The Daughters of Charity have been in Paraguay since 1957.
Their missions are spread across 11 works in the country: children's homes, retirement homes, hospitals, crèches, work promotion, schools and social and religious pastoral care.
In the region of Asunción, their work and mobilisation with the most disadvantaged and vulnerable minors is particularly recognised.
Opposite the "Medalla Milagrosa" home for girls in Asunción, the Daughters of Charity have opened the "Centro Abierto" to take in children who are used to wandering the streets in their free time.
The area is home to large families living in substandard housing, with increased risks of abuse, ill-treatment and neglect for these unsupervised children.
This shelter therefore provides relief to mothers who, because of their work, cannot take care of their children after school, have no help from their families or the means to offer them boarding school.
The Daughters of Charity thus offer children a safe place where they receive healthy food, medical care and special attention for their personal development (motor, emotional, psychological, intellectual, spiritual and academic). This reception concretely limits the drift towards delinquency among these young people.
The "Centro Abierto" serves as a refuge for children at risk aged 4 to 15
Many of these children, who have already been abused, find a safe environment and benefit from therapy sessions provided by professionals.
The Daughters of Charity are committed to helping these children grow through three fundamental pillars: cognitive, physical and social development.
Violence awareness and prevention programmes are also offered to young people and parents in parallel.
Today, Sister Agustina needs resources to cover the costs of renovating the Open Centre's outdoor play area.
The children are no longer able to enjoy it safely, as it has become very dilapidated and even dangerous due to the wear and tear caused by rust and cut iron.
«This outdoor space contributes to the social and personal development of children. They develop a sense of independence and responsibility, learn to be more self-reliant and self-confident. By playing in the playground with their friends, we teach them values such as kindness, honesty, forgiveness and indulgence, respect and tolerance.
We will take advantage of this renovation to adapt the recreation area to all ages. »
40 children attending the Open Centre throughout the week and even at weekends who will benefit from this equipped playground. They are aged between 4 and 15 years old.
5 people are involved in this project:
Agustina Torres, sister in charge full time
Sr. Claudina Yegros, full-time social pastoralist
Julieta Rodas full-time social worker
Margarita Lesme part-time social worker
Norma Chaparro part-time psychologist
« We have had pledges of raw materials (metal) to build the playground and several volunteers have pledged to help us install it. Parents of the children and relatives of the Daughters of Charity have given what they can to help with the project. »
Thanks to your generosity, the financing of this project can be assured in its entirety for the benefit of the young people hosted at the "Centro Abierto".
Thank you for your support
With Them, Thanks to You
My name is Agustina Silvia Torres Aranda, a Daughter of Charity from Paraguay. I have worked for 35 years in primary schools with children from 5 to 12 years old, then in rural missions and in a rehabilitation centre for young drug addicts. I now coordinate the reception centre for children aged 4 to 15 in Asunción with my sisters in the community.