Indian nun educates Filipino street children for better future
By Santosh Digal
Manila: Educating poor dropout students and street children is for their better future, says an Indian nun working in the Philippines.
“Street children and other school dropout should get proper education to build their lives and become part of mainstream society,” Sister Kochutheresia Charamghat, a member of Dominican Sisters of Santa Maria of Rosary, told Matters India.
“It is our sincere desire that these poor dropout and street children need to finish at least their high school level education so that could realize the worth and value of education in life. This would also enable them to pursue further study later or some them would undertake vocational training as part of obtaining skill training program in order to earn their livelihood in a dignified manner. They need to realize that education is the game changer in life. It is education that can transform their lives for better. This is our mission,” added the nun who came to the Philippines more than three years ago.
The congregation runs Father Didaco Bessi Learning Center at Marikina city (near Manila) in Antipolo diocese of the Philippines for the past eight years. They care for about 100 children providing mid-day meal along with education and other formation programs. Three nuns, along with a group of lay teachers, take care of students’ academic needs.
Free meals are provided to the students as a motivation for their learning, besides other study material and school supplies, said Sister Charamghat.
The center is affiliated to Dominican priests (Order of Preachers)-run educational institute Angelicum, Quezon City (New Manila) that awards the educational certificates to the graduating students.
The distinctive feature of the center is not so much on the shaping of minds that focuses on rational intelligence based on logic and mental gymnastics, rather it stresses on the authentic advancement of human civilization based on shaping of solid moral and spiritual formation of students thereby they gain proper foundation to flourish in life, said Sister Dominica Paily, andother Indian who has joined on the staff recently.
Educating these street children and dropout students is a big challenge as often they have tendency to discontinue at any time, she said adding “we have to make them to persevere in their education with great patience and affection.”
The center is registered as an NGO with a Social Welfare and Development Agency (SWADA) under the auspice of the Dominican Sisters of Santa Maria of the Rosary, Inc. It was conceptualized on January 25, 2010, and on July 27, 2012 it was registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of the Philippine Government.
The nuns manage it with donations from various people and institutions.