• Gustavo Driau

"Women Health" project leaders contribute to alleviating hunger in Peru.

Updated: Jul 21, 2020

Life in the "Human Settlement January 31" in Piura, Peru, has always been very difficult due to the lack of sanitation and drainage infrastructure, drinking water, pavement, school buildings, and public health. Families live on unstable jobs that are barely enough for daily sustenance.

In addition to socioeconomic vulnerability, anxiety, and concern for their health are higher in times of COVID-19.

Because of the confinement, everyone should stay at home, and there is no possibility to work. If they cannot work, they cannot buy food, and hunger lurks.

Due to the pandemic, vulnerable social sectors in Latin America are poorer, much more unequal, and with a very uncertain immediate future.

In times of pandemic, we are all adapting to a new way of living, working, and communicating, but it requires more effort from communities in poverty. Solidarity between neighbors is a weapon to face the lack of food and medicine, particularly the women of the community help each other and organize to alleviate the needs.

The Lutheran congregation "Cristo El Rey" in Piura, which is part of the Lutheran Church of Peru, IL-P, is implementing in the "Human Settlement January 31" the Health with Women project, with the support of the ELCA World Hunger campaign.

The project focuses on training and information for the prevention of domestic violence and the health of women in vulnerable sectors.

Since March 2020, and due to the pandemic, the project has developed an information and food distribution campaign to alleviate hunger, with the support of funds from LDR (Lutheran Disaster Response)

The support program to alleviate hunger has several people involved because there are many tares to carry out, buy food, weigh and separate the quantities, bag, prepare the baskets, and then distribute. As part of the project, the local leaders of the Lutheran church, Marisol Velasco and her collaborators, have distributed information and prevention about the coronavirus with "under the door" leaflets, to avoid contact between people.

Leaders like the sisters of Dilcia Feria Razuri and Edna Frannaly have a fundamental role in the purchase, preparation and distribution of food, and in contacting women and families in need

The project activities now include information on prevention and care regulations through WhatsApp groups.

In the context of preventive and compulsory social isolation, access to the Internet is very important for both children and adults; connectivity plays a central role in communication, access to information, and participation in networks.

In the "Human Settlement January 31", several members of the church have died with coronavirus. Pastoral care and containment are usually important in a situation of pandemic, isolation, and death. For this task, the Internet and social networks, WhatsApp and Facebook, also play a fundamental role.

In addition to emergency food aid, the leaders of the Lutheran congregation Cristo El Rey assist its members and families through face-to-face visits, especially when families have suffered the death of a member; to make the visits, they comply with the rules of prevention.

The Lutheran Church of Peru (IL-P) provides support to its leaders and pastors through weekly conversations and interviews using social media.

Marisol Velasco, the project´s local leader wrote:

Blessings in Jesus. Piura has a very hard reality, and food help means a lot for many families here; food help means life now in our community.

God bless you and your family, and the brothers in the ELCA, their pastors and bishops.

Thanks to everyone for the food aid. We thank you all our hearts.

I join in prayer for each one of you in Argentina, Costa Rica, Colombia, united states, in all churches and all congregations.

Thank you.

God always bless all of you

Local pastor César Castillo has written:

God bless you, sisters Dilcia Feria Razuri, and Edna Frannaly, and Marisol Velasco, for your work in the church. Your people thank you for the time and dedication effort, and also thank our Presiding Pastor President Rev: Adita Torres, for your love and dedication to the Cristo El Rey community in Piura. Food assistance is a very good project many families will benefit

Pastor Adita Torres has written:

We thank God for being called to serve, accompany, and comfort our brothers and sisters who suffer the most in this time of the pandemic. Thanks to all our companion churches that, with their contribution, make it possible to share bread. God bless you for the work that brothers and sisters of the Cristo Rey Church in Piura are doing.

With concrete diaconal actions of health care, food assistance, and pastoral and spiritual accompaniment, the Lutheran Church of Peru expresses the compassion and concern of God for the needy and affected, sustaining the community and building hope.

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