Lorena (Brazil). On 8 March 2022, the Maria Rita Pèrillier Social Center (CEMARI) of the Daughters of Mary Help of Christians of Our Lady of Aparecida (SP) Province of Lorraine, Sao Paulo, celebrated International Women’s Day with a moment of homage to women on the theme “Live and resist”, with some testimonies and sharing of experiences.
Sr. Guadalupe Lara Briceno, head of the Salesian Work for Fraternal Support (OSAF), of which CEMARI is a member, welcomed the women present, encouraging each one to reflect on what it means to be a woman. She then spoke of the gender inequalities that still discriminate against women in the workplace and in society, the persistence of stereotypes linked to the female figure, and the need to recognize the role of women in society. “We need to stop and reflect on these urgencies immediately, starting from Living so that the woman may be, ‘Seed that explodes in life, which breaks down the barriers of fear and pain. And she erupts into a painful birth to say yes to eternal love’ (P. Jurandir, ofm).”
As a concrete gesture of prayer, the women were invited to take a balloon and launch it on high, sending their energies of good to all the women of the world. At the end, they hugged their balloon until it burst, expressing words of strength and resilience, addressed to Ukrainian women as a gesture of solidarity and closeness.
Following this, two women were invited to bring their testimony made up of struggles, dreams, Resistance, and overcoming difficulties in daily life.
The social worker, Dr. Mariane Dotti, closed the meeting by talking about the importance of believing in oneself and trusting in the gift that God has given to each one, with a poem by Bráulio Bessa that begins by saying, “Only one day / One day is too little to celebrate women / A poem / A rose / Any tribute / Words are too few.”
At the end, Sr. Guadalupe gave each one an ecological bag made by the students and invited everyone to a simple moment of fraternity.
Social Center Maria Rita Pèrillier (CEMARI), since 2004, has been a point of reference in the city of Lorraine as a socio-educational work that works on coexistence and strengthening of family and community ties, on the promotion of women, and on the development of the potential and the protagonism of children and of young people between 6 and 15 years old. Every day it offers them sporting, cultural, recreational, and citizenship activities, trying to restore meaning to experiences and relationships.