Group I, Corlim – Old Goa
The First and the Fourth Year Theology students from the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol, under the guidance and accompaniment of Rev. Dr. Aleixo Menezes visited the area at Corlim in Old Goa and spent some time with the less privileged people who live there. In this activity we were directed by two volunteers, Miss Kimberly Fernandes and Mr. Vinay, who are associated with the Child Line Help Group.
The outreach activities started with a personal visit to the residents which included around forty seven families. After actively interacting with the people they were given some gifts which included articles for their daily use.There were some recreational activities like games- passing the parcel, bombarding the city, for the adults as well as the children. We also performed action songs and a value based skit. The children also joined along with us in the singing. The children also performed two dance one on Kajrare and other on ‘Love you Zindagi’. The residents co-operated with us in all the activities and were glad with our visit. They expressed their gratitude towards us and their desire to have us visit them in the future.
We really enjoyed having spent our time well touching the lives of the people in little ways. We will always cherish these memories.
Group II – Corlim, Old Goa.
The Students of the Third Year of Theology of the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol ventured out for the Annual Visit of the St. Joseph Conference to Corlim. We left from the Seminary at 1:00 p.m. The experience was indeed a memorable one right from the time we began at 2:20 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. when we ended. We started out with the visits to the families of the children who were poor. We also gave gifts to them in the form of a hamper, which consisted of items of daily use. We divided ourselves into two groups in order to carter to all the houses in the locality. We were guided by Miss. Megan Fernandes and Mr. Manish who were part of the Child line Help Group and were also accompanied by Fr. Polly Lobo, the spiritual Director at the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol. There were a total of about thirty nine families in our locality. After the visits we commenced a programme for the children which consisted of actions songs, games, and skit. The children too came forward to display their talents. We ended the programme giving snacks to all present. The people were welcoming and we were able to converse with them with ease.
This experience had a lasting impression on our memories.
Group 3, Karaswada- Mapusa
On 25th January, thirteen seminarians from Second-Year Theology accompanied by Fr. Simon D’Cunha and two members from the ‘Child-Line’ NGO namely Aarti and Joseph, visited the slum area in Karaswada (Near Mapusa City). We divided ourselves in three groups in order to efficiently visit the people. As per the number given by the ‘Child-Line’ volunteers there were around 17 families that had to be visited. One group got to visit 6 families while the other two groups got to interact with only 2 families. Thus, in total we could manage to visit only 10 families as rest of the houses were locked as the other family members had gone for their daily work. We started the family visits at 3 pm. and finished at. 3.45 pm.
Interacting with the families gave us experience of the type of life these people lived. They welcomed us with a smile, made us feel at home and were ready to communicate with us. We too had no problem in communicating as they were fluent in Konkani language. These people are mostly migrants who have settled in Goa years back and go for their daily work as labourers. Some of them live in rented rooms. Their living condition is simple with just the bare necessity without much support from Government. Our interaction with these families brought to the fore the fact that despite their hardship in life they are content, have faith in God, they see life positively and want to educate their children. They share good relations with their neighbours. Before moving out from their houses, we presented to them a small offering: a bag containing different commodities (bedsheet, towel, dal and toiletries). The children were also informed of our impending programme for them. We also personally went to their tuition place to inform the children about the same.
In the evening at 4.30 pm we organized a small programme for the children in a nearby park. There were around 75 children present. We amused the children by organizing a few games, some magical tricks, sing-song session, action songs, a mime entitled Khoya Bachpaan (Lost Childhood) through which we depicted how a child can be prone to vices and can stray from right path when faced with difficulties and family problems. Based on this mime we gave them a message that our childhood is precious and we need to be vigilant as not to get entrapped by bullying forces. We gave them the message that it is in our hands either to build or break our future.The mime was followed by a dance based on the song Bum Bum Bole from the Bollywood movie Tare Zameen Par. This set the mood for the children to dance and the whole gathering was on their feet literally dancing. The children also sang some songs for us. The hour-long program came to an end with the distribution of refreshment for the kids. Our initial disappointment of not getting to visit many families was thus waved off with our time with the children.
Through this visit we did realized what our Pope Francis said: that the poor are not a problem, they are a resource from which to draw as we strive to accept and practice in our lives the essence of the gospel. It was a good experience for us to show our love and concern and to learn from those who are economically at a disadvantage.
Group 4, Tonca – Santa Inez
Sixteen Seminarians of the III Year of Philosophy from the Patriarchal Seminary of Rachol, under the accompaniment of Rev. Dr. Socorro Mendes, visited Tonca in the outskirts of Santa Inez near Panjim and spent some time with the less privileged people who lived there. In this activity we were directed by two volunteers Miss Vinita Gadekar and Mr. Amey who are associated with the Child line Help Group.
The outreach activities started with a personal visit to the residents which included around twenty four families. After actively interacting with the people they were given some gifts which included articles for their daily use. Some recreational activities included games of tailing the cat, bombarding the city, balloon race, hitting the wicket for the adults as well as the children. We also performed songs supported by musical instruments which included Dilhaichotasa, and common folk songs. The children also joined along with us in the singing. Later they danced to the tunes of Penguin dance. The residents co-operated with us in all the activities and were glad with our visit. They expressed their gratitude towards us and their desire to have us visit them in the future.
We really enjoyed having our time well spent touching the lives of people in little ways. We will always cherish these memories.
Group 5, Karaswado- Mapusa
Seminarians of I and II year of Philosophy visited the Karaswado (Near Mapusa City) slum area comprising of thirty five families. We were accompanied by Fr. Marcelin Rodrigues. Ms. Jessica, volunteer of Child Line accompanied, instructed and guided us. We divided ourselves in eight pairs; each pair was allotted four families each. There was a mixed response from the families which we visited. Some were very welcoming others preferred to keep a distance. As we were visiting the families we requested the students to gather at a particular place. The agreed time for the same was 4:00 pm. When we gathered at the set place we conducted some games and some action songs. We ended the programme at 5:00 pm. We expressed our gratitude to Ms. Jessica and gave her a token of appreciation. It was a pleasant experience.