Campos dos Goytacazes (Brazil) In the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, the Higher Institutes of the Educational Center of Mary Help of Christians (ISECENSA) are taking action to make their contribution. The teachers of the Nursing and Physiotherapy courses, in voluntary form, joined together as “Formiguinhas do Bem” for the production of protective gowns and facial masks to be donated to the health care workers of Campos dos Goytacazes and of the Region of Rio de Janeiro (Brazil ). In a first phase, a group of 300 seamstresses made the gowns using the material collected by the teachers and the university campus community. Subsequently, the ISECENSA laboratories dealt with packaging and sterilization. “The use of the autoclave guarantees the sterilization of the material that will be used by the professionals who are at the forefront in the treatment of coronavirus patients” – explains Felipe Jorge, coordinator of the Physiotherapy course.
The courses in Architecture, Urban Planning, and Production Engineering also joined the initiative: within the laboratory, students and teachers produce facial screens using 3D printers and laser cutting. According to Pompílio Reis, coordinator of the Production Engineering course, “Facial screens comply with the standards and requirements of ANVISA (Brazilian health regulatory agency) and contribute at this time to the need for PPE (personal protective equipment) in hospitals.”
“Everyone’s commitment is fundamental to face this moment. Our intention is to keep up production while we are inside the pandemic”- says the coordinator of the Nursing Course, Aline Marques. ISECENSA’s attention is also towards the economy, which is very affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. In this direction, a CENSA partner is collecting food through the students’ parents, to create and distribute basic food packages for the Tamarindo community. Local residents are essentially day laborers and street vendors who are currently in isolation and cannot work. The hygiene and cleaning materials were also donated to the Monsignor Severino Center and food to the Congregation of the Redemptorist Sisters, who distribute daily meals to the homeless. “By following our founders Don Bosco and Mother Mazzarello as an Educating Community, we are in solidarity with our brothers and sisters” – says Sister Rosa Idalia Pesca, director of CENSA.
Through social networks, there are also proposals for physical exercises, readings, courses, motivational videos, online teaching, discussion groups, artistic performances of students and, above all, social networks to keep the community united through prayer. All the teachers of the courses participate by publishing content with respect to their area. The material is collected in a newsletter, called the P&D Bulletin, available not only for students and teachers, but also for outsiders, as a resource to face this period of isolation.
“As Salesian educators, we follow the principle of solidarity and we must not neglect this unique moment that we are experiencing. We must stay strong to overcome this crisis and this will only be possible with everyone’s participation. We are not physically close, but we are united “– said Elizabeth Landim, deputy director of CENSA and ISECENSA.
“We believe that from this common commitment we will emerge stronger and richer in Christian humanism. We are living a true Easter,” says Sister Suraya Chaloub, director of ISECENSA.
Foto: Flickr FMA