PARAGUAY, Ani Souberlich •
“At the end of the month, the first three young men graduated, who, upon their release, voluntarily enrolled in the re-integration program that the Ministry of Justice offers in covenant with the Foundation to Promote Values and the Prevention of Violence (Fundaprova -Spanish Acronym)”. This is how a long article about the first graduates of the Mother of Tupãrenda House begins in La Nación newspaper. “The program of re-integration for youths, who have had some conflict with the law in the past, can accommodate up to twenty boys interested in learning baking or horticultural trades. They are paid for this work, they receive a bonus that allows them to take course to broaden their abilities and knowledge with the objective of their finding better jobs.”
“This social investment that the government makes is made so Paraguayan youths may have an opportunity that we are giving them as a society. It is an opportunity to instill values and teach skills for their insertion into the work force so that they will feel productive for themselves and to society.” Minister Martinez pointed out on 1 June, when he participated in the celebration of the first three graduates – who now, a month after leaving Mother of Tupãrenda House, are in the midst of the process of working.
“Give me your weaknesses, give me your sins. I forgive everything. Jesus forgives everything, he always forgives,” Pope Francis said in his homily during the morning Mass on 7 July, celebrated for the Workers of the Vatican Industrial Center. That is what I was going to say to these three youths and all those who are in Mother of Tupãrenda House. “This is our consolation and our hope: that he always forgives. He always, always heals the soul. This is our consolation that Jesus has come for me to give me strength, to help me be happy, and to have a conscience at peace. Do not be afraid. In difficult times when one feels the weight of so many things we have done, Jesus loves me because he is that way.”
In Mother of Tupãrenda House, Jesus is disguised as a Fr. Pedro, a Ricardo, an Ani, Cristy, Ana Maria, or Gisela to say that to these youths. And yes, also as the people who open their hearts and their pocketbooks that makes the work at Mother of Tupãrenda House possible.
A covenant celebration with Javier, Gustavo and Guido
On that 1 June, the Mother of Tupãrenda House was adorned to celebrate the first three participants concluding nine months of its Socio-educational Project of Social Re-integration and Personal Development.
Finally the long desired and anticipated day arrived for everyone who accompanied these young men day by day in their growth – the first ones to finish the Project within the stipulated time. The first ones to show us that a change is possible if they have the opportunity, if they can count on the support and help of people who keep betting on the good that is within each one of them.
It was really a joy to have the presence of the authorities from the Ministry of Justice, Fundaprova, the German Embassy, and SNPP de Itauguá, as well as other entities that are involved in the area that supports this house from its beginnings.
Photo: the Minister of Justice congratulating the graduates
With perseverance and consistency
Javier, Gustavo, and Guido – the first, who with effort, but above all with perseverance and consistency, reached the goal throughout these nine months.
This graduation was so important for them that they dressed up in a suit and tie, since the step they were taking “was like taking off the old man and putting on the new man”. Three youths, who have had difficult lives, who have known jail, drugs, who have traveled a dark road, and today with actual deeds, they have shown us, on behalf of all the youths to come, that in life, one only needs an opportunity. Like I always say: many of us had that opportunity, but they didn’t. Throughout these nine months “they have trained” for life, a life that they did not know: with goals, with dreams, with hope, with responsibilities, and with a prognosis for a better future for themselves and their families.
In the midst of work…
Since Monday, 5 June, the three began their internship in the bakery department of different supermarkets, we are grateful to these businesses for their openness and support of receiving our graduates as interns. At the beginning, they just were going to “pack” the bakery items, but when they saw their certificates and the baking knowledge that they had, they placed them directly into production.
An official designated by CMT will follow them closely and will “monitor” their attendance, their punctuality, and their responsibility so that the young men and the business that receives them do not feel alone. We will keep track of their accomplishments and progress in the daily struggle.
Everyday we verify that the Mother of Tupãrenda House belongs to Mary, and as Queen and Lady, she takes care of every small detail. We can hear her repeating, “They have no wine,” and then water is quickly changed: into clothes, milk, medicine, flour, and shortening. It turns into what we need in order to continue to instruct youths in different areas so that they do not lose confidence in a new life that awaits them after the nine months at CMT.
We keep betting on these young men with great hope, and we are grateful for all the support you can offer, be it materially or spiritually, everything adds up, nothing is too much!
Photo: Representative of the German Embassy
A pleasant visitor
On 13 June, Mother of Tupãrenda House had a pleasant visitor: “Guido told us that he is working very well at the supermarket. His face was radiant, no one would think of where he came from, what he had lived through, or suffered.
He joyfully and proudly wore a small Pope Francis cross around his neck, which the priest blessed, the one who had given it to him on the day of Baptisms, First Communions and Confirmations at Mother of Tupãrenda House.
A photo to send to Pope Francis…
TO DONATE – it only takes a single click here (credit card, PayPal, in Europe also bank transfer)
To donate offline:
Account in Paraguay:
Fundaprova, Account: 102792992, Sudameris Bank SAECA, BIC BSUDPYPXXXX, RUC80079669-1
Account in Europe (transfers within SEPA zone are free)
Schönstatt-Patres International e. V., IBAN: DE91 4006 0265 0003 1616 26, BIC/SWIFT GENODEM1DKM, Intended Use: Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, Mother of Tupãrenda House
Original: Spanish. 9 July 2017. Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA