The children of St. Agnes Special School with border line IQ and the slow learners are helped to do their SSLC under National Institute of Open Schooling and Karnataka Open School. The students who have completed their SSLC are given opportunities to do their PUC in distance mode and also helped to do their professional course in mechanic, plumbing, computer and electrical.
At Jyothinagar, educational opportunities are given to socially backward and economically poor students. Though they are the first generation learners of the daily wage earners, they have got interested in their studies and a lot of improvement is seen in them. Many have completed graduation and have taken up jobs in different fields.
At Bailhongal, the sisters of Carmel Nivas, conduct free coaching classes for an hour for students of Janatha plot in their campus. In Bidar sisters go to colonies to coach children of Government schools. In almost all our institutions, coaching is given to students in the morning and evening before and after class hours.
EMPOWERMENT OF WOMEN
The girl students are trained to be good women in the family and society through counseling, carrier guidance and sex education given to the outgoing students. Talks given on healthy friendships have helped them to interact as brothers and sisters in the classroom. Workshops are a regular feature in many of the institutions to build self confidence and to guide the students to choose their careers.The Women’s Centre ‘Sumangala’ of St. Agnes College is doing great service through its Women’s Studies centre to educate destitute women from the past ten years. Free Short-term courses of three months duration are held for school and college drop outs to give them employable skills. The Centre organizes certificate courses, conducts minor research projects pertaining to women’s security, crime and education.
The college organizes workshops for students on ‘Women’s Empowerment through Street Plays’. Teams of Resource persons animate the groups and they perform at street junctions with themes: Child abuse, Rape, Crimes against women and children, Children’s rights and Women’s education were some of the topics enacted to empower women.
The women in 79 Sanghas (SHG) are very enthusiastic to celebrate Women’s Day at Bidar. Talks are arranged for them. The women perform dances and skits on the based on women – related issues. There is also one SHG for men. Senior citizen’s day, Martha’s day, Grandparents’ days are celebrated in some of our institutions.
Micro Credit Scheme at Bidar: Women are helped to get loans to start business on a small scale. This helps them to a great extent to get self employment.
Sisters visit families in the Parish / neighbourhood, spending time listening, offering consolation when needed, and praying with them and for them. They also visit homes of the deceased to offer their condolences and to pray with the family for the deceased member.Attending Nuptial Mass celebration of our current and past students, Jubilee or anniversary Eucharistic celebrations of Alumnae, staff and parents of the students. Participating in the funeral services etc.
The sisters of YesuPremNiketan, Mangaluru, Carmel Nivas, Bailhongal and Anugraha, Bellary who work with special children take immense trouble to visit children’s families of their respective classes. They visit their homes and make a survey which covers their family back ground, environment, financial position, economic conditions, facilities available etc.
At Bailhongal follow up of children with substance abuse; Sensitization programme for children and women on personal health hygiene, home sanitation and environmental sanitation are conducted regularly; they now keep the house clean and tidy; plastic is disposed of according to instructions; fruit peals and vegetable waste used for preparing organic manure; the gutters are maintained clean and the streets are kept orderly, after the sensitization programme.
The mentally challenged children who need medical care are provided with health facilities round the year.
At Pavurthe Alcoholics are admitted in the hospital and treated. Some of them have transformed their lives.
In general schools organize various programmes on health and hygiene for the students as well as for their parents. Health camps are conducted through various organizations and free medications are distributed both for students and their parents. In all our Schools, students are given awareness regarding Child abuse and safety measures by Resource persons. Yoga classes are conducted once a week in order to improve their basic health.
Participation in Parish Council meeting, SCC meetings, distribution of Communion at Mass, work in the Editorial Board committee of the Parish Bulletin, help in decorating the altar and the vehicle for carrying the Blessed Sacrament/Bambina Mary.
Sisters teach Sunday Catechism, take up Marian Sodality/ Legion of Mary/YCS/CLC/ Altar boys’ and Holy Childhood. Some also help in the Choir. The class rooms are made available for the teaching of Catechism. A few of the senior sisters teach Catechism to non-Catholic partners.
A few sisters from different communities in Mangaluru go to Kasargod Parish Thokur and Thannirbavi – outstation Parishes to teach Catechism. In Mission Stations, sisters go to different villages to prepare people for the Sacraments. During Holy Week, they help the laity to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation and render services for the Triduum at Easter.
Sisters regularly visit the Mission station at Perady. They see that the priest comes to celebrate Mass and helps them with the Sacrament of Reconciliation; they hold regular Christmas programmes, with prayer, games, gifts and eats.
At Bidar sisters visit the prison every week, specially the Ladies Section and listen to their problems, pains and sorrows and pray with them. Bread and other eatables are distributed to them. Once a month a programme for all the prisoners is conducted. They are also given a talk by different resource persons. Games are conducted and winners are awarded prizes.
Service Learning is made mandatory and part of the school curriculum; one important activity in almost all the schools is the clever students of higher classes coach the weaker ones of the lower classes, mostly in Science and Mathematics. Growing a vegetable garden, the produce of which is used for midday meals of the school is another common practice
The Service Learning activities designed and practised to address the social issues include the target groups namely, Specially Challenged Children from the community, Elderly people in the old age homes and hospital and unaffordable poor children of the community, rural school teachers and students, socially and economically deprived children
In St. Agnes College, for greater exposure to societal issues and to build responsible citizenship through Social commitment the curriculum has incorporated mandatory Community Service of 25 hours for the Final degree students
OTHER ACTIVITIES - SOCIAL CONCERN
The Province started a residential care for adults with mental disabilities at Vijaymari, Maryhill. The inmates are provided with love, care, concern, medical assistance and spiritual guidance in a serene and peaceful environment, thus creating a home away from home.There are seven Children’s Homes taking care of children – some of them orphans and some with one parent or with parents with very low income. All their needs are seen to by the community attached to each of them. The children are helped to grow spiritually, morally, physically and emotionally.