In October 2017, a group of Disciples women participated in a Woman-to-Woman Worldwide pilgrimage to India, coordinated by Global Ministries. The women were moved by a number of ministries offered by partner organizations. Each year upon the return to their home contexts, the participants share their experiences and promote special giving opportunities to support the life-giving ministries to women offered by partner organizations. This year, the group of participants selected the Anti-Human Trafficking program of the Church of North India’s Diocese of Durgapur and the Education Resource Centers (ERC) of the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion in Delhi. In 2018 and years to follow, these ministries are being promoted as giving opportunities while the delegates visit Disciples women around the United States and Canada interpreting their experiences during a special period of study, prayer, reflection, and advocacy.
Anti-Human Trafficking Program of the Diocese of Durgapur (Church of North India)
The Church of North India was formed by the union of six Protestant denominations committed to actions of restoring the integrity of God’s creation through breaking down barriers of caste, class, gender, economic inequality, and the exploitation of nature. The Diocese of Durgapur, a district of the Church of North India, began their Anti-Human Trafficking (AHT) ministries in 2006 with the creation of a program for vulnerable children. Women from Diocese were compelled to open a program to offer a safe space and new opportunities for self-expression to children who are at-risk of being trafficked. Today, this program continues to grow and the Diocese runs six child development centers and four residential homes. Each center provides an impressive range of opportunities including formal education, kitchen gardening, string instrument lessons, nutritional meals, medical check-ups, sports, sewing lessons, and more.
There are more than 350 children who attend programs at one of the children centers of the Anti-Human Trafficking Program, and many others who are in the target areas awaiting admission into one of their residential homes. The Diocese of Durgapur raises funds for their Anti-Human Trafficking programs through local and international relationships. Additionally, the Diocese sells handicrafts such as handmade cards, to raise funds for school fees, school uniforms, books, and meals. The Diocese is raising funds to continue their services and to open additional centers in different areas of Durgapur.
To learn more about the work of the CNI's Diocese of Durgapur, click here.
Education Resource Centers of Center for Social Equity and Inclusion
Education Resource Centers (ERC) are spaces for children from socially excluded communities to explore their talents, excel in education, and engage in a host of activities. ERCs also begin conversations with parents on the problems that children face in schools and in some cases, at home in order to create a positive dialogue. In 2013 the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion (CSEI) initiated its first ERC in Vijay Vihar, a neighborhood of West Delhi. In Vijay Vihar, over 50% of the population is from the Dalit community. There are no government schools operating in Vijay Vihar. Several private schools offer primary and middle school education, but a secondary school is not available in this area. Often times, children from Vijay Vihar who are sent to private schools will drop out of school for economic and academic reasons.
Today, the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion through ERCs provide education for girls and boys with an experiential methodology linking their textbooks and classroom content to their own lives and experiences. The ERCs also provide activities for personal development through learning the meaning of inclusion and exploring their talents. In addition to the ERC in Vijay Vihar, there are two other Education Resource Centers in Vasant Vihar and Seelampur – both in the greater Delhi area.
CSEI is committed to the development of children from marginalized communities of Delhi. In the future, the staff members envision increased opportunities and expertise on engaging families of children at the ERCs. Recognizing the tremendous role of the home environment for a child’s development, CSEI would like to increase the number of discussions and group sessions for parents to discuss problems children are facing at home and at school. Additionally, the ERC hopes to increase their engagement in the communities. With a community that supports children to study and achieve success, the children are motivated and encouraged to continue their studies in school. The CSEI is looking into building networks to connect the education and skills offered at the ERCs to current employment opportunities.
Disciples Woman-to-Woman Worldwide and Global Ministries welcome gifts to support the Anti-Human Trafficking program of the Church of North India’s Diocese of Durgapur and the Education Resource Centers (ERC) of the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion. In addition to these two giving opportunities, the Disciples Women are providing funds for a women’s sewing project of the Church of North India’s Diocese of Delhi. The project provides training for a cohort of 7-10 women who will learn how to sew and begin a business.
To learn more about the work of the Center for Social Equity and Inclusion, click here.