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Stola Project

The “Health Promotion Trust” project of the the Archdiocese of Bombay tries to make it possible for families to have a stable income. Now, women from the slums also sew stoles for the deacons.

Deacon stoles from the Mumbai slums

The Archdiocese of Bombay wants preventive health care for all – also for slum inhabitants

Father Rocky Banz, head of the Father Rocky Banz, head of the Rocky Banz is the former manager of the Archdiocesan Caritas in Bombay (Mumbai) India. The priest initiated the “health promotion trust“ project. His vision is that health standards have a chance even in the Mumbai slums. All people should have access to a basic level of preventive health care. The so-called “Community Centres” were entrusted with this task. The closest comparison for these centres are the social stations as we know them in Germany. The first Indian deacons also collaborate in them. The key concerns of these centres are the prevention of violence as well as the rehabilitation of HIV infected persons. But facilities meant for a comprehensive preventive health care are also being created there. It is primarily women who were victims of violence or rape who find help in these centres and are assisted with great care.

Rocky Banz is the interface with the International Diaconate Centre (IDC). In close contact with him and also with Father Gilbert de Lima, Vice-President of the IDC, and Oswald Cardinal Gracias, Archbishop of Bombay, The IDC supports his important work aiming at help for self-help. From this contact stems the IDC project “Indian Stole”. The project began with a visit in one of Rocky Banz’s community centres as IDC staff visited the centre they had the idea of this project: some women have a micro-enterprise in the region, sewing and selling bags. Sewing deacons’ stoles means for these women an expansion of their product range and thereby also of the clientele. Logistics is organised through the contact with the IDC. Given that the income of the seamstresses is an important part of the family income, the selling of the stoles stabilises their livelihood and that of their families.

Ansgar Maul, Spokesperson for deacons in the Diocese of Osnabrück Ansgar Maul, Spokesperson for deacons in the Diocese of Osnabrück Ansgar Maul from the Diocese of Osnabrück belongs to a group of permanent deacons who heard of the project and became enthusiastic about it. Deacon Maul and his group have taken up sponsorship for this project. The aim of the group now is to support the seamstresses work and to make it known in our circles as best they can.
“After a preparatory stage, the first deacons’ stoles were presented in January 2014 during the yearly conference of the Federal Working Group for Permanent Diaconate“ is Maul’s description of the first steps made by his project group. “We are very happy and grateful for it. Now our wish is that many deacons, deacon candidates and persons in charge of diaconal formation in the various diocese support this project.”
As one would expect, the procedure is simple: The stoles are made in Mumbai and are offered in Germany for 100 Euro a piece. The amount is transferred by the buyer to the IDC as a donation. Then the donor would receive a stole as sign of gratitude and, if he so wishes, a donation receipt. The IDC guarantees that the amount will be forwarded 100 percent to the women in the Mumbai slums. This creates a small additional income for some families. And, as a result, many people from the slums receive a better hope of a simple but more secure, self-determined life and last but not least a life free of violence with and in their families. Ansgar Maul hopes that he and his co-sponsors will be able to support this project on a long-term basis “in brotherly communion with our Indian deacons”.
Contakt: Deacon Ansgar Maul, Telephone: 05931-1523966, E-Mail: E-Mail schreiben

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