The Focolare social organizations serve more than 3,500 families and create networks of solidarity during the pandemic.
Distributed throughout the country, the twenty-one social organizations inspired by the charism of the Focolare Movement are giving an important witness of solidarity and fraternity during this pandemic.
The relationship established over the years with families in conditions of social vulnerability has enabled these organizations to become aware of the many challenges they face in these difficult times. And the list is long.
The communities denounce the fear of exposure to the virus, the situation of their small and often unhealthy homes, where social isolation is almost impossible, the difficulty of receiving government assistance, the crowding in hospitals and public transport and the enormous rates of unemployment: according to a study published by the newspaper Nexo, in the slums, 7 out of 10 families have members who are unemployed during the pandemic.
In all of this, as we know, the pandemic is not democratic.
“Even in the midst of the difficulties, we have the desire to continue now with more vigor to ‘give our lives’ for our people. For this reason, social organizations continue to serve their communities in a new way. We do not have people attending our activities, but the work continues,” stresses Virginia Tesini, national representative of the Focolare Movement for social initiatives.
All the organizations have carried out actions of solidarity during this period. And we would like to share with you some statistics regarding this network of generosity, thanks to the contribution of many members and friends of the Focolare Movement and of these organizations: 3500 people helped regularly; 130 tons of non-perishable food donated; 3 tons of fresh food; 30 tons of hygienic and cleaning materials; 30,000 lunches distributed; 10,000 fabric masks.
Creativity is great and even the food baskets typical of the June festivities have been distributed, strengthening our culture.
“In addition, several of our organizations have networked for fund raising, solidarity gymkana, donations of works of art by artists with sales through social networks and donation of funds to the organization, virtual services with a team of professionals for people suffering from depression and anxiety, courses, actions to prevent coronavirus and even job and income creation with the production of masks, to name but a few initiatives,” completed Tesini.
In the face of such challenging realities and such immediate and human responses, we can only agree with Pope Francis in his letter to the popular movements, of which we quote a passage below:
“If the struggle against COVID-19 is a war, then you are truly an invisible army, fighting in the most dangerous trenches; an army whose only weapons are solidarity, hope, and community spirit, all revitalizing at a time when no one can save themselves alone. As I told you in our meetings, to me you are social poets because, from the forgotten peripheries where you live, you create admirable solutions for the most pressing problems afflicting the marginalized”
If you want ,even at a distance, to contribute to some solidarity actions of the social initiatives of the Focolare Movement in Brazil, see the list below.
Porto Alegre (RS) – AFASO-RS – Associação de Famílias em Solidariedade do Rio Grande do Sul.
Florianópolis (SC) – IVG – Vilson Groh Institute
Curitiba (PR) – Anpecom (com atuação nacional) -> extraordinary campaign Covid-19
Vargem Grande Paulista (SP) – Mariápolis Ginetta – SMF – Sociedade Movimento dos Focolari
Itapetininga (SP) – ANSPAZ – Associação Nossa Senhora Rainha da Paz (national performance)
Guaratinguetá (SP) – Fazenda da Esperança – Campanha emergencial para abrigar moradores de rua (internationally active organisation)
São José do Rio Pardo (SP) – MAPEAR – Association Mobilizando Amigos pelo Amor
Rio Grande da Serra (SP) – PROFAVI – Promoção a Favor da Vida
São Paulo (SP) – AFAGO-SP – Association of family, group and community support – São Paulo
Rio de Janeiro (RJ) – Grupo Pensar
Rio de Janeiro (RJ) – CMSMA – Casa do menor São Miguel Arcanjo (internationally active organisation)
Juiz de Fora (MG) – Casa Bethanea
Brasília (DF) – AFAGO-DF – Associação de apoio à família, ao grupo e à comunidade do Distrito Federal
Maceió (AL) – IMU – Instituto Mundo Unido
Recife (PE) – Escola Santa Maria
Recife (PE) – AACA – Associação de apoio à criança y ao adolescente
Recife (PE) – Comunidade Católica Lumen
Teresina (PI) – NAV – Núcleo de Ação Voluntária
Itapecuru-Mirim (MA) – SERCOM – Serviço Comunidadrio – Projeto Magnificat
Belém (PA) – Mariápolis Glória – NAC – Núcleo de Ação Comunitária
Manaus (AM) – ACACF – Associação Comunitária de Apoio à Criança e à Família – Projeto Roger Cunha Rodrigues