Peru – Many the poor knocking at parish door of Mary Help of Christians and Casa Don Bosco, say: "Thank you, God bless you"

31 March 2020

(ANS - Lima) - Peru is one of the Latin American nations that can be defined as a "young country". According to the National Institute of Statistics and Computer Science (INEI), one third of the population, that is, 10,338,000 people are children and adolescents from zero to 17 years of age, but unfortunately the country has the highest child labor rate in South America with 1,274,000 children and adolescents carrying out dangerous jobs. The Salesians of Don Bosco, who first arrived in 1891, are aware of this situation and wherever there is a Salesian House they have created the "Don Bosco Shelter Homes", where hundreds of these adolescents and young people are taken care of.

Due to the Covid-19 epidemic, the shelters have been forced to look after young people 24 hours a day. "With this new situation, the timetables and forms of attention to our recipients have been distorted; this is why we offer them moments to nourish the spirit: prayer, the thought of the 'Salesian good morning', the Rosary, daily Mass, and the thought of the 'good night'. At the same time, we have organized the time for cleaning activities, maintenance of gardens, walls and floors, virtual lessons, sports and sports spaces," writes Fr Julio Acurio, SDB.

"We have seen the images from many parts of the world, especially from Italy," comments Fr Rafael Vildozo, SDB, "and we immediately asked ourselves: why don't we go to help people, too? And so, that's what we're doing." In fact, the boys of the "Casa Don Bosco" in Breña, Lima, started to go to help the poorest and most needy people.

"A team of people, together with the youngsters, have formed the 'emergency team', after requesting special permits, because we are an organization that takes care of minors and families at social risk. Every day, the members of this team collect food donations that are used in our homes, to share them with the poorest, with those who have a precarious job and for whom this period of social immobility means zero income. Everything that is donated every day is packed by the boys themselves, and we have called them 'bags of salvation' because they are the 'salvation of the poor'," says a young man from the Don Bosco House.

"Many poor people knock on the door of the parish of Mary Help of Christians and of the Don Bosco House. We know that Covid-19 can make you sick and kill you, but the hunger and despair of not being able to take care of children and the elderly is worse," comments Fr Acurio.

"Every time we give a 'bag of salvation' we tell them that it is from God and Don Bosco and their answer is simple: 'Thank you, God bless you', while their pained faces become faces of joy, at least for another day," say Fr Acurio and Fr Vildozo.


ANS - “Agenzia iNfo Salesiana” is a on-line almost daily publication, the communication agency of the Salesian Congregation enrolled in the Press Register of the Tibunal of Rome as n 153/2007.

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