AMERICA/COLOMBIA - The pandemic has highlighted fragility, weaknesses and the need to support each other in faith and fraternity

Friday, 19 February 2021

Bogotà (Agenzia Fides) - "Lent is the right place that invites us to share, to the charity that comes from the heart and not from appearances. This time of pandemic has highlighted fragility, weakness and the need to support each other in faith and fraternity which are the values promoted by the campaign", said the Secretary General of the Colombian Episcopal Conference (CEC), Mgr. Elkin Fernando Álvarez Botero, Bishop of Santa Rosa de Osos, presenting the campaign "Comunicación Cristiana de Bienes 2021" whose motto is: "Reach those in need".
The Secretary General underlined how this year's campaign is taking place in a context full of difficulties due to the pandemic and recalled the words of Pope Francis when he asks in this period of health emergency, that a time of solidarity is to be lived, of sharing and during which we let ourselves be touched by the sufferings of others. The motto chosen for the Campaign invites us not to remain insensitive to the social dynamics of poverty, exclusion, lack of resources and the inability to access fundamental resources to survive.
Mgr. Héctor Fabio Henao Gaviria, Director of the National Secretariat for Social Pastoral Care (SNPS) / Caritas Colombia, stressed that the Campaign in the context of the pandemic, launches an important challenge for everyone to reach those who are in need. He highlighted three aspects that frame the campaign in this Lenten season: conversion in the midst of the crisis that humanity is currently going through due to Covid-19; prayer, which unites everyone in a great trust in the hands of God, and finally fasting, which leads to "mortifications, according to which we can carry out actions of solidarity, to go out to meet others and reach those in need".
Mgr. Henao Gaviria stressed that in 2020 the emergency fund was used to provide emergency aid following natural disasters, such as in the case of Hurricane Iota: 2,832 families were helped for a total of 10,446 people. In addition, a response was provided to the extremely poor population, who in this period of pandemic needed humanitarian aid in various ways (food, legal assistance, medicine, psychosocial assistance etc…). Aid was provided to 4,028 refugees, while 22,523 food kits, 17,611 hygiene kits were distributed and 3,099 biosecurity kits delivered. Legal assistance was also provided to 6,200 people, training to 3,557 people and psychosocial assistance to 8,963 people. Finally, Mgr. Henao Gaviria urged the community to continue united to maintain the capacity to help, through the campaign, and therefore, as a Church, to have a gesture of fraternity towards those most in need. (SL) (Agenzia Fides, 19/2/2021)