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840In the Province of Sri Lanka/Pakistan as a whole, there are more than one thousand mission partners serving as educationists within our Good Shepherd schools.  We recognize the importance of sharing with them the Charism of the Good Shepherd.  Also to share ways and means of inculcating Good Shepherd values in themselves and in the hearts of our children and parents.


A call went out to teachers coming under the umbrella of Good Shepherd Partnership to join hands with the sisters in deepening and developing the Charism of the Good Shepherd.

 

 

The presenters
Two sessions were conducted for teachers serving in our schools in the Colombo Region by resource personnel Sr. Francine Muthugala, Province Leader, Sr. Celinta Fernando, Provincial Councillor and Fr. Darrel Coonge of Supuwath Arana.

The objective
The main objective of these sessions was ‘A Call for Mission Partnership’.

The sessions
The 1st session was at held at St. Bridget’s Convent on 20th April 2015 and was attended by the staff of St. Bridget’s Convent and St. Lawrence’s Convent. The 2nd was at Supuwath Arana on 21st April for the staff of Good Shepherd Convent, Kotahena, Good Shepherd Convent, Panadura and Ave Maria Convent, Negombo.

The response
We were happy to note that the participants enjoyed these sessions – they were fully appreciated. It also gave them an opportunity to meet and get to know their colleagues from different Good Shepherd Schools.

A new structure.....
At the conclusion of these sessions a large committee comprising 5 representatives each from the participatory schools was formed. The responsibility of this committee is to co-ordinate the whole group in future activities promoting mission partnership.

01Good Shepherd- To contribute to the reduction of violence, abuse, neglect and abandonment of children in Sri Lanka

“Be courageous and go forward” to be fruitful in GS mission in today’s context says St. Mary Euphrasia.

In accordance with our province Chapter Directive Article No: 7 “the renewal of the ministries of Child Care, Rehabilitation, Crisis Intervention and Single Mothers, by letting go of methods that are irrelevant for today, and take bold steps”, we the sisters involved in the above Ministries participated in a Workshop and Research Programme for two weeks. The programme was designed and conducted by Ms. Manuela Collette, the consultant of good Shepherd Mission Development Office of Rome. It was a learning experience for all of us which helped us to think - why we do, what we do.

 

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During the first two days of the program, 29 of us including one lay mission partner together with our resource person Ms Manuela had general discussion /orientation. The discussion was based on why changes are necessary on what we are doing at present, what is the real problem, root causes and the effects of the problem etc. At the end of two days journey through log frame analysis process for child protection and the stakeholder analysis the group was able to identify the problem and the people who contribute to the problem and find ways to resolve the problem.  The group was convinced that the Good Shepherd Sisters of Sri Lanka/Pakistan Province should contribute to the reduction of violence, abuse, neglect and abandonment of children in Sri Lanka. Thus we agreed to take this as our project goal.

Then a small group - the research team, consisting of eight members began a two-week programme.  The team began the research tasks by interviewing stakeholders at national level. The team also met with Ms Caroline Bakker, Chief Child Protection of UNICEF Sri Lanka, and an officer of the Bureau for the prevention of abuse of women and children and a probation officer.

Then the team travelled to the Northern part of the country to work in the two sites - Ganeshapuram and Mankulam which were selected as sites to be included in the pilot project. The work of Ganashpuram and Mankulam consisted of:

 

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  •  interviewing stakeholders at regional level
  • Consultation with individual girls - It was a one to one interview session to get information on  why and how long they have been in  institutional care and their family back ground etc.
  • Consultation with girls’ groups, which included problem and solution analysis, to ascertain hopes for the future and aspirations in terms of education and employment.
  • Consultation with parents of the children
  • Consultation with business owners for market analysis
  • Discussion with school boys
  • Case files assessment

Using the above mentioned techniques the group was able to test the hypothesis, relating it to the root causes of the problem of child abuse and its effects towards the victims and to the whole society.  Most of the assumptions made by the larger group during the first two days of the workshop proved true.

After 6 full days of research work in the Northern part of the country the group moved to Nayakakanda St. Euphrasia’s Home, the 3rd site of the project located in the Western Province of the country.  The work at this site too comprised of the same procedures used at the other 2 sites of North.  

While working in Ganeshpuram, Marnkulam and St. Euphrasia’s Home Nayakakanda, the group started converting the problem tree (root causes) into objective tree and selected a program strategy. Based on the findings, the pilot project was designed. The group strongly felt that the time is now for Good Shepherd of Sri Lanka/Pakistan Province to reinforce effective child protection system in Sri Lanka. 

 

11Goal of the project
To contribute to the reduction of violence, abuse, neglect and abandonment of children in Sri Lanka

Purpose of the project
Reinforce effective child protection system in Sri Lanka.

Outcomes
1.Good Shepherd Best practice in Child Protection established and children supported. Establish and implement guidelines and procedures for ensuring a GS is a safe   organization for children

 

 

How we plan to achieve outcome No. 1 is

  • Establish and implement guidelines and procedures for ensuring a GS is a safe organization for children
  • Establish and strengthen case management services to support the reintegration of children into families and for government take up
  • Co-ordinate with CP agencies for CP
  • Create, strengthen and ensure access to key services for families and children affected by child abuse.
  • Support alternative family-based care for children in institutions
  • Reintegration of children in long-term care

2. Empowered communities for effective child protection through schools, child care centres and community-based children’s clubs and youth clubs

How we plan to achieve the outcome No. 2 is

  • Establish and support child protection committees for monitoring of CP and long term sustainability of CP at local level.
  • Empowered children and young people to protect themselves and participate in CP
  • Improved capacity of families to protect their children
  • Increase the capacity of communities to protect children

 3.Support government in enhancing their national/regional child protection systems

How we plan to achieve the outcome No. 3 is

  • Adolescent girls are politically engaged to challenge culture of impunity relating to sexual violence against girl children
  • Partner with other NGOs for joint initiatives promote legal protection and justice in child protection
  • Conduct research to inform National and international advocacy initiatives.

 

Moving from the work we used to and stepping into the unknown is not an easy task. As our Saintly Mother Foundress says, it requires courage to go forward to the unknown. “Experience is not what happened to the person, it is what the person does with what happened to her/him”.  We have just started. We have a long way to go in making our country a better place for our children by empowering our children, families and society.


 

 

   

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