A Story of Transformation – Kolkata Juvenile Detention Centre
Megacities has now been running in Kolkata, India for over 9 months, and during this time teams have been involved in many different projects all throughout the city. One of the places that teams have worked in is a juvenile detention centre, home to around 100 boys aged between 5-18 years old. Several teams have been able to visit this correctional home, spending time playing and sharing the love of Jesus with the boys who live there.
One team accomplished a complete refurbishment of the infirmary during their time in this centre. This included clearing out the room, washing the whole room down, and painting all the walls, as well as cleaning all the bathrooms, toilets and showers. They also gave them new mattresses and bedding for all of the beds. The pinnacle of this project was the team painting a picture on one of the walls of a tree covered with the fruits of the Spirit. Father Anthony, co-ordinator for city evangelism for the Catholic Church, said that it was “beautiful to have the picture done…as if they brought down the whole heaven in this sick room for the sick children”.
You know they brought life, they brought joy, they brought laughter, they brought life into that home…That could have been done only out of love.
During this time, the team also made several contacts with people who were involved with the detention centre in varying capacities. Through this networking, the team arranged a meeting with the former head of the health department and psychology, as well as several other health ministers and doctors, in order for them to see the work that they had done in the infirmary. Since then, staff at the detention centre have asked for training to “disciple the boys.” This request is being met by teams and trainers who are able to share about biblical values, and other key aspects of discipling people to live and be like Jesus.
Father Franklin Menzies, Director of Seva Kendra Conference Centre and overseer of all Catholic social services for Kolkata said about Megacities teams “they brought about radical transformation I would say in that particular home….You know they brought life, they brought joy, they brought laughter, they brought life into that home…That could have been done only out of love. Nothing else, no paid worker would do that.”