Good Shepherd Recovery Home
How the centre came to be
Hilary Da Veiga comes from Goa, the youngest in a family of six. At the age of 21, he received a special anointing of the Lord. Since this experience, his commitment to Jesus has been the priority of his life. He became a member of the Catholic Charismatic Renewal and spent all his time teaching, preaching, and serving the Lord, in the UAE and Goa. In keeping with the mission of the Lord’s Ranch, the centre was opened in January 2010. The Good Shepherd Recovery Home operates in a structure built specifically for this purpose, with facilities for 60 residents with activities room, prayer room, games room, exercise room etc.
Eldred Tellis, Executive Director and Founder of Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust, develops targeted and sustained interventions for the Drug User (DU) community on the streets of Mumbai. His programs provide better health care and treatment facilities, offer counseling and assistance for recovery, provide livelihood building opportunities for the DUs and, ultimately help stem the spread of HIV/AIDS among the injecting Drug Users (IDUs). While Eldred was looking for a centre to restart a Residential programme, he received a call from Hilary in Dubai.
Hilary met Eldred in December 2009 and within a month the centre was started. This centre reaches out to the marginalized and accepts clients from every status in society. Drug users of all faiths are respected and no one is turned away for lack of funds.
For two people who never knew each other before, the main bonding came from their deep faith in God and the need to give back from what they have received.
What we do at G.S.R.H.
The Rehabilitation Programme at G.S.R.H. is based on Evidence Based Programs (E.B. Ps). Essentially, the Programme aims at restoring the self-image and self respect that the drug user and alcoholic had lost during his using period.
In a very real sense, we help the member to grow up. We help him see himself better and realize that finally, success in life is dependent upon responsibility towards oneself and others
The Therapeutic Community functions as a highly structured nurturing environment which encourages the members to develop through positive peer pressure, healthy relationships, sound values and a productive lifestyle, all in an absolutely drug free atmosphere.
To ensure the successful implementation of the programme G.S.R.H. uses a judicious mix of professional (doctors, social workers etc.) and paraprogessionals (ex-drug users).
Since the programme is essentially one of self-help and mutual help, each member benefits from the input of the trained staff as well as that of their fellow drug users.
Tools of the E.B.P.
- Morning Meeting: This happens everyday. The emphasis is on self discipline through awareness of attitudes. Members within the house bring ‘pull-ups’ and teach each other the values behind learning new behavior. There are 2 other parts to this meeting which includes sharing and performing activities which help challenge fears.
- Encounter Group: This tool is used to help deal with anger. Since rules do not permit any form of reaction, members are encouraged to ‘book’ a person for an encounter where feelings can be expressed freely. The action of ‘booking’ allows some percent of instant gratification and the session promotes equality, since even staff members can be booked for an encounter.
- Work Therapy: Drug users have generally taken the easy way out having very often resorted to anti-social activities to get drugs. During work therapy they are taught dignity of labour and also how everyone in a family contributes with different chores. Members are also exposed to different skills, like gardening and housekeeping, and can decide on options for the future.
- Prayer & Meditation: A very important tool in our land of spirituality. Members are encouraged to find their own Higher power. Through prayer they understand a new channel of communication to a God of their understanding and Meditation helps them grow in the spiritual dimension.
There are also other sessions like psychotherapy, seminars, debates, appreciation, exercise and games and individual counseling ALL contributing to the growth and well being of the individual.
Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust in Mumbai, a networking partner of the Lord’s Ranch Trust, assists with the Admission process, Detoxification programme and Family services. All those wishing to join the centre at Mulshi, Pune must first go through the detox centre – Sankalp Disha – at Vasai where they get a proper medical check up and psychiatric evaluation.
The family also meets with the counselor and consent from both drug user / alcoholic and family members is taken after the entire programme with its rules spelt out to the ‘client’ and his family. Written commitments are taken for the duration of treatment where the family is also asked to attend monthly meetings and individual counseling sessions.
The follow-up after discharge is also done by a family counselor at Sankalp Rehabilitation Trust so that the Reintegration process is supportive and smooth. Some clients on discharge may also opt to work in one of the various projects of Sankalp if they are found suitable.
The Lord’s Ranch offers a multiple of choices for those who are interested in remaining and becoming a member of their workforce by giving them training in hospitality, driving, gardening, and many other technical courses which will help them to further stabilize themselves and kick off the nasty habit.
Learn more about the Recovery home at www.goodshepherdrecoveryhome.org