Bethesda-Khankho Foundation

Som-Inn: A Kuki Integral Learning Centre

'SOM-INN’ refers to the Home, also called Bachelor Dormitory, in the Kuki traditional culture where young people come together for integral learning. It was in the Som where one received training in all possible fields of knowledge, wisdom, skills and cultural values.

With the coming of Christianity in the later part of the nineteenth century, this valuable tradition along with many other good cultural values were abandoned, leaving the new generation/Christians with no cultural support. Hence, the present identity crisis of the people started to developed.

With this background the ‘Som-Inn’ was born as an indigenous ministry of the Kuki Worship Service, Pune in July 2005. It is a Home/Accommodation for university students with the primary goal to discover transformative values of the people’s cultural practice without losing their Christian identity by fostering integral learning, Christian discipleship and maturity.

The philosophical and cultural foundation and goal is Khankho, the concept of love and undeserving sacrificial life for others exemplified and fulfilled by Christ on the Cross.

The Lord has laid a burden for Som-Inn in the hearts of the members of the Kuki Worship Service, Pune, in Central India, for many years. After much prayers and deliberations on February 6, 2005 the Som-Inn ministry was officially inaugurated during the Decade Celebration of KWSP in Pune in the presence of All India Kuki Worship Service leaders, including the chairman and the secretary of the organization, Rev Dino L Touthang and Rev Paothang Haokip. Som-Inn was God’s timely answer to our long sustaining prayers!

Being far away from home, parents, and mother churches, Kuki students in the cities struggle between their own Christian way of life and the seemingly promising career and lifestyles attractive to their eyes. The fast changing value systems and advancements in the field of Science and technology often make young people prey to self-destruction. Som-Inn provides safe environment for integral learning to university students.

Besides, Som-Inn re-connects the people back to their culture and provides them a cultural foundation along side their Christian principles. Finally, re-introducing transformative elements of our cultures will not only give us foundation but also enable us to contribute to the wider global society, fulfilling God’s purpose in our culture.

Som-Inn is blessed with an excellent three bedroom house with a lovely surrounding and space for recreation. It is located 6 km away from the Pune Railway Station. The Home can accommodate an average of ten students and we have had many students completing their studies paving the way for good careers. While many of our products have got good jobs and contribute to a wider society, one of them is currently pursuing his MBA in London.

Aims and Objectives:

Spiritual

To Impart Christian teachings and values while the students pursue their careers To enable students to bear testimonies for Christ in their studies and lifestyles To develop awareness among students about their responsibilities towards the church and society To train up students for effective leadership in the fast changing society Intellectual To help students cultivate a healthy approach to regular studies and mastery of their chosen disciplines To encourage students to discover their gifts and talents, which in turn would help them in responding to the challenges of the society

Social

To develop a sense of oneness among the students. To foster healthy relationships among them To promote awareness of realities and issues of the present day society To establish links and maintain peaceful coexistence with others

Management

Som-Inn is managed by the Managing Board set up by the KWS Pune with selected seniors as Consultants. Resident Discipler There is Resident Discipler who implements the rules and regulations and also supervises the proper functioning of the Som-Inn.

The Prefect

To assist the Resident Discipler, a Prefect is appointed from the Som-Inners for a term of six months. The Prefect represents the views of the Som-Inners to the Resident Discipler and also represents the Som-Inn to outside activities. Training Programme

Physical and Social Development:

For the physical and social development of each member, regular physical exercise, sports, community works and social activities are emphasized. There is a social work activity once a month. Each student is given opportunities for his personal development. The kitchen is managed by the students. Each member is given an opportunity to manage the kitchen for a month.

By Revd Dr J Lamboi Haokip, 7 Knightswood Courts, Glasgow, United Kingdom. September 12, 2011.