FMA in Itajaí, Santa Catarina: helping the victims of the catastrophe. Sorrow and solidarity

FMA in Itajaí, Santa Catarina: helping the victims of the catastrophe. Sorrow and solidarity

When  Santa Catarina began to suffer the consequences of the rain, mudslides and flooding,  The school of Lar P. Jacó, administered by the Salesian Sisters of the province of Porto Alegre who daily attend to 400 children, adolescents and young people, its collaboration to the victims of the Catastrophe in the city of   Itajaí.

As soon as they became aware of what was happening, one of the greatest catastrophes ever registered in the region, the FMA of Lar P. Jacó immediately made themselves available to the Civil Defense in the area, spreading out from one side of the city to the other, transporting entire families and helping themselves to get settled in a dignified manner.  They worked together with the SDB of the Parque Dom Bosco and of the Salesian College.  Now the FMA, together with the laity, even those who have lost everything in the catastrophe, have rolled up their sleeves and are working to bring aid to those who are homeless.  There are many stories of sorrow and lament, but also many of solidarity and forgetfulness of self in favor of those who suffer.

On November 23 when the rivers overflowed flooding 90% of the city of Itajaí, many of the FMA and SDB opened their doors and their hearts to welcome them. This was the key word:  welcome them into the physical space, but even more in the inner space, offering comfort and consolation.  Approximately a thousand families have received aid from the FMA and SDB.  On the first day alone many people were fed with bread, meat and other foods.  The supermarkets were under water, so all that the FMA and SDB had was put together and distributed to those in need.

On November 28 the Civil Defense set up a camp at Lar P.Jacó and even there the FMA could be found.  Now the water is going down and families want to return home to begin rebuilding, but frequently they find nothing.  What are they to do?
For this reason Lar P. Jacó prepares meals for 3000 every day.  The people have no possibility for cooking.  Meanwhile the Civil Defense has entrusted to Lar P. Jacó and to the Sisters the preparation of food for the people.  Every basket contains 5 small rolls, a bowl with hot soup, and liters of water.  It is the Sisters, assisted by the laity who go to where the families are to be found to give their support.
On the 28th 4,600 baskets were prepared and distributed.  On the 29th, more than 3,100 baskets. On December 1, 1,800 during the morning and more than 1,200 in the evening.  The Civil Defense has determined which zones are more in an emergency situation.  Among these those that have been served by the FMA are the neighborhoods of  Vila da Miséria, Pró-Morar (1, 2 and 3), Cordeiros e São Vicente.

Lar P. Jacó, situated in the  Fazendo, in Itajaí, was not touched by the water, but it was not possible to work with the children who are usually there because of the priority of assisting the homeless.  The waters are receding, but there is a movement of the land and mudslides that are razing many houses.
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