June 1 marked the centenary of Programme Management Team (PMT) meetings in Caritas India. Fr Paul Moonjely, Executive Director of Caritas India, is a veteran of at least 50 of these meetings in his six years at the organization. Talking about the relevance of this meeting, he said, “This meeting will the Strategic Plan with its four strategic pillars of Empowerment and Animation, Giving Communities, Dialogue and Volunteerism, is a process of participation, leading us to action”. He stressed the importance of creating an environment conducive to learning and sharing at these gatherings.
Present at the 100th meeting was John Peter Nelson, currently Executive Director of Indo Global Social Service Society (IGSSS). Nelson initiated the custom of monthly PMT meetings way back in 2008, while still a staff member of Caritas.
He took the staff on a trip down memory lane, detailing how Caritas transformed itself from a purely relief and charity based organization in its earliest days, to first, an animation powerhouse. And from there, growing into fields like capacity and institutional building, rights-based and result based orientation. He said Caritas’ latest strategic plan points to it blossoming into a centre for learning & knowledge and a source of inspiration for sister organizations.
During his forty-five-minute presentation, Nelson made an important point. To be a constantly learning organization, fear in the staff needs to be rooted out. “A regional manager is not a slave”, he said. “And a Director is not a Zamindar, to make unreasonable demands. We are all team members.”
“If an individual does not feel personally benefitted by these meetings; if they are purely organization centric, then these meetings will only have limited effectiveness”, he said while signing out.
At the fag end of the day, Fr Paul presented new strategic goals tailored to the strategic pillars. For Empowerment Animation, a cadre of efficient change agents and community leaders is to be created. Community led/owned local, regional and national movements are to be fostered and sustained. Under the pillar of Dialogue, Caritas partners are to be transformed as organizations of dialogue and agents of sustainable change.
For Volunteerism, a cadre of at least one million volunteers, mainly from the middle class, is to be raised and engaged through knowledge, finance and human resources. Under Resource Development, the resource base of Caritas and its partners is to be enhanced by human, institutional and economic (CSR) resources. A new paradigm is to be followed, transitioning from receiving communities to giving communities.
PMT meetings have now been renamed PULSE or Peers United for Learning and Sharing towards Excellence. Three new circles have been constituted – a Strategic Circle, Quality Circle and Circle for Relevance & Relationships, with members to advice the Director on the way forward for the organization.
Caritas India and Centre for Environment Education, Ahmedabad jointly observing World Environment day from June 1-5, 2018. To mark the event Caritas India released posters & books on the United Nations theme “Beat Plastic Pollution”.
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