AMERICA/URUGUAY - "Let's spread hope": Caritas competition, committed throughout the country since the first signs of the pandemic

Saturday, 16 May 2020 caritas   coronavirus   local churches  

Montevideo (Agenzia Fides) - For the sixth consecutive year Caritas Uruguay launches the national illustration competition on the theme "Let's spread hope". In this particular moment marked by the pandemic, Caritas invites children, adolescents, young people and adults to express, through drawing, how they imagine getting together after isolation. With these creations, the authors will be able to win important prizes and illustrate the "solidarity postcards" that Caritas Uruguay prepares every year for Christmas.
Inspired by Alexis Valdés' poem entitled "Hope", Caritas suggests some food for thought: "How do you imagine gatherings and seeing friends, colleagues, loved ones? What are your biggest wishes in this moment of uncertainty? What good things have you discovered in this period? What actions or thoughts are you applying or would you like, in order to bring hope? After reflecting, we invite you to express yourself and illustrate how you imagine the end of the pandemic, being with your loved ones, the good actions you desire for this world inspired by hope".
The Social Pastoral-Caritas groups of all the dioceses of Uruguay have been active since the first warning signs appeared in the country in the face of the Covid-19 health emergency, in mid-March. "Organizing solidarity is a great challenge in a scenario where the fear of contagion and economic uncertainty prevail, but thanks to the generosity and dedication of many, it is possible", underlines Caritas Uruguay.
Among the initiatives carried out in this period in the country, the collection in the parishes of foodstuffs and hygiene products that are distributed to families in situations of need, with particular attention to migrants and people living on the street; the setting up of "popular canteens"; the distribution of school supplies and games for children who are forced to stay at home. In many places, a listening service has been activated for those who are alone at the moment, and telephone support, especially for the elderly.
In the diocese of Melo, penitentiary Pastoral care collects clothing and hygiene items to be delivered to people deprived of their liberty. Some communities in the diocese of Salto, the largest in the country, prepare face masks which then they donate to people who live on the street and to those who work at the service of public canteens, as well as collaborate in the preparation of protective clothing for the staff of the local hospital. Another service is offered by professionals (social worker, psychologist, lawyer, economist, university students ...) who offer their professional skills. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 16/5/2020)