Greetings from India
My dear Confreres, Friends and Benefactors,
Greetings from Vikasjyothi, Mysore, the Mission Development Office (MDO) of the Fransalians of the South West India Province. It is with great joy and gratitude that I greet each one of you. For the past two years we have been experiencing constant disruptions of normal life due to the Covid 19 pandemic. Millions of people all over the world continue to suffer the tragic consequences of a prolonged pandemic. The acute scarcity of job opportunities for the youth and the continued interruptions and turmoil experienced in the educational sector have caused much havoc in the day-to-day life of millions of families. The worst hit are the poorest of the poor. Thanks be to God that the pandemic seems to be making its gradual retreat at least for sometime now and let us hope that humanity will be spared from another onslaught of the deadly corona virus. The world is facing yet another crisis with the war in Ukraine, solely a man-made catastrophe. The world has not learned from its past mistakes. History is repeating itself. The lust for power and the greed for wealth are pushing many nations to armed conflicts in several parts of the world. The ravages of war continues to afflict the people in so many conflict zones across the world. We can only wish and pray that the sufferings of so many people come to an end soon.
The Fransalians all over the world have been celebrating the year 2021 - 2022 as an Year of Missions. Responding to the Call of the Congregation, Vikasjyothi, the Mission Develpopment Office in Mysore had drawn up an Action Plan for the Year of Missions. It is indeed very gratifying that we have been able to implement most of the programs envisaged by the Action Plan.
Action Plan 1: Sponsor a Child in Need & Help for Higher Education
During this year of the Missions, Vikasjyothi has been able to intensify and expand the ongoing program “ Sponsor a Child in Need”. Under this program Vikasjyothi has reached out to children from the economically backward sections in our missions chiefly in the Indian State of Karnataka and in Chad-Cameroon. A total number of 435 poor children were given scholarships for primary education. Scholarships were also given to 131 students in higher education mostly from the Fransalian Missions. Hence a total number of 556 children were helped during the financial year of 2021-2022.
Action Plan 2: Covid Care Livelihood Support
Though the severity of the Covid-19 pandemic is now on a steady decline, there are many poor families faced with loss of jobs and are unable to pay their house rents and to send their children to school. Vikasjyothi continues to respond to the appeals that come from our missions and has set apart some funds to help the helpless. In the past one year Vikasjyothi has reached out to 220 families from the economically weaker sections of society. Vikasjyothi has also been able to respond positively to most of the appeals that came through our communities, institutions and missions reaching out to some of the very poor families in the respective neighbourhoods.
Action Plan 3. Help the Homeless
Vikasjyothi has been reaching out to many families in distress. There are so many families who are not able to pay their house rents due to the fiinancial crisis and serious illnesses following the pandemic. There are others who are struggling to complete their unfinished construction of houses. Vikasjyothi has been able to help a few such families with a partial contribution.
Action Plan 4. Medical Aid to the Poor
Most people belonging to the poor sections of our society do not have any health insurance cover. Vikasjyothi has been able to help a few such families with emergency financial assistance. We are committed to continue this program in the years to come.
Help For Self-Help : An upcoming programm
Vikasjyothi has plans to launch a new program under the banner of “Help for Self-Help”. With this new program we hope to reach out to those unskilled housewives or the unemployed men who do not have the required qualifications to seek a job. Vikasjyothi would like to support a few men and women in our missions to be self-employed. The program is expected to be launched shortly with the limited funds we have.
Vikasjyothi as the Mission Development Office of the South West India Province has just completed 4 years of it s existence. Vikasjyothi is essentially a Charity Wing of the Province. During the past 4 years Vikasjyothi has been able to reach out to a large number of children and many families in distress. Much more can be done if many more friends and benefactors are enlisted in mobilizing funds and strengthening the work of Vikasjyothi. A proposal has gone to the Provincial Administration for enlarging and expanding the administrative structure of Vikasjyothi. It is hoped that the proposal may be implemented without further delay. I thank all the confreres, friends and benefactors who continue to support Vikasjyothi. God bless.
Fr. Thomas Cherukat, MSFS
Greetings from Chad-Cameroon
My dear Friends of the Fransalians,
Greetings of peace and joy to you all from Chad-Cameroon Mission of the Fransalians. We are grateful to each one of you for your great support and encouragement. We the Fransalians have completed 23 years of their existence in Chad-Cameroon. Today we are present in five dioceses namely Yaoundé, Obala, Buea and Ngaoundere in Cameroon and Doba in Chad. This year we ae blessed with two priestly ordinations and six diaconate ordinations. Of the eight who are going to be ordained two are from Cameroon, three from Chad and three from India. It is a clear sign that MSFS congregation is slowly taking deep roots in these parts of Africa. Thanks be to God.
Our apostolate in Chad-Cameroon is mainly focussed on Evangelization, Missionary Formation and Developmental Activities. They include constant accompaniment of the faithful, regular catechesis, celebration of the sacraments, animation of the catholic communities. management of schools children’s homes, youth and vocation ministry, formation of the future priests, developmental activities like providing villagge wells for clean and safe drinking water, construction of multipurpose halls and promotion of justice and peace etc. Fransalian missionaries are running four schools in Chad and one in Cameroon. We have two boys’ homes in Chad attached to our schools.
Bero Mission is one of the first Fransalian Missions in Chad. The Mission comprises a vast region with many remote villages. The SFS School and Boys’ Home at Bero are catering to a large number of poor children from the villages. The Boys’ Home has 40 children. Most of the children are coming from very poor family background. Many of them are orphans or semi orphans. It is a great blessing that these poor children are receiving a good education growing up with a sense of belonging and imbibing the basic human values.
The SFS School and Boys’ Home at Gaki in Doba is now a major mission centre of the Fransalians in Chad. Thousands of children in the region are deprived of a good education. Hence the Fransalians started a primary and secondary school at Gaki in Doba in the year 2018. A Boys’ Home was started attached to the school. At present there are 70 boys attending the school from this Home. We need to provide more facilities for the children and we depend very much on the generosity of our friends and benefactors. The parish of Doba Town with two schools are also managed by the Fransalians since many years.
In Cameroon we have 9 Fransalian Centres under the 4 dioceses of Yaounde, Obala, Ngaoundere and Buea. Five of these Centres have been developed as Parishes namely, Ekoumdoum and Ebang in the Archdiocese of Yaounde, Bini-Dang and Berem in the diocese of Ngaoundere and Molyko in the diocese of Buea. The S.F.S. School at Gada Mabanga in Ngaoundere has made a remarkable growth in recent times. The SFS Minor Seminary is also located on the same campus. La Feuillette, the MSFS theology study house at Ngoya has a steady number of local seminarians. A retreat centre on the same campus is functioning as a spirituality centre for priests, religious and lay people for the entire region.
A natural disaster at Ngoya: An appeal for help
In the village of Ngoya , in the neighbourhood of our house La Feuillette, heavy rainfall and stormy weather conditions in recent weeks have destroyed 50per cent of the maize, beans and banana plantations. People in the region are in great distress as they have already been struggling under the burden of economic crisis due to the Covid 19 pandemic. The entire Ngoya village and the adjacent regions have suffered the devastating effects of the floods. Houses and farms are destroyed. Roads are washed away reducing mobility and accessibility and thereby causing displacement of people without any means of sustenance. We are trying to help many of those affected in our immediate neighbourhood with the limited resources we have. I would like to appeal to our friends and benefactors for financial support to help the most needy people around us. We shall ever be grateful to you for your kindness and generosity towards our unfortunate brothers and sisters in great distress. God bless.
Fr. Manoj Arackal