I’ve had the privilege to work with the Loyola School of Social Sciences in Kerala, South India, for some time. They are just incredible and I have learned so much from the students and teachers there. If you’re interested in community social work in a developing context, this is the place to be. The photo above shows Loyola social work students doing ”street performance theatre” or ”beach performance theatre” on Child protection as a Community outreach effort in November 2017. Loyola College of Social Sciences has developed methods in a right-based approach on Child protection. As part of their mission, they interact with the Community and civil society on core issues relating to topics of common concern. The methods should also be participative and engaging and made in arenas where you can meet people, such as in public places, the beach walk and neighbourhoods.
Loyola College of Social Sciences was started by a religious Catholic order, the Jesuits, who number over 3 000 all over India.
The mission is to dedicate themselves to the preferential option for the poor, through social work and the work for human rights. In addition they have created a university where Christians, Hindus and Muslims collaborate and conduct intercultural social work.
They have also started the Loyola Family Counselling Centre, Loyola Extension Services, a well as the Social Labs, and Child Line, which is a unique network for child protection:
”The Loyola Extension Services functions as the nodal agency for CHILDLINE Thiruvananthapuram. CHILDLINE focuses on the relief and rehabilitation of children in distress. Any child in distress or anyone aware of the distressing situation of a child in the district can avail the free service round the clock (day and night) by dialling the toll-free number 1098. It is a project of the Ministry of Women and Child Development of Government of India in partnership with the State Government, NGOs, Corporate sectors, CIF and caring individuals.
Street children, child labourers, children who have been abused, child victims of flesh trade, disabled children, institutionalized children, child drug addicts, children affected by HIV/AIDS, conflict or disasters and children whose families are in crisis are the ones who come within the ambit of its services. Child rights centre functions along with this project.” (source: http://loyolacollegekerala.edu.in/social-labs/)
They are setting the example for the rest of us.
For more info, cf: http://loyolacollegekerala.edu.in/
On my last visit, I also delivered a lecture on the Purpose of Civil Society: Lecture 3 Kerala 171121 Gärde