CRS India Office and Home
January 19, 2011
After returning to Delhi from Jabalpur, we went to the CRS office to visit the staff and for a briefing.
It was a lot of fun - in the beginning we joined the staff in celebrating birthdays, and service awards and had yet another Indian lunch - I love it!
John Shalmansky is the India country representative. He was with us during our visit to Jabalpur. He explained that the population is 1,181,042,000 and 42% or 500 million live on less than $1 per day. The average life expectancy is 64. TB, Malaria, and Polio are health problems. HIV-AIDS for ages 15-49 is 0.3%- this seems low but with such a large population there are high numbers of people who suffer. Emergency response is a large program since there are 4-6 floods per year and earthquakes. They have instituted a text message program of emergency response which goes to a central database.
Trafficking is a problem - they offer shelter, counseling, rescue missions, and training in vocational work so they can have employment opportunities.
All CRS programs are community-based through partnerships. They also hire locally. Through this they can build capacity and if they pull out, the work can continue. They also use a voucher system to provide seed and other items needed by victims of disasters. Monitoring and evaluation are built into all their projects.
In the evening, we had dinner at the home of John and his wife, Kim and their two boys and daughter. We loved the American food for a change - lasagna and salad. Great!
Back to the hotel and, oh no, I'm sick! I spent the next day in my room while the others went shopping and visited with Kevin Hartigan, the CRS Asia representative. I'm a bit better at this writing. Tomorrow it's more visiting this time with Caritas India and India Bishops' Conference (CBCI). Hope I can make it.
Home tomorrow night!
Posted in Immersion in India on January 20, 2011 by batton