and villagers at large. Total beneficiaries will be more than 2100 people and other people in the village.
We believe that that an organized community based program will build in them self-confidence and enhance their leadership qualities and build up human resources within the communities. This would help to attain a self- sustained social and economic empowerment. At present the Congregation is having many projects running in the states of Bihar, West Bengal and Odisha.
Financial support to this programme that could give great hope to many more children in the villages who have no access to higher education, primary needs, and health facilities. This also would help them give wings to their dreams.