Genesis

It was in the year 1978 that Irinjalakuda diocese was erected bifurcating Thrissur Diocese and Msgr. James Pazhayattil was appointed as the bishop of the new diocese. Right after the inauguration of the diocese and the Episcopal ordination, bishop Mar James Pazhayattil initiated the formation of a social development organization out of his concern for the poor, the needy and the marginalized. Thus Social Action Forum came into existence. But he found it hard to go forward with this, due to lack of fund to implement programs. To overcome this and go forward with the original plan of social work organization the bishop initiated Social Forum which was registered as a charitable society and Msgr. G.T Thekkekara was appointed as the Director. Under Social Form, kuries were started and the profit arising from the kuries were channelized towards the implementation of social welfare programs and activities under Social Action Forum.

After the sad demise of Msgr. G.T Thekkekkara in 1982, Fr. Paul Elamkunnapuzha, who was then the associate director, was appointed as the director of Social Forum Kuries and Social Action Forum Irinjalakuda (SAFI). SAFI as an NGO started its operation from a small space in the auditorium of the Bishop’s House with minimum facilities. SAFI was registered as a Charitable Society in 1983 under TCLSC Societies Act of 1955. In 1984 SAFI’s office was shifted to the Pastoral Centre of the diocese from where SAFI operated for the next 12 years. In 1995 the office was relocated to the Social Forum building from where it continues to operate. The agency, which was started as a small organization concentrating mostly on charitable works has now flourished into a Social Work agency concentrating more on sustainable developmental works. SAFI makes use of the resources, modern facilities as well as modern technologies available in the society to make its activities more effective and serve the community more efficiently. It partners with national and international agencies, state and central governments, business firms, banks and other financial institutions, insurance companies etc. to serve the people and the community. In 2003-2005 SAFI made a dramatic role shifting from service provider to facilitation and catalyst to ensure actualization of program and to ensure sustainability. An intensive collaborative strategy was evolved with government and non-government organizations and was added to its list of objectives. SAFI continues to work on the same line giving more importance to developmental and participatory approach without disregarding charity works which reveal the merciful face of Jesus....