ARGENTINA, Juan Diego Stellatelli / María Fischer •
The Casa del Niño in Florencio Varela recently received a donation of around €60 from Germany… in the middle of the summer season in the southern hemisphere. And the question arose spontaneously: What do our 300 children do during the very long summer vacation? We know that there is no school. We know that the families in this desperately poor district can’t go on vacation by the sea. Is the Casa del Niño actually open? Is there a program? There is. —
In January and February, the Casa del Niño is run like a summer camp. Water games outside and play activities, crafts, painting and lots of fun inside to avoid the hottest times of the day.
“We are delighted that the pools have been reinstalled after several years thanks to the cooperative, which is helping us out. This helps to ensure that the children want to go to the Casa even in the sweltering heat of summer,” says Gabriela Sarquis, from the Board of Directors. When they come to the Casa, they are not on the street. That’s what it’s all about.
“The happy faces of the children are the best gift,” says Juan Diego Stellatelli, chairman of the board, showing photos of children playing in the two small pools. “There are always helping hands!”
School supervision will resume on February 15 to prepare the children for the start of classes at the beginning of March.
The Casa del Niño Padre José Kentenich is a day care center for children aged 4 to 13 in the San Nicolás district of Florencio Varela, a neighborhood with high levels of poverty and street crime. In this home, the children are to grow up in a healthy environment characterized by love, trust and, above all, hope. The 300 children, who are housed in two shifts, learn for school and their lives so that they can find their way in a healthy way, away from the dangers of the streets. The Casa del Niño is located in the immediate vicinity of the grounds of the Schoenstatt Fathers, who are also the sponsors of this social project.
Original: Spanish. Translation: Maria Fischer @schoenstatt.org