Community development in Shantikutir and Mallikbari

Community development projects (ICDP)

The Liebenzell Mission was originally involved in supporting two clinics in the villages of Shantikutir and Mallikbari, from 1978 and 1979 onwards respectively. Today, due to local changes in medical treatment and health care, these clinics offer two village development projects in the area, applying an integrated approach whereby the local staff work together with the villagers to improve their social, financial, health care and spiritual development.

To people living in these outlying, rural areas these are bases providing hope. At times of natural disaster (floods, hurricanes) the development projects serve as first aid centers. The catchment region covers over 200 villages stretching over an area of ca. 35 km. Previously, the aid used to center on general medical care and regular vaccination campaigns.

Nowadays, more focus is placed upon the participation of the villagers themselves in improving their family life and health, as well as their spiritual and financial situation. In order to better respond to the needs of this rural population the existing programs were analyzed. It was discovered that a higher degree of health care (maternity consultations, nutrition and hygiene counseling and preventive health measures …) was required. Prevention and information policies locally and in the families themselves is necessary and helps effectively to avoid diseases. Our co-workers were and still are trained accordingly.

Four times a week teams go out to advise the villagers in Shantikutir and Mallikbari and offer training courses at different places. The aim is to work more closely with the villagers to better define their local problems and needs and to cooperate with them to achieve all-round solutions. These measures go far beyond treating health care aspects alone and encompass, for example, such problems as domestic violence, rights for women and children, values …. In this respect this concept takes physical as well as emotional, spiritual and mental health of these people into consideration, and also their social environment.

Once a week medical health care is still offered at the health centers where a doctor is available to treat patients.