Provide for Marian Sisters Who Care for the Needy in Bolivia
Project Code: 211-05-39
After Haiti, Bolivia is the poorest country in Latin America. Two thirds of its close to 11 million inhabitants, the great majority of whom belong to the indigenous Indian population, live today in poverty, and 40% of them in what is classed as extreme poverty. Roughly 83% of the population is Catholic.
In the Diocese of Cochabamba, there are more than one and a half million Catholics. They are ministered to by just 130 diocesan and religious priests, leaving a ratio of almost 12,000 Catholic faithful to each priest. The average size of each parish is about 172 square miles, almost double the area of some cities.
In the south of the Diocese of Cochabamba, in the region of Alto Pagador, four nuns belonging to the congregation of the Marian Sisters are engaged in pastoral care. There is great poverty here and high unemployment. Medical provision is extremely basic, and there is no running water and no proper drainage. Many women try to make a living by illegal trading, while the men who do have work toil on building sites or work as taxi drivers. Yet the cost of living is climbing constantly, and even when both husband and wife have work, their income is often still not enough to feed their families. Many families break up as a result of the strain.
Father Marco Verberckt writes: "For over 10 years the Sisters have been devoted, heart, life and soul, to the work of pastoral care in this parish, above all in the Mary of Nazareth Center, where they are the ones mainly responsible for the pastoral work. They care above all for needy children and women and provide a midday meals service for schoolchildren. They are engaged in catechetical work with the children and young people and in guiding and encouraging the various youth groups and the childhood and youth missionary groups."
Two of the Sisters also teach in a local school, but the salary they receive is not enough to cover their basic needs. And so ACN is helping with a contribution of $1,500 to help cover the most basic costs of their life and ministry. Will you join us in supporting these Sisters so that they can continue giving their lives for others in Bolivia? We are sure they will gratefully remember you in their prayers.
This project is an example of our work. Your donation will be attributed either to this or to another similar project that accords with the pastoral needs that ACN witnesses.