PARAGUAY, Adriana Cardozo •
Mother of Tupãrenda House is located in the midst of Route II’s busy traffic in Itauguá. The House has an excellent staff that affectionately and patiently works and is proper in those who love the tasks they do. Ani Souberlich, its director, is the most faithful reflection of this group. They fulfill their mission of “saving” the lives of many youths with total commitment.
Mother of Tupãrenda House is a Project of Socio-educational Re-integration and Personal Development aimed at teens between the ages of 16-18, who have been deprived of freedom. The main objective is to strengthen the person through personal, group, and spiritual training along with training for the work world. The project lasts for a maximum of nine months and every participant achieving the goals (punctuality, regular attendance, training, etc.) receives a scholarship of 1,100.000 Gs (Guaranis, $195USD) as if they were in a paying job.
The project has already had its first graduates, and at present, there are twenty-three teens that are continuing in the program, which includes: Admission – Adaptation – Training – Work Training and Mentoring.
A day in the life of the young men at Mother of Tupãrenda House
The schedule begins at 8:00 am. Many arrive earlier, because they do not have a fixed place to sleep or they do not want to be at home. They are banking on a better life.
Once inside, they excitedly participate in a round table where each one tells what the end of their previous day was like. They have breakfast in a clean dining room, apparently with an appetite of having not had anything for hours. After this first meal, they go to carry out their activities.
Currently the program has three training areas: Social skills, Gardening, and Bakery. A few weeks ago, an area of Sewing and Embroidery of t-shirts was added, which will provide more opportunities to access jobs.
In Social Skills, they teach them basic rules and fundamentals of living. In Gardening, they are trained in the management of gardens, and in the Bakery area, they learn the preparation of sweet and salty breads with an objective of specializing in the profession.
At 10 am they have mid-morning break, and at 12:00 pm they have lunch. At 1:00 pm, they resume their activities, which include personal hygiene at 2:30, taking into account that many of them only have this kind of access at the House.
The daily schedule includes training and an activity: catechesis, guitar, sports…
On Tuesday afternoon they have catechesis, which ends with a Mass in the Shrine celebrated by Fr. Pedro Kühlcke. The guitar class on Wednesdays is a success, thanks to the teacher who gives them a love for music. There is always a desire to participate in sports on Thursdays. At other times, a psychologist, social worker attend them, or they talk with a lawyer about their legal situation.
The committed team also works toward the youths resuming their studies, and that they wisely invest the money they received as a scholarship.
The reality is striking, since the majority of those who come to the Mother of Tupãrenda come consuming some substance, thus, they are taken to an Addiction Center twice a month.
A sad, common thread: no family or familial abuse
Ani Souberlich emphasized that the youths who come to the House have similar characteristics: the majority of them do not have a family; they were abandoned not only by the father, but also by the mother; they are abused by their parents or they lived with a grandmother who died and they were left alone.
Among many cases, Ani recalls one in particular: “One day talking with “Pepito” (fictitious name) I asked him why he took drugs. He answered that when he was 8 years old, he saw his own mother murder his 3 year-old sister. I asked him if he would like to visit his little sister, and with tears streaming, he explained that he did not know where she was buried. He told me that his mother was in Buen Pastor (Good Shepherd, a women’s prison) and he, must randomly choose which plaza or place he will sleep that night, when he leaves the House. However on the other hand, we have the satisfaction of seeing the boys who are improving; it makes us feel that the work we are doing is worthwhile.
Real contributions generate a new life for youths
The Mother of Tupãrenda House, which is one year-old, receives monthly help from the Ministry of Justice and Labor to pay for scholarships and other expenses. Moreover it is sustained with self-management from the bakery; fairs are carried out, and they receive donations. In a nutshell, everything possible is done so that this project can continue to operate, and it can mean a new life for these young men.
For those who want to help economically, simply pressing this solidarity button can do this. It is possible with a credit card, PayPal, and in SEPA with a bank transfer.
What if YOU would be the first person ever from the english speaking countries to show a little bit of solidartiy in giving?
Fundaprova, Account: 102792992, Sudameris Bank SAECA, BIC/SWIFT BSUDPYPXXXX, RUC80079669-1
Schönstatt-Patres International e. V., IBAN: DE91 4006 0265 0003 1616 26, BIC/SWIFT GENODEM1DKM, Intended use: Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, Casa Madre de Tupãrenda
Original: Spanish. 16 October 2017, Translation: Celina M. Garza, San Antonio, TX USA. Edited: Melissa Peña-Janknegt, Elgin, TX USA