miércoles, 19 de septiembre de 2012

Augustinian Missionary Sisters (India)

Augustinian Missionary Sisters are in India from 1985, date in which a few sisters from Spain came to start this mission full of enthusiasm to build the Kingdom of God in this vast reality. Later, a sister from Brazil and an other from Colombia joined to collaborate in this mission.

Soon, young girls joined in order to become Augustinian Missionary Sisters. Nowadays 41 sisters form part of this Delegation called “Our Lady of Consolation”. We are in three communities, two of them are in the state of Karnataka; the other in Tamil Nadu. Both states are in the south of India.

One of the Communities of Karnataka is in Bangalore, a big and cosmopolite city. There are many slums where poor people settle down after coming from the rural areas of Karnataka and Tamil Nadu escaping from their poverty in their native places. Sometimes we help them to search for a job; others we bring them to a hospital, we provide some medicines, we care; in other situations we place the children in particular schools and hostels; we also give informal education to the small kids as a preparation to join the school. We encourage the young women in difficulties with their drunker husbands or naughty children; we give them support. In small groups of women we impart knowledge of hygiene, nutrition, family education, human rights to be aware of their dignity, etc. We also give our helping hand in a hospital, in the leprosy section; we attend the lepers who come to be cured, we welcome them and do our best in their situations as most of them are not only rejected in the society but in their own families; we visit them, we are present in their suffering and joys.  An other apostolate is in the parish activities, such as catechism classes and the choir.

The other community of Karnataka is in Kammasandra, a village that is about 14 km from Bangalore. This is the Novitiate House. There, the Novices, apart their time expend in formation classes, collaborate in the parish activities such catechism classes. They also give free tuition classes for poor children who have difficulties in their studies and visit some families.

The Community of Tamil Nadu is in a rural area, in a village called Onnalvadi. There we have built a school and a social centre. In the school, open in June 1996, we offer education to every child of the area without any discrimination because of the cast, race, religion or sex. As many of them are really poor we provide scholarship.  We give priority to the girls, as they are marginalized in the society. During the academic year 2003-2004 we have 670 pupils between Kindergarten and Primary. As every year we add a more section, 7th Std. will start next coming year. We follow value education. We educate the children to live with respect the difference beliefs: they are Hindus, Muslims and Christians. We celebrate the different festivals that take place in these communities to help the children to live in peace and harmony in spite of the violence of our society. We provide a big glass of milk every day for every child in kindergarten to grow healthy. In the evenings, we help the weak students with free tuitions. We visit the families of our pupils in the different villages to see possibilities to help and prepare them to live with dignity. We arrange seminars and talks for the parents in order to offer possibilities to understand and educate better their children.

In the Social Centre we have a small dispensary for children and women to maintain or improve their health and for immediate first aid care. We also have some classrooms for tailoring, typing, art & craft and general culture to prepare the women of the area to have a better life, more aware of their dignity as human beings. We organise talks on cleanliness, nutrition, health care, childcare, family life, etc. We help them to get a job when necessary and according to their possibilities.

In the Parish we lead some pastoral activities: children catechism classes and youth groups, choir and liturgy.

We, the Augustinian Missionary Sisters, followers of St. Augustine steps, searcher of the truth and never satisfied, continue it in this Indian plural reality, reach in culture and religions, searching for the harmony among the people with whom we live. We dream of a new society of love, justice and peace.

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