Since her perpetual profession in 1996, Niluka has been involved in a number of ministries. She holds a Bachelors and Masters Degree in Social Work.
Niluka writes: I have been involved in a number of different ministries in my province including Child Development centre, care of single mothers, empowerment of women factory workers in the Free Trade Zone, coordinator of the rehabilitation centre for teenagers. I have also functioned as the coordinator of community based child protection projects, Mission Development Officer (MDO) Good Shepherd Sri Lanka.
Also I worked for some years as Coordinator of Good Shepherd Justice Peace office of Sri Lanka, representing Good Shepherd Justice Peace at the Conference of the Major Religious Superiors. During that time I represented Good Shepherd and network with civil societies, NGOs, and faith based organizations. From 2010 until 2019 I was a member of the Asia Pacific Justice Peace (APJP) core team, while serving as a coordinator of Asia Pacific Justice Peace network.
As member of networks of the Movement of Religious Women against Human Trafficking; AMRAT and Talitha Kum, I joined with other congregations to combat trafficking against women and children.
In January 2020 I moved to Rome to take up a role with the Union of International Superiors General (UISG). UISG is launching a new project: Catholic Care for Children International (CCCI). UISG-CCCI is a sister-led, charism driven movement of congregations of women religious, visioning together in order to play a critical role in building momentum and supporting the global movement towards community and family-based care for children.
It envisions a world in which every child grows up in a family with love, respect, care and security.
With support from GHR Foundation, the UISG CCCI project aims to contribute to efforts that provide children with the most appropriate environment for them to grow. This initiative aims to secure the highest quality of care by the Catholic community, especially in partnership with religious congregations through religious conferences whose charisms finds expression in ministries with and on behalf of vulnerable children.
Our existence begins in our families and it was the intent of God that we be nurtured within the care and protection of our families. Families are an integral part of our growth and development. For sound development, a child needs an environment of love, nurturance and belonging. Around the globe more than 8 million children are separated from family care, many are living in orphanages, although the parents of most of the children are still alive. The Covid-19 pandemic, too, may lead many children to live out of parental care since it pushes more people below the poverty line.
We need to be creative in finding solution/responding to the present day reality, most especially to the issues related to women and children. Every child deserves a family. Together we can change the way we care for children.
In announcing the Global Compact on Education Pope Francis said:
"Everyone, but most of all children and young people, need an appropriate setting,
a truly human habitat, with suitable conditions for their harmonious personal development
and for their integration into the greater habitat of society.
Thus it is imperative to create a strong and extensive 'network' of truly human bonds,
which supports children, which opens them to life in a calm and confident manner,
which is an authentic place for encounter,
in which the true, the good and the beautiful may find a just balance".
The GSAP Integration Committee describes its meeting in Kuala Lumpur from 12-16 July in ways which are inspirational and practical, and they invite us all to seize the moment. Carpe Diem!
Three members of the Good Shepherd Asia Pacific Justice Peace team met in Sri Lanka from 3-7 April 2019 to plan for a regional workshop on Child Protection/Child Rights
The GSAPIC met in Singapore from 15-17 March 2019. This brief description gives a flavour of their work, and more information will be available after their plans are considered by the APC in April
Comprehensive overview from the GSAPP team - how Good Shepherd Partnership for Mission is developing in this region