On September 30, Pope Francis announced the appointment of the 10 new members to the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors. Among them there are two religious sisters: Sister Annah Theresa Nyadombo, a Carmelite Servant, the coordinator of the Catholic Bishops’ Conference of Zimbabwe, and Sister Niluka Perera, the coordinator of Catholic Care for Children International (CCCI) at the International Union of Superiors General (UISG). CCCI aims to support and encourage women religious to move from providing residential care for children to offering family- and community-based care programs.
Sr. Niluka says: “I am honored and very pleased to have been appointed by the Holy Father to serve on the Pontifical Commission for the Protection of Minors (PCPM). I see it as a call to serve the Universal Church. Safeguarding has been a priority for the Good Shepherd Congregation as well as for UISG and CCCI. Taking on this new role as a member of the Commission at this point is an opportunity to work in collaboration with others to lead efforts in safeguarding within all our institutions.”
Sr. Niluka, a member of the Congregation of Our Lady of Charity of the Good Shepherd, Province of Sri Lanka/Pakistan since 1996, is a professional social worker with a master’s degree in social work from the University of Mumbai-India. She has served in her congregation’s ministries as a social worker working in different capacities including the care of children in both institutional and community-based settings. She has advocated for the rights and needs of the child and in particular for the right of each child to have a family for healthy and holistic development. She has worked to bring about changes in the care sector by initiating family- and community-based child protection programmes in Sri Lanka.
Sr. Niluka has served as a member of the Good Shepherd Justice and Peace Commission in her province in Sri Lanka and in the Good Shepherd Asia/Pacific JPIC network. She has represented the Congregation at various meetings of social networks/groups at local and international levels particularly in relation to issues concerning women and children. She spent a period of six months in the congregation’s NGO office in Geneva where she participated in a Human Rights study programme.