Melbourne (Agenzia Fides) - The phenomenon of malnutrition continues to spread in some of the poorest and most remote areas of Peru. In view of the upcoming holiday season, Catholic Mission Australia has launched its appeal highlighting the work of Catholic missionaries working in the Latin American Country in order to try to overcome the serious problem that primarily affects children. Among these missionaries, Catholic Mission cites Fr. Mauricio Careaga, who runs a feeding program for vulnerable children and young people in Yurimaguas in the Loreto region, in the Amazon. The Program, however needs urgent funds to expand and continue to save precious lives.
The theme of the campaign, "I was hungry and you gave me something to eat", is a story of despair but also of hope. "Some of the children who live in these areas are so desperate that they try every possible way to relieve the severe pain of hunger and end up eating the branches of trees and garbage" says Fr. Mauricio. "I feel terrible every time I see a hungry, malnourished or sick child, but funds have finished and without any aid I am not able to help everyone".
The National Director of Catholic Mission, Martin Teulan, stresses that with 54% of infant mortality due to malnutrition, the support of donors is fundamental for the survival of young children. Without meat, vegetables, milk, many children are victims of severe effects of malnutrition, leading to rickets, to a limited mental development as well as a very precarious immune system that makes them even more vulnerable to infection and disease. "I call on all Australians to support the work of Fr. Mauricio in Peru, so that all children can have a meal, not just for Christmas but for years to come", says Teulan in his appeal. (AP) (Agenzia Fides 30/10/2014)