Florina Immaculate Mary Benoit

Assistant Manager for Industrial Social Work, Training and Development Section, Loyola College

December 2008: After completing my PhD in social work, I also terminated my position at the Henry Martyn Institute and came back to Chennai to be with Ashok. Currently, I am working as Assistant Manager for Industrial Social Work, Training and Development Section, in the human resources management section of Loyola College. I am enjoying this work, visiting families of employees and planning trainings for them.

In my free time I continue to volunteer with the refugees in the Organization for Eelam Refugee Rehabilitation (OeFFR). Ashok and I offer extensive trainings in support of Tamil refugees from Sri Lanka. We travel frequently to Sri Lanka–where hundreds of thousands are also in refugee camps.

December 2006: I am working as theAssociate Director–Praxis in the Henry Martyn Institute: International Center for Research, Interfaith Relations and Reconciliation (HMI). I head four teams: Conflict Transformation, Community Development, Women’s Interfaith Journey, and Relief and Rehabilitation. In this job I use my learning in both social work and conflict transformation.

The Relief and Rehabilitation project is related to the tsunami and is funded by MCC . I directly work with a vibrant team of nine members and 20 other project staff. We use workshops as a methodology for intervention. I facilitate a lot of workshops, along with the team. I enjoy what I do especially because it is an integration of social work and peacebuilding work.

I travel quite a bit with my work to North East India. I will shortly be traveling to Gujarat and Kashmir. I also went to Pakistan as part of the Fulbright team from India.

I am still working on my PhD, and it looks like I will submit by Jan 2007.

This summer we had the privilege of having many of the South Asian Fulbright scholars from CTP along with Nancy Good and Jayne Docherty visit us in our home in Chennai. I also went to Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Manipur and met with my class mates. We have truly been blest to have had these opportunities. In fact, recently I went to Babloo’s house to see his third baby, born one day after his wife ate the food I cooked in his house in Manipur.

I am still happily married to Ashok and think that being in EMU together helped us in building that bond.

December 2005: The tsunami took us by surprise. We landed in Chennai on the 1st of January (2005) and Ashok started work on 2nd. He organized a state level survey to be conducted by 1500 social work students in all the affected areas. When I returned to Chennai on the 17 th, I also started the tsunami work.

At the moment I am not affiliated to any one organization. I work as the need arises in various tsunami projects. We visited in the affected villages, and the stories are pathetic. Many lives have been lost and a lot of property washed away.