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Ecumenical Entrepreneurs Forum- Delhi Chapter

 

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NCCI-IDEA ISL 2.0 Concludes, Ushering in Hope for Churches and the Hearing-Impaired Community

The National Council of Churches in India – Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI-IDEA) hosted a memorable valedictory event for its Indian Sign Language (ISL) 2.0 Batch on June 9th, 2024. This course, which commenced on March 23rd, 2024, saw the enthusiastic participation of 30 students from various regions of India, including the North, Northeast, Central, and Southern states. The course was led by Ms Y Madhurya, whose extensive experience and dedication as an interpreter and teacher of Indian Sign Language greatly benefited the participants. Under her guidance, the students showed great progress, culminating in a celebratory event that highlighted their achievements.

The online valedictory ceremony, held at 6 PM, was a significant occasion attended by students, trainers, and special guests. Out of the 30 enrolled students, 25 received merit certificates, recognising their hard work and commitment to learning ISL. Pastor Rushi from the Nagpur Deaf Fellowship graced the event as the Chief Guest. In his address, he expressed profound joy and appreciation for the efforts of the students in breaking down communication barriers by learning ISL. Rev. Asir Ebenezer, in his valedictory address, inspired the students to continue their journey with ISL, encouraging them to engage with the hearing-impaired community around them. His words were a call to action, urging this ISL batch to make inclusivity a personal mission. Additionally, on Monday, June 10th, five students residing in Nagpur were given certificates offline at the NCCI Nagpur office by the General Secretary.

Students shared touching testimonies, expressing how the three-month course not only taught them a new language but also boosted their confidence and heightened their awareness of inclusivity. They spoke about the transformative experience of learning ISL and the sense of accomplishment they felt. With the conclusion of ISL 2.0, NCCI-IDEA is now looking forward to the next chapter. The success of this course opens the way for ISL 3.0, inviting more individuals to embark on this rewarding journey. It could be your turn next to step into the world of the hearing-impaired community by learning their language and envisioning a more inclusive society. For more information on upcoming courses and how to enrol, follow NCCI’s website, and social media or write to us at idea@ncci1914.com. Join us in making a difference by bridging communication gaps and promoting inclusivity through the learning of Indian Sign Language.

 

Rev. Ribin John
Executive Secretary
NCCI- IDEA

Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network. An online workshop on Global Accessibility Awareness Day

The passion of churches towards promoting and actualising inclusion was revived at the GAAD workshop of the NCCI. Emphasising the heart of innovation is accessibility the participants were encouraged to cater innovative ideas for making digital accessibility a reality.

Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) is observed to bring focus on digital access and inclusion. According to the Global Accessibility Awareness Day website, “The purpose of GAAD is to get everyone talking, thinking and learning about digital (web, software, mobile, etc.) access or inclusion and people with different disabilities.”

In line with this Global observance, the National Council of Churches in India’s Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment and Communications Department collaborated an online workshop on 15 May, 2024 themed “Digital Welcome Mats : Accessible Church Communications Network”. The teams of Communication and Disability from various churches and institutions join to receive insights on making church communication accessible to all.

Rev. Ribin John, Executive Secretary, NCCI Ecumenical Fora moderated the workshop and Mr. Nelason Nag, Program Executive, NCCI- Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompniment introduced Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) to all the praticipants. Ms Neelam Gaikwad, NCCI  Communications program executive spoke about practical strategies to address digital accessibility challenges and Ms. Smriti Priyansha, Document and Research Program Ececutive discussed case studies and identification of digital barriers faced by people with disabilities.

The expected outcome of this workshop was churches will become aware of the digital barriers that people with different types of disabilities face and will receive practical insights and strategies for overcoming these barriers. This will help create a barrier-free digital environment for all church attendees.

This events was not limited to awareness and engagement but also a commitment to pouring ceaseless efforts towards accessibility and prioritising inclusion at all steps.

 

Accompaniment in Action: NCCI-IDEA’s Ecumenical visit to Strengthen Disability Ministry

NCCI’s Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI-IDEA) is undertaking an important journey to enhance the ministry of disability within its member churches/organizations. During this transformative visit, the focus will be on engaging with key disability departments and helping member churches/organizations to establish their Disability Ministry, with a focus on the 4A areas: Audit, Accompaniment, Acknowledgement, and Advocacy.

Visit to CSI SEVA and DISHA Project

In the first phase, a meeting was organized with Church of South India’s Diaconal Ministry, CSI SEVA, and its DISHA project which coordinates disability works. On April 11th, 2024, an analysis was conducted and the Disability works happening through DISHA was discussed. A significant online meeting is planned that will bring disability coordinators from all dioceses of CSI to enhance, start, and amplify the Disability inclusion of the dioceses. The SEVA director, Rev. Navagnana Prasad, DISHA coordinator Dr. Jason, and the SEVA team collaborated closely with NCCI Ecumenical Fora Executive Secretary Rev. Ribin John at the CSI Synod, marking a promising step forward.

Engaging with ECI Evangelical Churches

On April 10th, 2024, IDEA visited the Evangelical Churches in India (ECI) to discuss and review the newly initiated disability ministry of the church. The ministry is coordinated by Rev. Wesley Jaya Sathya under the leadership of Rt. Rev. Kathiroli Manickam. The visit was productive and fruitful, with the Bishop offering visionary support towards enhancing disability inclusion within the church community. Plans were made for a pastors’ retreat within ECI to sensitize and empower them towards disability inclusion. This will pave the way for a more understanding and inclusive congregation.

Collaboration with UELCI for Disability Ministry Expansion

Discussion with Ms. Beryl Logan, the Disability Coordinator of United Evangelical Lutheran Churches in India (UELCI), centred on inspiring all 14 Lutheran Churches under UELCI to initiate disability ministries that cater to their unique contexts. In the month of May, a meeting is being planned at the NCCI headquarters to kickstart this collaborative effort. The aim is to bring together leaders/representatives of Lutheran Churches who are committed to promoting disability inclusion in their respective Lutheran Churches.

 

Rev. Ribin JohnExecutive Secretary, NCCI- Ecumenical Fora

Celebrating Collaboration: Inauguration of the Bengaluru Ecumenical Entrepreneurs Forum

Entrepreneurship thrives on collaboration. On Sunday, April 14th, 2024, at 2 pm, that spirit of NCCI- Ecumenical Entrepreneurs Forum (EEF) was alive and vibrant in the meeting of the EEF Bangalore Chapter. Entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds and various church denominations gathered for a momentous occasion—the inauguration of the Bengaluru Ecumenical Entrepreneurs Forum (EEF) at the Mar Thoma Syrian Church Primrose, Bangalore.

 In a city known for its innovation and dynamism, the need for a platform like the EEF became evident through shared discussions. The positive energy in the room was palpable as entrepreneurs affirmed the value of collaboration in the garden city. One of the main points that emerged from the discussions was the wealth of entrepreneurial talent within churches, yet the lack of initiatives for collaboration.

The EEF aims to change this narrative, providing a platform for entrepreneurs to enhance their networks and collaborations. This inauguration marks the 6th chapter of the National Council of Churches in India’s (NCCI) EEF. With existing chapters in Chennai, Delhi, Nagpur, Kottayam, and Koraput, Bengaluru’s addition underscores the growing need for such platforms across the country. If you are an entrepreneur and believe in the power of collaboration and wish to be part of this movement, we invite you to connect with us at eef@ncci1914.com.

Signs of Progress

NCCI-IDEA’s Indian Sign Language Course Launches on a Vibrant Note!

September 23, 2023: In a thrilling celebration of International Sign Language Day, the National Council of Churches in India -Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (NCCI-IDEA) Online Indian Sign Language Course kicked off with a bang! Enthusiastic learners, 25 strong, hailing from the North, North-East, Central, and South parts of India, are all set to conquer communication barriers.

Leading the charge is the dynamic Ms. Madhurya Y, who has seven year of expertise in the realm of ISL training and interpretation.

The digital inauguration on September 23, 2023, via Zoom, started with NCCI Youth Executive Secretary Mr. Asher Noah’s soul-stirring opening prayer, followed by a warm welcome from Rev. Ribin John.

Highlighting the event was the presence of Pastor R Praveen Kumar, an inspiring figure in the hearing-impaired community, who couldn’t contain his joy at seeing more people embrace his First language(ISL). He sees this as a hope for the deaf community, as it opens doors to more meaningful connections.

Rev. Dr. Asir Ebenezer, NCCI’s General Secretary, delivered a powerful inaugural address, challenging everyone to recognise that true completeness comes from embracing the ideas and creativity of the hearing-impaired community. He hailed this course as a revolutionary step in bridging the language gap between the church and the hearing-impaired community, marking a historic moment.

The day ended on a high note with Ms. Madhurya igniting students’ excitement by diving into basic ISL alphabets, setting the stage for an incredible learning journey.

The NCCI-IDEA Online Indian Sign Language Course’s inauguration was not just a celebration; it was a declaration of breaking down barriers and forging deeper connections in a world where communication reigns supreme!

Rev. Ribin John
Executive Secretary
NCCI Ecumenical Fora/ IDEA

Access Togather Campaign

Award Ceremony will held on 9th December 2023

 

Harmony in Silence : The Church committed to listening to the Silent voices of Speech and Hearing Impairment.

The Nagpur Christian community is committed to listening to the Silent voices within their church. A group of forty persons representing various Church denominations, such as Protestants, Catholics, and Evangelicals, made a collective decision to empower their churches in responding to the rights of individuals with speech and hearing impairments. They aimed to enhance accessibility within their church spaces, ensuring that everyone could fully participate and engage in the community. Due to the invisible nature of the disability, people with speech and hearing impairments are frequently overlooked and ignored in the church and society

Focused on the value of accessibility in fostering a more welcoming and creating equal environment for all, the NCCI-Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (IDEA), in collaboration with the Church of North India-Social Service Institute (CNI-SSI) arranged a one-day workshop on the topic “Silent Voices: Empowering the Church’s Response to Speech and Hearing Impairment” on July 7th 2023 at CNI-SSI Nagpur Campus to tackle the reality of abandonment against the people. The workshop concentrated exclusively on Speech and Hearing Impairment and attempted to equip the Churches to be all-encompassing in their varied Ministries towards the group.

Rev. Dr. Asir Ebenezer, General Secretary NCCI, used the line “Dancing to a tune that they cannot hear” in his opening remarks referring to the dance recitals of children with hearing and speech impairment to prime the audience for the workshop. This statement sparked discussion about the church’s ignorance and the silent voices within it. He urged everyone there to change their focus from “learning about disability to learning to be a part of the life of people with disability.” Additionally, he claimed that the workshop’s goal was to “Empower ourselves to dismantle structures and attitudes that disable people and not just to Empower the people with Disability,” which was the justification for achieving inclusivity, particularly in churches and Christian groups.

The workshop’s resource person was SLP, audiologist, and disability theologian Dr. Sunil Kathramalla. He focused his conversation on four specific topics with the help of his substantial knowledge to address the silent voices in the church that are ignored. These topics included Sensitivity Training, Inclusive Worship Services, Assistive Devices and Technology, and Awareness and Education. He astutely offered practical suggestions that churches and Christian organisations might use to strengthen their ministerial endeavours and daily contacts, promoting inclusivity and justice. The workshop witnessed an interactive atmosphere between the attendees and the resource person. The active participation of the attendees projected the seriousness of the issue and the passion to work towards the “need of the hour”.

The program commenced at 11:00 am with a brief period of worship followed by the formal welcome address by Mrs Aradhana Upadhya, Director of CNI-SSI and the vote of thanks by Mr Thayil D Sam, Core group member, Engage Disability Nagpur Hub. The workshop ended with an ecumenical unity prayer for Manipur. As the workshop came to a close, it became evident that its impact would reverberate far beyond its duration, empowering the church to embrace the Silent , but vibrant, Voices of speech and hearing impairment, and paving the way for a future of genuine disability inclusion.

                        
Rev. Ribin John
Executive Secretary, Ecumenical Fora
NCCI-IDEA

Acknowledged to Accompany: NCCI -IDEA Acknowledged and Honoured COVID Heroes for their Exceptional Contributions to Persons with Disabilities

The NCCI Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (IDEA) Acknowledged and Honoured COVID heroes serves as a testament to the transformative power of selfless service and the unwavering spirit of compassion. It sets a commendable example for the ecumenical accompaniment and reaffirms the commitment of the NCCI to advocate for the rights and well-being of persons with disabilities in India.

In an inspiring event held at the UELCI campus Chennai, NCCI-IDEA honored the unsung heroes who selflessly served persons with disabilities during the COVID-19 pandemic. The NCCI Indian Disability Ecumenical Accompaniment (IDEA) Award ceremony showcased the extraordinary efforts made by individuals and organizations to create a barrier-free church and society for all.

Out of a staggering 50 applicants from across the nation, NCCI selected the most deserving candidates in three distinct award categories. Esteemed paediatrician and Disability activist, Dr. Aiswarya Rao, had the privilege of presenting the awards to the remarkable COVID heroes, whose dedication and commitment shone through their exceptional achievements.

In the Individual Category, Mr. Sandeep Paul, the project coordinator for UNNATHI – Disability project, stood out for his outstanding coordination and resource mobilization efforts. Despite limited resources, Mr. Sandeep effectively supported individuals with disabilities by implementing training programs and raising awareness during the pandemic.

The Institution Category witnessed the recognition of the CSI School for the Intellectually Disabled, a residential school that defied government orders to send children home. With immense compassion, the school decided to keep around 30 inmates, including orphans, and extended their reach to over 100 kilometers to support 110 persons with disabilities.

In the Church Initiative Category, the Shaphiro initiative led by H.G. Dr. Yuhanon Mar Diascros Metropolitan and a group of passionate laity members received well-deserved accolades. The online glocal initiative connected more than 25 families from the Indian Orthodox community across India, the Middle East, Europe, and the ANZ region. The regular online fellowships for “Shaphiro” families and special needs children since December 2021 have had a profound impact on the lives of participants.

The award ceremony created a significant impact on the audience, which included representatives from various churches, institutions, and theological colleges. The COVID heroes shared their inspirational stories, shedding light on the challenges faced by persons with disabilities and the tireless efforts undertaken to support and empower them.

By recognizing these exceptional individuals and initiatives, NCCI IDEA aims to encourage and inspire others to work towards the creation of an inclusive society. The event highlighted the significance of collaborative efforts in fostering a just community where all individuals, regardless of their disabilities, can flourish and thrive.

Events

Ecumenical Entrepreneurs Forum- Delhi Chapter

 

Are you a Christian Business Person in Delhi seeking the perfect network to grow, learn, and explore new possibilities?

Join us at the EEF Delhi Meet! RSVP