Venezuela - Solidarity with the "S" of Salesians

08 November 2017

(ANS - Caracas) - Venezuela is suffering from one of the worst food crises in its history. High prices, shortage of basic necessities, growth in shopping restrictions,  insufficient living wages, hours and hours of waiting in line to buy what little there is with the money available ... But the worst and and most painful scenes are those of whole families sifting through trash in search of something with which to survive.

The serious situation that many Venezuelans are experiencing has awakened the solidarity of several institutions, including the Catholic Church. "The Venezuelan Church is dealing with the poorest and most vulnerable population of four states: Capital District (Caracas), Vargas, Miranda and Zulia, where the nutritional deficit is 70% and where 8% of children suffer from severe malnutrition," said Dr. Susana Rafalli of Caritas Venezuela at a press conference with foreign media.

In this context, the Salesians have been extremely active: in the parishes entrusted to the Sons of Don Bosco, various programs have been launched to offer the most needy at least something to eat: at the "Mary Help of Christians" Parish of Boleita, Caracas, for example, through the "Saucepan of Solidarity" program, every Friday a meal for about 300 people, preferably young and old, is served.

In the "Mary Help of Christians" parish of Sarría, a district of the capital, the initiative is called "the Stew of Solididarity": it is made on Friday, every two weeks, and benefits some 200 people in need, including a large group of children.

Even in the popular area of Petara, again in Caracas, young people and children attending the Brisas de Turumo oratory have begun receiving a plate of food. "This initiative was born because many children reported they ate little or nothing. The first day we did this activity, some children asked if they could bring something home to their families, as even at home they had nothing to eat," one of the oratory's coordinators said.

The activities carried out in the parishes and oratories depend solely on the solidarity of people. Everyone contributes according to their possibilities: some with food, others with money, some with time spent volunteering. Undoubtedly, the "S" of Solidarity is also the "S" of the Salesians.

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