Disciple Woman to Woman Worldwide Special Project
In 2014 a group of Disciples women participated in a Woman to Woman Worldwide pilgrimage, coordinated with Global Ministries, to Italy and France. The women were especially moved by the ministry of the Eglantine Women’s Shelter in France, and chose this work to promote as they visit Disciples women around the U.S. and Canada interpreting their experiences during the coming period of study, prayer, reflection and advocacy.
The Center for Protestant Social Action, umbrella organization for the Eglantine Women’s Shelter, works in areas of providing housing, accompaniment and social services for the homeless, single mothers, refugees, and political asylum seekers who are in precarious situations. Its programs and personnel are funded by French government grants, churches, and individual donors. Many of their volunteers are members of the United Protestant Church of France, a partner of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) and the United Church of Christ.
The Eglantine Women’s Shelter welcomes pregnant and single women alone or with children who face significant need. The Shelter can house a total of 59 women and 89 children ages 0 to 16. Each family has a single room with a private bathroom. Families have access to three meals daily in the Shelter’s common dining area. A laundry service is also available for bedding.
The Eglantine Shelter provides a social worker for each woman, who supports the family in areas such as registering for government social services, French residency cards, job search, long-term housing, and healthcare. The Shelter also provides the children with an educational counselor, offers workshops for children, helps to link them with schools, and assists the parents with finding childcare.
The Eglantine Shelter has a large multi-purpose room. This room welcomes resident-organized events, after school tutoring courses, theme nights, and other activities. This room has a kitchenette and a computer area. The Shelter seeks funds to finance the remodeling of the multi-purpose room to better serve the residents.
The Disciples Woman to Woman Worldwide and Global Ministries welcome gifts for a remodeling project that currently is planned for the multi-purpose room. The project includes:
- Installing an open eating counter area in the kitchen area
- Creating a reading corner with a library
- Creating a multimedia space with updated computers
- Development of a functional space for resident organized events