"Casa Betania" is a project of the Sisters of Marie Reparatrice and smr. volunteers, located in a human settlement on the outskirts of Lima, La Ensenada.
Our presence there is full of activities, but the strong point is the presence, the face to face with the people, expressed in a thousand ways: visits to families, psychological and spiritual accompaniment, workshops for women, youth and children, school reinforcement, construction and improvement of housing.
COVID touched our hearts. It was impossible to continue in the same way. However, the essence of the project had now, more than ever, its raison d'être: PRESENCE, LISTENING, CLOSENESS, ACCOMPANIMENT, COMFORT, COMPASSION. These are the words that mark our Being.
We could not be present, but we looked for a way to be there in another way, because people were suffering a lot.
In coordination with other groups
- With the Parish "San Damiano de Molokai" we joined to collaborate economically for the delivery of baskets from house to house, where Saholy and Chantal, sisters of the Ensenada Community, participated directly.
- With the Community of Punto Corazón, basically to help with medicine to some families in need.
- We also offered our economic contribution to the youth group "Los Vago Videos", former members of the Youth Community of the Parish, for the delivery of food to the poorest people of the Ensenada Community.
- We coordinated with the social pastoral of the Parish "Santa María Reparadora" of Naranjal, because they wanted to take and share bags of food. We put them in contact with volunteers of the Project who are from Ensenada, so that they could look for those most in need in their neighborhood and on three occasions they were able to share food and hope with approximately 60 families.
- The associates of Mary Reparatrix have supported the activity of the solidarity menus.
- With the young missionaries of "Maria Reparadora" of Villa del Norte, we made a campaign to collect money to buy bags of groceries and to share with the Community of Nueva Fortaleza and Vista Hermosa. To which we also gave an economic contribution for this campaign, where 80 families benefited.
As Casa Betania:
A good ally to be able to carry out all this, has been the wasap and telephone. Through these means we coordinate with the leaders of the neighborhood communities.
Much of our work has been to be and create bridges. Bridges between people who wanted to support economically and others who received a solidarity voucher that allowed them to buy food.
Bridges between people who wanted to support with school reinforcement through zoom, and children who need this service. It has been an experience that has taught us a lot, because we have had teachers from many parts of the world. It is an open door that we hope not to close.
Bridges between the project coordination and the neighborhood leaders for the organization of "common pots", thanks to this initiative and the generous work of women and men, many families of the Ensenada have been able to have a hot meal during the confinement. Among them are elderly and vulnerable people.
The small family stores of Ensenada have also been part of this effort. We placed the orders by phone, they prepared them and the families went to pick them up.
Faced with a reality of quarantine, social isolation and uncertainty, the phone calls to ask how they are, to accompany them in their grief, to listen to them, etc. proved to be very important for people because they feel accompanied, listened to, they raise their spirits, they unburden themselves, etc. because the impotence of having sick relatives, or not being able to watch over their dead, or not being at their burial, or losing their job are very strong realities and we offer them this space to listen or channel them as requested for psychological support online with a volunteer with a degree in psychology.
The toy library, which is open every Saturday in Ensenada, is now virtual. An excellent initiative supported by a group of young people "La quinta de la felicidad" (The fifth of happiness).
And all this continues ....
The COVID, is producing a lot of suffering, we have felt it, but it has also generated a whole network of solidarity, much of it coordinated from the media that has taught us that in the hearts of people there is goodness and there are many people who want to care for others. That many people need channels, BRIDGES through which solidarity flows and we have learned that this is also our mission.
We thank God for the charism of reparation that always pushes us to MORE, to go out..... To go out to meet the other and there... God meets us.