Canossian Sr. Lavina J. D'Souza works as secretary of St. Joseph's Society in Belgaum, India, which administers educational institutions. With a postgraduate degree in social work, she works in socio-pastoral ministries with the urban and rural poor, using rights-based approaches and community development programs. She also conducts research in social work.
Networking with various groups, such as civil bodies, private agencies, NGOs and even government agencies, keeps us motivated and at the same time energizes the women in need.
The position of the average Indian woman in family and society often reinforces and legitimizes discrimination against them. Understanding their situation through the lens of learned helplessness made me less judgmental.
When I served in a village in India, I crossed a river to reach other places. When I reached midway in the stream, I would ask myself, "Will I be able to make it to the other side?" Amid the pandemic, it looks like I am not alone in asking this question.
To live life according to the best version of one's self requires creativity. As a social center team, we have worked to enhance women's lives through workshops on creativity. We notice progress in their self-confidence and changes in their skills.