It functions as the State Learning Centre for the Rehabilitation of Deablind Persons with disabilities in general. Its services focus on the integral development of persons with disabilities so that they enjoy a life of dignity in the society. The centre also serves as vocation training center for youth who get employment after their training. KSSS started DDU-GKY (Deen Dayal Upadhyaya – Grameen Kaushalya Yojana) program at Good Samaritan Centre supported by The Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India. It provides skill training and ensure job placement to the rural population in the age group of 18-45 years. Under this project, training is given in the domains of Salesperson (retail), Accounts Assistant using Tally, DTP Print and Publishing Assistant, Food and Beverages Service Steward, and Industrial Sewing machine operator. DDU-GKY is both residential and nonresidential. Classrooms and practical labs are available according to the standards set up by the Ministry of Rural Development, Government of India.
This is an air-conditioned and beautifully designed auditorium available for the use of banquets, public meetings, conferences, and similar gatherings. It has sufficient parking and an open lower level for additional use. Its seating capacity in the main hall is 650. It is wheelchair accessible. Its revenue is fully used for the maintenance of Good Samaritan Centre and Agape Centre at Cherpunkal that serve the differently abled (disabled) and their families. This air conditioned and beautifully furnished auditorium is used by the public for wedding banquets and KSSS is using it for social service meetings.
The reasoning behind the construction of this auditorium was as follows: Though Sense International was supporting the Deafblind programme at Good Samaritan Centre, KSSSS had to develop additional source of income for continued financial support of the centre. The availability of an auditorium there would serve for public gatherings of KSSS activities of the region and the income generated by renting the building for public needs would be a source of support and sustainability for the Samaritan Centre. As an auditorium for the public is a felt need at Cherpunkal, there was scope for the proposed auditorium. It could also be a Silver Jubilee Memorial of KSSS.
Impact centre of KSSS is located in Cherpunkal village attached to Good Samaritan centre. This is furnished considering the requests of Keralites living abroad who come for few weeks to have well-furnished air-conditioned rooms for their temporary living with food and transportation facilities. Besides providing rooms and conference halls for training camps for CBR (Community Based Rehabilitation) Programs for the differently -abled, it also serves as a centre for social service training, pastoral programs, and residential meetings of other organizations. The rooms are available for those who reserve Mutholath Auditorium for wedding or other functions. Its air conditioned rooms with food and transportation facilities will be available for Keralites coming from distant places for few weeks.
PURPOSE OF IMPACT CENTRE:
The income from Impact Center will be utilized for the CBR programs of Mutholath Nagar.
Agape Bhavan is one of the regional centres of the Kottayam Social Service Society (KSSS) situated in the Cherpunkal village of the Meenachil Taluk in the Kottayam District of Kerala. As the word – Agape – suggests the centre seeks to serve the Self Help Group members of KSSS and the villagers of Cherpunkal, as a place for promoting harmony, peace and selfless-love.
Agape Bhavan concentrates considerably for integral development of the differently- abled through various trainings. In the Agape centre there are expert trainers giving various trainings to the differently -abled for their integral development. Mainly the trainers provide medical services like Physiotherapy, Speech Therapy and various Life-skill practices. In these trainings we include classes for the parents also so as to help them better handle their children with more awareness on the disability aspects. At the same time, the trainers conduct periodical house visits to the students and maintain good rapport with their family.
The Agape centre provides training and income generation programs for the physically and mentally challenged and for the meeting and employment of self-help groups. Besides physical training of the differently -abled, vocational training is also arranged for their economic stability. That includes notebook production, paper-bag making, screen printing, cover making, and binding unit. The notebooks and paper bags are supplied from the centre to the local educational institutions and hospitals. These provide opportunities for income generation to the disabled and to the neighboring villagers. KSSS has two other agape centres in Kaipuzha and Kumarakom.
Chaithanya Community College is a vocational training institution promoted by Kottayam Social Service Society. The Vision of the community college is to make the resource poor self reliant by augmenting their skills. Community college is a good place to continuing non-formal education program. In community college opportunity for training and retraining mid-level skilled workers is provided. The community college accepts dropout students, mentally and physically challenged persons, widows, women and farmers. Now Yuvakeralam project is conducting in this centre. The project aims at the uplifting of rural areas by providing skill training of students and getting them placed in reputed companies.
KSSS has well-furnished classrooms and training hall for conducting a training programme for SHG members and other people. KSSS has two smart room classes with a seating capacity of 50 and a mini hall with a seating capacity of 75. KSSS has a well-furnished auditorium for conducting mega programmes with a seating capacity of 1250.KSSS has 30 rooms and a mess hall for residential training
God the creator has created every person uniquely and blessed them with specific skill sets and capacities. The primary motto of KSSS is: “Awareness Enabling Development.” This motto is followed at KSSS through empowering individuals and groups to explore their potentials and capacities in order to ensure their well-being along with enhancing a sense of community care. KSSS recognizes the vital role that institutions play in the development of society, and therefore has initiated several programs with the support of government and non-government organizations along with KSSS’s own resources.
Training is provided to animators, as they are valued as the grassroots staff who involve directly with the target group members. The trainings aim to enhance their abilities to run, or animate, activities in an effective manner for the development of the society.
KSSS organizes four-day skills training programs for its 30 professionally qualified office staff. These programs are refresher courses as well as capacity-building courses containing latest information and methods that have been introduced in the field of development and social work. Previous training programs have been based on: work-based planning, communication, efficiency, community leadership, documentation, participatory approaches in development, advocacy, lobbying, micro-finance, current government schemes of development, the social worker’s role in community, community enterprise organization, rights based approaches, gender issues, and assessing cultural sensitivities.
There are eight regions in the operational areas of KSSS. Regional coordinators discharge responsibilities at the regional level, same as animators run KSSS programs at the village level. Regional coordinators and animators have meetings once a week to discuss the weekly programs and any problems or issues that may have arose in the field. The purpose of these meetings is for planning, monitoring, and evaluation –all to ensure quality programming.
Regional coordinators meet twice in a month to discuss entire programs with KSSS staff and its implementation. The meetings also include discussions of regional level activities and group discussions on specific methodologies, experiences and policies to be adopted for programme implementation.
Executive bodies are called once in a month for planning, monitoring and evaluating the KSSS activities. Active discussions are being conducted in this meeting as they are planning various programs to achieve the real needs of the community.
With a primary objective to bring resourceful leaders to the community, every year we organized two-day residential leadership trainings to the leaders of various Women Self Help Groups in the project villages. The training enables the group leaders to develop their leadership and organizational skills to handle the affairs of the group after a few years.
We have organized different Skills Training to the young school dropout members and SHG members in association with the Functional Vocational Training and Research Society (FVTRS), Bangalore and NABARD Listed Below:
Knowledge-Skills sessions were organized for the farmers in 20 villages that are members of KSSS farm clubs. Each farm club consists of 25 plus members and are given the responsibility to organize village level programming by experts focused on the needs of the farmers
Yearly Residential Leadership Trainings are organized for the selected farm club leaders. The primary objective of the leadership trainings is to enrich and refresh the elected leaders and other office bearers of the farm clubs with new innovative ideas and skills. One of the main outcomes of the leaders’ trainings in the previous years was that 8-farm club leaders contested and won in the Local Panchayath elections.
Lead farmers are the model farmers in the village and play a vital role in the timely implementation of the programme. To capacitate and upgrade the skills and knowledge, every year we conducted residential trainings for the selected lead farmers from the project villages.
To build healthy relationships among the staff team, KSSS formed Friend’s Teams. Staff and their spouses are invited twice a year for celebrating the friend’s team day. Office bearers are selected from the staff members for their effective functioning. Spiritual guidance and picnics are also done for them.
Ensuring the total participation of the people and as a step towards cecentralisation KSSS has a federation set up for the self help groups. Every SHG has its own office bearers elected in democratic manner. These elected members of different groups elect their representatives in the village level and the village level leaders elect their representatives in the regional level. KSSS has eight regions. The elected representatives of region elect the central level office bearers. Kottayam social service society has a section committee in every region, consisting of the regional director, regional coordinator and the regional presidents of self help groups. The federation leaders are invited twice a year and gives training for them to empower the SHGs and also to make them better leaders.