Our Mission in Salem began in the year 1999 at the invitation of MSFS fathers. For almost a year our pioneering sisters Shantha Shivaram and Charlotte stayed at ‘Jyothi Darshan’, the Formation House of MSFS Fathers in Ayodhyapattanam. To begin with the sisters conducted a survey to determine the services we could render to the people of the area. The following year we shifted to a rented house at Masinaikenpatti and started tailoring classes for school drop-outs and women.
In the evenings we travelled either by public transport or cycling or even walking to conduct coaching classes for children in some of the villages. We were actively involved in the pastoral care activities of the parish. Inspired by our Mother Foundress who had a keen interest and concern for girls and women in prison, we volunteered to visit the Salem central jail twice a week, through the “Prison Ministry of India”. We interacted with the inmates, counseled them; taught them awareness songs and spoken English. Those evenings we visited the families of some of the prisoners we had met.
We took turns to visit the mentally challenged children at the Institution of the Missionary Brothers of Charity and the street children who were taken care of by the Salesian Fathers. Regular meetings were conducted for women of the neighboring villages. We also encouraged them to have Small Savings.
We bought a plot of land in Ayodhyapattanam and in the year 2002 we put up a small hall where they stayed and supervised the construction of the convent building.
When the construction was completed we occupied the present building and started the residential care ministry for school drop-outs which was a government sponsored scheme (SSA) for the eradication of child labour.
Coaching centers spread out over 15 villages
Children’s parliament in order to motivate the children to become service minded and prepare them in leadership qualities, as a result of which the children took active part in identifying some of the issues, affecting their villages, like repairing of street lights, cleanliness of the surroundings etc. by approaching the concerned authorities and succeeded in solving some of them.
In the year 2006, Chalice Sponsorship programme was initiated for deserving children through which a very large number of them are benefitting.
Now it offers a 3 months Certificate Course, named “Skills @ Chalice” for a batch of 20 girls at a time that gives training in tailoring.
Meetings are organized for Women, Youth and Children to bring about awareness of their dignity and responsibilities in their families and society.
We collaborate with like-minded NGO’s of the diocese and participate in rallies and public meetings organized to bring about justice and equality in the society and thus make the presence of sisters of the Good Shepherd effective here in Salem.