PARAGUAY, CMT educators: Lourdes, Victor, Magdalena, Rosi Minerva, Alicia and Ricardo Acosta •
The coronavirus pandemic turned the life style of people around the world upside down and the House Mother of Tuparenda (CMT) was no exception, since it also had to stop its activities, with the great challenges that this implied in the process that we had been working with each participant. —
The life in confinement of the participants and their families, as for any person, needed a reinvention to face the consequences of the pandemic. For many, it meant losing their jobs or not being able to go out on a daily basis, i.e. not bringing bread to the table for their children and siblings.
The relief program did its part with food supplies, since it could not give away the daily food that participants received during the day at CMT.
The great effort of the educators in the program was to stay connected with the participants and pass on routines to them to develop in their respective homes and with their families.
The first week of May the program staff returned and a few days later some adult participants joined the program, which was very favorable to implement all the health requirements of the lifestyle demanded by COVID-19.
And when would we return?
When we called the kids on the phone to follow up on jobs remotely, they always asked: “When are we coming back to CMT? Ndavy’a vei ma, ahasetereima CMTpe” (I can’t bear myself anymore, I want to go back to CMT so much).
After three long months, the big day arrived and we were finally able to tell the young men what they had been waiting for: From tomorrow on, they can return to CMT!
The announcement was very pleasant for all of us who work for the program and for the benefactors, when the presidential decree was published for phase 3 of the intelligent quarantine, which in one of its sections enables, from June 15, the formation and work of the minors dependent on the Ministry of Labor. It was undoubtedly good news that would brighten up many lives. When the educators communicated the news to each of the minors, the answers were in unison of gratitude.
Testimony of participant 1: “Avy’aitereí profe! (I am very happy) I did not want to be at home anymore”. He got up at 3:30 a.m. to leave Villeta and arrive in Itauguá at 7:30 a.m. Because of the anxiety that this would be the first day back, he woke up an hour earlier, but he didn’t mind being a little sleepy, since he could already go back to CMT.
Testimony of participant 2: “Thank you, Lord Jesus!, finally!”, he commented when he received the news.
COVID Mode On, a Must
This new way of living changed many things in the daily life of the CMT boys. First of all, we had to respect the quarantine, because it was a demand and not a simple advice. The COVID-19 was a real danger for everyone, since every day they traveled from different cities by bus, even though we were extremely careful. The demand for quarantine, stay at home, was an unpleasant surprise, but we adapted, we looked for alternatives to work remotely, the team did not give up and the children made the effort to try to accomplish the tasks and demands daily, they tried to keep in touch and they were counting the days to return to the only place where they really feel free and with that so necessary containment.
At last, we came back with a harsh intelligent quarantine, with cut down resources, but with the same will to work and that unique joy of theirs, because the kids said it: united we are stronger.
Testimony of participant 3: “I am happy to return to the place where I feel important and loved; where I really am myself and do what I like, work in the bakery, and have a goal: my internship in a supermarket bakery”.
Testimony of participant 4: “From one day to the next we stopped coming, I couldn’t even go out to the corner, I felt alone and sad, I thought about “macanadas” (crazy ideas), but then I remembered CMT, how good it is to eat there, my teachers and I got the strength to continue, because I want to complete my program. When they called me back for being old enough, I was too excited, because I was going back to the place where I am happy.
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Name: Schönstatt-Patres International e. V.
IBAN: DE91 4006 0265 0003 1616 26
Reason for Transfer: Fr. Pedro Kühlcke, Casa Madre de Tupãrenda
Original: Spanish 2020-06-18. Translated by María Aragón, Monterrey, México