In Mumbai India the Good Shepherd Sisters work with migrant families. The people are very disadvantaged, living in crowded and unhygienic slums. The children are exposed to all kinds of unhealthy situations.
In Mumbai the Sisters organize various programmes for women and children, and children who have dropped out from school. There are regular coaching classes for the children who go to Municipal Schools. Most of the coaching teachers are volunteers and lay Mission Partners. To enable them to face the violent society in which they live, the teachers equip the children with different types of skills training and activities during the year.
One such programme was a summer camp, organized for the Anandini slum development project children. It was held at the Good Shepherd convent hall. Over six days, the programme ran from 9am to 5pm.
Sr. Pushpa Louis (Community Leader) and a group of sisters and lay mission partners.
80-90 children participated in the camp every day.
The daily programme included:
Prayer and learning Bhajans taught by Sister Aruna.
Yoga taught by Mrs Raksha. She taught them various asanas (exercises) which will help them to concentrate better in their studies. Since these children are very hyper active they need to do these exercises regularly.
Spoken English classes for all the children, conducted by the regular teachers.
Craft taught by Mrs Minothi Chatterji. She taught them to make friendship bands with ordinary rubber bands, Diwali decorations, wall hangings, pots.
A class in how to make earrings, bracelets and other ornaments taught by Dr. Gail Chowdary.
Values education was taught by Mrs.Yasmin to all children under 10 and by Mrs Radha Sinha to children under 20. The participants learnt and practiced good values.
Dr. Laitha Bhat and Dr. Vedathi Packiam conducted health awareness camps and health check up on common illnesses and HIV/AIDS. They were given treatment according to their illnesses. She taught them certain home remedies and how to take care of themselves from the summer heat.
Mrs Chatterji also taught another interesting thing for children - how to make different sandwiches. This means that when parents are away the children can easily make sandwiches for themselves and this is very nutritious.
Participants were served a delicious lunch every day. This was supported by the local parish community.
Children participated happily and came up with different ideas and took interest in learning. On the whole it was a very rich experience for the children and they were very grateful to the organizers.