The Uniting Journeys program will visit North India next month for a 14-day tour. This is the third trip to India and continues to strengthen the synod’s relationship with its partner church in North India.
One of the greatest challenges facing India today is social inequality. Some of the country’s most marginalised groups – such as Dalits, people living with HIV and women from disadvantaged communities – continue to suffer from inadequate access to health services.
The Church of North India actively works to overcome this inequality. They seek to break down caste and gender barriers through a range of programs, including health clinics that support women and children from Dalit communities.
Dalits face extreme discrimination, oppression and isolation. They fall outside the hierarchical caste system and are among the poorest communities in India. The stigma associated with being a Dalit often prohibits them from full participation in Indian society.
From 7 to 21 April, Uniting Journeys will visit North India for a responsible travel tour. This will incorporate several days visiting the Punjabi Health Clinics project. Several Uniting Church congregations in Victoria have provided financial support to the health clinics, including High Street Uniting Church in Frankston and St Kilda Parish Mission.
The project launched in 2014 and provides mobile health services to Dalit families. This includes contraception and family planning advice, health and hygiene education, counselling, and ante and post-natal care. The services reach approximately 11,000 women and 7,000 children in 30 villages.
India is characterised by a diversity of religious beliefs. It is the birthplace of four of the world’s major religions – Hinduism, Buddhism, Jainism and Sikhism. The majority of Indians are Hindus, but the country is also home to approximately 138 million Muslims and 24 million Christians.
Uniting Journeys’ participants will have the opportunity to witness worship in a foreign country. They will visit the spectacular Golden Temple in Amritsar, the holiest Gurdwara (place of worship) for Sikhs, and the magnificent Baha’i Lotus Temple in the heart of Delhi. Participants will also undertake the Kora walk around the temple and residence of the Dalai Lama.
Contact Uniting Journeys at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.