ASIA/INDONESIA - The Catholic Church is always present where situations of poverty and illness are most urgent: the Camillians on the island of Flores help about 700 families

Saturday, 8 August 2020

Maumere (Agenzia Fides) - The coronavirus pandemic has also reached Indonesia with about 120,000 infected cases and more than 5,000 deaths. In particular, large cities such as Jakarta, Surabaya, Bali, Medan have been affected, where the government immediately imposed lockdown measures with the consequences of a predictable increase in poverty for thousands of families and workers.
"The island of Flores, one of the 17 thousand that make up the Indonesian archipelago with 1.9 million inhabitants, has fortunately registered only a hundred infections and so far no deaths" writes to Agenzia Fides Father Luigi Galvani, Camillian missionary pioneer of the mission of his institute in Flores more than 10 years ago (see Fides, 29/5/2009).
"The preventive measures imposed by local authorities right from the very beginning with the closure of schools, churches, mosques, hotels and meeting places were very important - adds the missionary. Unfortunately, however, many workers, especially occasional workers on the island, have lost their jobs, thus increasing their already existing situation of family poverty".
"The Camillian missionaries did not remain insensitive and organized a program of concrete food assistance that reached about 700 families dispersed in the various villages, even the farthest on the island. This was possible - explains Galvani - thanks above all to special help from the Camillian Task Force in Rome. Among the beneficiaries, in addition to the 100 families with suspected cases of infection, about fifty mentally ill patients for whom the missionaries had built special houses throughout the year (see Fides, 15/3/2019), a group of patients with HIV, and hundreds of needy families from various villages.
Father Galvani concluded by stressing that "the people's gratitude responses have been moving and this has recharged the missionaries with new enthusiasm, but above all have testified once again how the Catholic Church is always present with its solidarity where the most urgent cases are those regarding situations of poverty and disease". (LG/AP) (Agenzia Fides, 8/8/2020)