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UNDERSTANDING THE YAR APOSTOLATE IN THE PROVINCE OF MUMBAI


By Dakshayani Madangopal
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Mumbai, Sep. 13. The follow up to the seminar ''Understanding the YaR Apostolate in the Province of Mumbai'' was held on Sept 12-13, 2012 at the Provincial House, Matunga, Mumbai. Like the seminar held in August, this too witnessed a lively debate on themes like marginalized groups, the migration phenomenon as a kind of macro context in which these marginalized groups emerge, aspects of personnel, strategies of networking and advocacy as ways to ensure sustainability of structures, role of media etc. Grassroot practitioners, academicians and other professionals engaged in a lively debate at multiple levels to provide interesting insights.
Commencing with a keynote address by Fr. Barnabe D'Souza, which firmly anchored the seminar within the relevant context, the panel discussions and model presentations served to highlight points of concern experienced by the Apostolate in their myriad works and also showcased some of their best practices and innovations.

The panel on marginalized groups touched upon issues of education, trafficking, domestic work, child labour etc while that on personnel debated upon concerns associated with staff selection, recruitment, training and retention.

The networking panel showcased practical experiences and challenges in the field, while the panel on sustaining structures focused upon accountability, service delivery, transparency, the dangers of redundancy, etc. The roles of research and media in advocacy discussed efforts to move into government spaces and platforms to effect systemic policy change.                                                                                                                                  

This seminar served to point out action arenas for the Apostolate to venture into, such as the need to have aftercare services for the 18+ age group, have source area interventions to mitigate some of the major problems, to adopt a more professional approach, move into a mature phase of networking that calls for a synergy of effort, to move into existing platforms for advocacy purposes, involvement of media and lay persons and the need to put systems in place that would maintain continuity in the face of change.

The seminar concluded with a summary of the main take-aways from this two-day meeting and a plan for development of the YaR sector, with effective strategies and policies for deeper impact.
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