CRS provides support for marginalised and disadvantaged communities in three areas – education, health and women’s empowerment. There is also a centre for young people with disabilities. Special initiatives include football and a social enterprise for women.
CRS supports 11 education centres (7 urban and 4 rural projects) for children from deprived communities. In the classroom they are taught a range of subjects, but there is also a focus on personal development and life skills. This programme is vital for enabling disadvantaged children to enter the mainstream education system and improve their life chances.
A group of teachers from Derbyshire in the UK visits Kolkata every year to deliver ‘continuing professional development’ to CRS teachers including demonstrating methods for teaching phonics and mathematics in simple, fun and effective ways.
CRS supports 9 health centres in disadvantaged communities, offering a range of curative and preventative services. These provide regular health checks, screening programmes, awareness camps and specialist referrals. This programme is vital for treating short-term illnesses, chronic diseases and disabilities.
CRS runs a training centre for differently-abled persons (TCDP) offering courses to young people with physical and mental disabilities. The students learn skills that enable them to earn an income and be more independent.
CRS supports women’s empowerment programmes in 10 locations, which includes training courses in practical and financial skills, awareness raising classes and self help groups. This programme is vital for giving women self-confidence, financial independence and a sense of equality.
This initiative is an exciting partnership between a UK fashion designer and women in Kolkata’s slums, who sew and embroider quality items for sale in the UK and in local communities. Items include handbags, mobile phone covers and key rings.
In February 2021, the Dorcas centre was opened in the Bishop’s house with funds raised through the Lent project at St Peter’s Church in Derby. Dorcas provides a production centre for Nari Dana products.
You can support the project by purchasing brooches made by the women from recycled fabrics here. 100% of the proceeds will go towards the Nari Dana women.
CRS has set up football teams for boys in several of the education centres. These nurture teamwork, motivation and pride, and the teams enjoy periodic matches against each other.