The poor people are the major concern of TSSS. The major focus of TSSS is the eradication of poverty from the society in line with the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The economic empowerment of the rural poor, especially women in the rural area is done through Self Help Groups (SHGs). TSSS has a total number of 1253 registered SHGs which are active. Specific objectives are promotion of leadership, improving saving habits, improve the socio-political, economic and cultural status of women in their families and the society. The knowledge on various subjects is imparted through “Unarvu” Study Material which is a monthly publication. For the efficient and smooth functioning, the SHGs are clustered consisting of 25-30 SHGs operating under the supervision of SHG organizers. SHGs are federated as a three tire system. These levels of monitoring help the process more easy and financial dealings are more transparent. Sustainable livelihood activities are carried out with a special focus on Ockhi affected families through Ockhi Rehabilitation Programme.
Self Help Groups and Income Generation Programmes
Self-employment trainings and enterprises are started to ensure the economic security and employment opportunities of women. Various vocational trainings were provided by the social service society in all the area especially in coastal regions through “Theeramythri” and “Kudumbasree”. Trainings are provided for making a variety of value-added products on jackfruit, pineapple, papaya, fish etc. Training are also given related to catering and bakery items Technical skills on tailoring, two-wheeler driving, production of the umbrella, flower, bouquet, candle, cloth bags, big shopper, paper cover, soaps, scarfs, lotions and ornaments making are also provided. In Association with St. Xavier’s Computer Centre, Palayam and ITI Valiyathura, computer training classes are provided to interested women in SHGs. In relation with the vocational training centre “REACH” under women development co-operation training on assembling of LED products are given which included the production of the LED bulb, tube, electric star, table lamp, serial bulb etc. In collaboration with St. Xavier’s Craft and Technology Institute, Palayam courses on beauticians, stitching, fashion designing and craft items are given to those who would like to learn the courses professionally. SHG members individually and in group are earning income through employment in the technical knowledge gained from these trainings and orientations.
Unarvu Study Material
To create social awareness among the SHG members, a printed study material named Unarvu is being distributed every month through SHG organizers. This study material highlights contemporary relevant themes. As a result of these study materials, SHG get involved in social issues and find solutions.
Ockhi Family development Programme
On November 29th 2017, coastal areas of Trivandrum and Kanyakumari districts were hit severely by a natural disaster – namely Ockhi cyclone. In this catastrophe, 288 families lost their breadwinners. All these families are adopted and accompanied for six years either through Save A Family Programme or through diocesan Family welfare programme. These families are supported to build up in socio, economic and political arenas of their lives. TSSS accompanies them for these six years and make sure that they are able to stand in their own feet then onwards.
Ockhi Income Generation Programme
To be of assistance to the Ockhi beneficiaries and to achieve self-reliance and thereby to eradicate poverty among them in accordance with the Sustainable Development Goals of United Nations, they are visited and encouraged to achieve self-reliance and to earn a livelihood for self-sustenance. The beneficiaries were made to understand various possibilities to begin income generation programmes according to their ability and aptitude. Accordingly, 251 of them started small scale business of their own and began to earn money, which also helped them to overcome the trauma they faced in their lives.
Ockhi Housing Project
Ockhi Cyclone has also resulted in a great loss or damage to houses. The data collected shows that among the families of Ockhi victims 46 of them did not have their land and house and 30 families have own land but do not have own houses and 37 families are living in partially damaged houses. The diocese has decided to assist them in all possible ways. In the first phase, 30 families were supported to construct houses in collaboration with KCBC and 34 of them were supported through the ‘Life Mission’ programme of Government Kerala.
A large number of fishermen lost their fishing vessels in Ockhi cyclone and most of them did not get any compensation from the Government. Many were faced with psychological disorders and lost their courage to go to the deep sea for fishing. 54 fishermen were supported by providing light fishing equipment to overcome the financial employment crisis.