Rio do Sul (Brazil). The Institute of Mary Help of Christians (IMA) of Rio do Sul, Santa Catarina, of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of the Province of Our Lady Aparecida (BAP), in collaboration with the Pastoral Care of Migrants of Diocesan Caritas, promoted an initiative to help refugees of the territory.
The “Networked Against Hunger” Campaign is promoted by the Brazil Salesian Network (RSB) to support actions against hunger. From 14 June to 9 July 2021, the teachers and families of IMA students contributed to the initiative by donating clothes, blankets, and food for more than 500 refugees.
Sr. Carmela and Sr. Isabel of the Diocesan Caritas, relate that refugees coming from countries with warmer climates, mainly Venezuela, Peru, Haiti, and Cuba are affected by the colder climate. “Initially men came looking for work. Now wives and children are arriving, unprepared to face the winter. The most urgent need is clothing and also food”.
Every week, the IMA Scholastic Pastoral, with the Volunteers Group of the Salesian Youth Articulation (AJS), and the IMA Triennium Group, collected donations to send to the Diocesan Caritas that took care of the distribution and thanked IMA for its collaboration, “It is the multiplication of bread and fish! It is a generous sharing with brothers and sisters who, at this moment, are most vulnerable”, stated Sr. Carmela.
The solidarity of the families of Rio do Sul is a sign of their ability to put themselves in the shoes of the other and to understand the importance of helping in times of difficulty. “We are in a city that has experienced many floods. Many people here have lost everything, and were helped and managed to recover. In situations like this, when we present the needs of refugees, empathy and charity are manifested”, explains Sr. Carmela.
The Animator of IMA, Angelita Maria Gambeta Stuepp, thanked the families and teachers who collaborated in the School’s initiative to contribute to the national Campaign “Networked Against Hunger”.