Solidarity

Posted on 16 Nov, 2018

Did you know that for over seven years our Institution has been developing a solidarity project to empower, rehabilitate and reintegrate homeless and mentally ill women in India?

Discover how this project is developing in the Delegation of the Philippines.

My name is Chaya and I am one of the 37 women who currently lives in the Benedict Menni Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centre in Trivandrum, the capital of the state of Kerala located in the south of India. Previously, I lived at the Menni Family Home centre, also in Trivandrum and a Sisters Hospitallers centre, where I arrived seven years ago thanks to the intervention of the police who picked me up off the street where I was living for some time. 

I was born in a very humble area located in the north of India; as many other people (children, women and men) with mental illness and very few economic resources do, I travelled from my hometown to the south of the country where there is more development and wealth. As we embark on this long path, we dream about a better future. But when we arrive, we experience a very different reality from what we expected so we end up wandering and begging on the streets in order to survive. We are in extremely precarious conditions and are extremely vulnerable.

Faced with this terrible situation, arriving at the Benedict Menni Psychosocial Rehabilitation Centre is an opportunity. Residents, collaborators, sisters and volunteers are a big family. Together, we learn to live together while we carry out various actions geared towards rehabilitation. The main goal of this solidarity programme is to offer a dignified life to women who are in highly vulnerable situations or who experience gender-based violence and social exclusion on the streets of Trivandrum and/or in nearby towns, guaranteeing high-quality comprehensive care (psychological and social) which supports recognising our human rights.

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