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Salesian Family’s training for Gender Equity

The Salesian Cooperators in collaboration with Salesian Family members organised a training of trainers programme on ‘Gender Equity Education’ from 14 to 15 May, 2016 at Don Bosco Technical School, Shillong. A team of resource persons headed by Rev. Fr. Noel Maddhichetty SDB, the national delegate for Salesian Family and Sr.Theresa Phawa the FMA National delegate Salesian Family, conducted the training program. There were 48 participants representing the Salesian Co-operators, MSMHC, VSDB, FMA and SDB.

The first day began with a short prayer moment led by Sr. Theresa Phawa FMA. This was followed by a welcome speech of Fr. Philip Barjo SDB, the provincial delegate of the Salesian Family of province of Silchar. The introductory talk by Fr. Noel set a tone for the training program by highlighting the objectives and scope of the training program for the Salesian Family. He said that though laws on gender have not prevented increasing number of gender violations in our country. Education is the most powerful tool to change the mindset of the present and future generations of our nation. Salesian Family continuing the mission of Don Bosco with the young people and the powerful emphasis given by Pope Francis on the importance of family, in the new document “The joy of love”, is launching the sixth Gender Education training program for the Salesian Family in Shillong.

In the first session Sr. Theresa Phawa presented the ‘Concept and definition of Gender and Sex.’ Karuna Dayal from Marg dealt on the topics of Gender roles, stereotypes and gender discrimination in the society. Mrs. Iarisa Phawa an advocate from Shillong enlightened the participants on rights and laws, which address the gender violations. She focused the session on the rights and laws of women and other gender related issues. The session created much awareness on human and women’s rights. Sonia Gotrop, Provincial Coordinator of Salesian Cooperators of Tezpur raised the concerns of gender violence. The day ended with the solemn celebration of the Holy Eucharist by Rev. Fr. George Malielkal SDB the provincial of Silchar province.

The second day being a Sunday, the celebration of the Holy Eucharist set a right note to begin the day on which the solemnity of Pentecost was presided over by Fr. Noel Maddhichetty. As the participants were mostly Salesian Cooperators, the two morning sessions were devoted to presentation of a new document, ‘Formation Guidelines for Salesian Co-operators’ by Fr. Noel and Sr. T. Phawa. The session on “Myths and facts on Gender” was elicited in lucid manner by Sara Koundinya from Delhi. The rest of the day the participants spent time in their specific groups to plan and implement Gender Equity Education program in their own lives, in their families and the work places. Each Group presented   their action plan for the next six months indicating how they intend to impart this education to the young people in their own homes and work places. Sr. Theresa and Mr. Marius Kharkongor the Coordinator of Salesian Cooperators for the Northern region were the local organizers of the training Program. The two organizers were proposed and nominated as the contact persons for follow up this training program in region.