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The Dominican Month for Peace

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The Master of the Order Fr. Gerard Francisco Timoner, OP has reminded the entire Order of Preachers of the approach that the Dominican month for Peace will have to be celebrated in India. His predecessor Br. Bruno Cadore, OP stated in a letter addressed to the entire Order on June 25: “ln the wake of the Synod on Youth that took place in October, 2018, we have decided to reinforce this priority of the Church by including a particular focus on peace as it applies to youth, with whom many of our Dominican brothers and sisters in lndia are working. With this priority in mind, and while forms of violence are prevalent at so many levels of the huge and complex lndian society, our focus in the 2019 Dominican Month for Peace will be on countering violence, in the form of deprivation and abuse, against children, women and "tribals" (indigenous people), struggles in which many Dominicans are present.”

The successor of Saint Dominic concretized two Dominican projects to be carried out in India: The Bloom project for children in situations such streets and the Child Safety project for the training of trainers on how to address child sexual abuse. In turn, Fr. Timoner invites the entire order to organize activities of prayer, fundraising, preaching, awareness raising, production drama, artistic expressions, and make print and digital advertising that help to fulfil the purpose in an effective and prompt manner.



Children under the age of 18 comprise 37% of India's population. Many of them experience deprivation such as lack of access to basic education, nutrition or health care. In addition, many are subjected to various forms of abuse, neglect, violence, and maltreatment which dominate their childhood experience. According to the National Crime Bureau Report (NCRB), in 2015- 2016 there were 32,973 cases registered under the Protection of Children from Sexual Offenses (POCSO) Act including 19,765 cases of child rape, 12,226 cases of sexual assault, 934 cases of sexual harassment and 47 cases of use of children for pornography. Additional forms of abuse include domestic abuse, child trafficking and child labour. It is estimated that, linked to poverty and other social structures of the society, there are around 10.1 million working children between 5-14 years of age. This accounts for 3.9% of the total child population, and of these children, 26.0% are used as peasants/cultivators, 32.9% as agricultural labourers, 5.2% as household industry workers, and 35.8% as other workers (Census, 2011).

 Further violations of child rights, legitimised by cultural practices and customs deeply rooted in the male-dominant patriarchal society, involve child marriage, of which 326 incidences were reported in 2015-16 (NCRB, 2016), and gender discrimination, which has created significant gender disparity. This is reflected in the preference for providing educational opportunities for the male child. The perception of girl children as a burden to the family also leads to sex selective abortion which has resulted in an unequal sex ratio in the country with 933 females per 1000 males (Census, 2011).



This project is implemented in the Yuvajyothi Children’s Home by Dominican friars in collaboration with Dominican Sisters of the Presentation and Dominican Laity Nagpur Chapter through their registered organization known as Indian Centre for Integrated Development (ICID). The project strives to rescue children and female youth from exploitative, abusive and other disadvantaged situations such as streets, pavement dwellings, work places, children begging or rummaging in waste or neglected children and to provide a protective environment where a child finds a safe, dignified and child-friendly atmosphere including their rehabilitation with their families. This is done through various programs such as street outreach, formation of children’s groups, counselling, life skill education, educational support and sponsorship, provision of safe shelter for children in need, organizing child right awareness and advocacy programs. ( (



This project, established by the promoters for Justice and Peace in India, is based on the need for training of the members of the Dominican Family.  As all the entities in India are involved in protection and education of children, the project aims to equip members with skills in dealing with victims and situations of child sexual abuse.

The project involves developing a curriculum to train the members and their collaborators in their respective ministries on: child sexual exploitation, prevention strategies, symptomatic identification of children suffering abuse and providing support to affected children, formal and informal dialogue and networking with relevant government agencies, supporting and preparing for personal safety lessons in child based institutions, reporting cases for appropriate care and services with the involvement of family members, providing preventive information and increasing the knowledge and life skills of children to understand sexual exploitation and appropriately report the same in time, strengthening families by helping the parents to understand their children’s issues and learn to help their children be free from sexual exploitation, providing nurturing support by visiting the at-risk families at home and ensure family counselling and parenting support.