ASIA/INDIA - Catholic men and women religious provide counselling for tsunami victims

Wednesday, 19 January 2005

New Delhi (Fides Service) - The Conference of Catholic Religious Institutes in India intends to form permanent psychological counselling teams. Although the training costs have yet to be estimated, many religious themselves are qualified in this field, Father Oreste Ferrari, superior of the Don Orione Missionaries in India told Fides. In areas affected by the tsunami, “Religious men and women are involved in various initiatives on the spot: counselling, listening and dialogue led by a team of professional psychologists; education sponsoring to see that children return to school as soon as possible and the school year is guaranteed; community building through programmes of rebuilding and rehabilitation for work” he told Fides.
“What people need now, is more than medicine and food. Rehabilitation means chiefly helping these men to resume their fishing activity. A motor fishing boat and nets cost about 2,500 Euro. Then rebuilding homes is another priority. No one is doing anything yet, they are waiting to see what the government will do. Everyone has been given a tent, a temporary shelter or 4000 Rupee (75 Euro) for the material to build one. There is also the question of where to build homes, identify and negotiate land, start programmes. At least 120,000 homes are needed and a home costs about 1,000 to 2,000 Euro. The path for a return to a minimum of normality is still long” the priest concluded.
(PA) (Agenzia Fides 19/01/2005 righe 21 parole 237)