03/08/2024, 19.52
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Bengaluru: Six female congregations together for young people at risk

by Nirmala Carvalho

The Sisters Led Youth Initiatives programme offers new opportunities to 1,200 young people in vulnerable situations, with special focus on women, starting with the recognition of their rights.

Bangalore (AsiaNews) – Religious Sisters from different institutes have joined forces to offer a new opportunity to hundreds of youths in difficult situations in Bengaluru (Bangalore), in the Indian state of Karnataka, with particular focus on the future of girls and their rights.

The Sisters Led Youth Initiatives (SLDY) programme began some months ago, which Sr Nirmalini, Superior General of the Congregation of the Apostolic Carmel and President of the Conference of Women Religious of India (CRWI), has decided to share with AsiaNews on International Women's Day.

"By 2025, we envisage to empower 1,200 youths in the Bengaluru region, bringing changes to their families by improving their living conditions," Sr Nirmalini explained.

The activity promoted by CRWI brings together the Sisters of the Apostolic Carmel, the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians (Salesian Sisters), the congregation of the Missionary Sisters of Mary Help of Christians (MSMHC), the Salesian Missionaries of Mary Immaculate (SMMI), the Poor Handmaids of Jesus Christ (PHJC), and the Sisters of St Joseph of Tarbes (SJT).

“The Synodal journey invites us to walk together,” Sister Nirmalini explained. “Today we can no longer hold ‘my Congregation, my work’; we have to carry the richness of our Charisms with their uniqueness and embrace all in a journey of inclusiveness.”

SLDY’s first objective is to provide vulnerable and disadvantaged youth with training that leads to employment.

Some 600 young people have already been admitted to six vocational training centres run by Catholic nuns. About 300 have already graduated and are now employed in local communities.

Another key goal is to provide opportunities for economic empowerment for the women participating in the programme.

“With this mind we have done a survey to understand how many have the entitlements and valid ID proofs,” Sr Nirmalini noted.

Overall, “we have helped more than 200 trainees with new Voter ID, Aadhar and Pan card. We have newly opened 248 bank accounts and 262 Trainees are receiving benefits through government schemes.”

The programme also seeks to create networks of people with skills and forms of social entrepreneurship; in each centre, participants, once trained, can work together, create a group, and give life to start-ups, with seed money provided.

Candidates can also receive special training in accounting, record keeping, market analysis, and digital financial literacy as well.

“Skill development training is essential for personal and professional growth,” providing “individuals with the tools and knowledge needed to excel in their chosen fields,” Sr Nirmalini stressed.

For the CRWI president, “Whether it is technical expertise, communication skills, or leadership abilities, continuous skill development enhances employability and fosters a culture of lifelong” learning.


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