On 24th February, the Right Reverend Mike Harrison, who is the Chair of the UK Friends of CRS, was ordained and consecrated Bishop of Dunwich in the St Edmundsbury and Ipswich Diocese. The service took place in Westminster Abbey in London and was conducted by the Archbishop of Canterbury (pictured left with Mike), supported by other bishops. It was a magnificent and moving occasion with the Abbey filled nearly to capacity. The ordination and consecration ceremony was interwoven into a service of Holy Communion, with the Eucharist as its crescendo. The UK Friends join in wishing Bishop Mike every blessing in his future ministry.
Poverty, illiteracy and lack of education can leave many people without basic knowledge to live safe and healthy lives. CRS regularly organises community-based sessions to raise awareness about different aspects of physical and mental health, sanitation and hygiene, so that people can improve their personal and household practices. 25 adolescent girls and women from the Sukantanagar community gathered on 10th February for one of these awareness programmes on “Reproductive and Child Health”. The event was led by Dr Prasenjit Saha who works within the Maternity and Child Welfare Department of a government hospital. During the session, the women learned about pre-natal and post-natal care including what to do and what to avoid doing during pregnancy, the importance of timely check-ups, good nutrition, hygiene and immunisation.
Since 1996 CRS has run a women’s empowerment programme in Pally Mangal, a neighbourhood in Tollygunge, south Kolkata. Training is available for women in tailoring and embroidery. Having completed their courses, women are encouraged to form self-help groups and then use their new skills to set up small business enterprises. Ten self-help group members received a boost on 8th February when CRS arranged a special training session led by a fashion designer from the National Institute of Fashion Technology in Kolkata. With the focus on “quality products” the women learned how to improve the quality and finish of the items that they make. This will hopefully enable them to sell their tailored clothing at a higher price and boost their income.