Saheli – Valencia Stree unit was founded on the instructions of parish priest Fr Bonaventure Nazareth on Women’s Day March 22 2009. A discussion meet was held on the same evening women empowerment in society and politics. Nearly 180 people partaken in the discussion. The convener of programme Dr Rozveera in her keynote address laid emphasis on women empowerment for human resources development and equal involvement of men and women in creating just society. Professor Judith Pinto of St Aloysius College was the resource person spoke on family relations, the role of women in families; the difficulties women face in the society. Professor Evelyn Bennys of Roshni Nilaya School of Social Work spoke on women role in politics and society. The parish priest put forth the proposal to begin Stree Songhotton in the parish. Accordingly, it was formed by electing 2 women representatives from each ward. It was named as Saheli.
A Holy Mass was offered at the church on June 7 2009 at 7.00am for the success of Saheli. The stage programme was held on the same evening. Professor Leena Fernandes of St Aloysius College was the resource person. She spoke on the essentials for happy family life. Saheli member Zina Machado presented cooking display on September 27 2009. Over 120 women were present.
Saheli also organized information programme on achieving success in business and financial sector on November 23 2010. The financial expert Andrew D’Cunha Bejai was the resource person offered info on mutual fund, health and general insurance, shares.
Jacinta Sequeira took over the charge of president from Dr Shara Lobo who left for better future on March 13 2009. In order to enhance the joys of Christmas and to encourage the Kuswar makers, Saheli put up stalls at the church to sell the Christmas goodies on December 20 2009. Saheli also put up food stalls during fancy fete held at church on December 25 2009.
The president and secretary of Saheli attended the meeting on February 24 2010, to organize celebrate deanery level Women’s Day.
The International Women’s Day was meaningfully celebrated at the leadership of Saheli on March 3 2010. The annual day celebration of Saheli also held on the same occasion. The Thanksgiving Mass was held at 6.30am with the involvement of all members in liturgical service. A discussion meet on Health and hygiene was held at 5.30pm.
Saheli put up stall to sell ‘Sorpotel’ Goan pork delicacy on vespers day May 10 2010, followed by annual feast on Wednesday May 11 2010. Saheli also put up stall to sell beverages and snacks that were prepared by members at home, during the cultural programmes held on May 12 2010 evening. The vocation guidance camp was held with the students of Class VIII, Class IX and Class X along with their parents on August 22 2010. Dr Norbert Lobo of St Aloysius College was the resource person. Over 100 students attended the camp along with their parents.
The International Elder’s Day was celebrated on September 26 2010. Kuswar stalls were put up from December 19 to 20; ‘Sorpotel’ and other goodies were sold from December 24 to December 25 2010.
Saheli has plans to celebrate annual day on March 6, to organize soft skills and communication camp for Class X students in April, to organize stress/time management program for the youth in July, to organize jumble sale in October, to organize cake cutting training and Kuswar sale in December. To sum up, Saheli has indeed contributed for the growth of parish and seeks the support of parish community.