MISEVI Missionary in Angola: No One Finishes Their Soup if the Person Next to Them Hasn’t Eaten

by | Jun 23, 2020 | News, Vincentian Lay Missionaries

In Angola, where two out of three people rely on the informal economy for their livelihood, the impact of the coronavirus is not so much medical as it is economic. That’s why the Lay Vincentian Missionaries currently have three members in the country, helping respond to old and new challenges.

MISEVI Missionary in Angola
“With Manos Unidas, we are developing a project to serve 150 vulnerable families, with whom we usually work. They are part of our initiatives and projects. Among them are women in promotion centers, children in child care centers, people dealing with mental health issues, and young people in leadership formation programs.”

Virginia Alfaro, who has been working in Lobito, in the province of Benguela since 2016, says the number of registered COVID-19 cases in Angola is much lower than initially expected. Since the epidemic began, under 90 total cases have been recorded in the country.

Despite this relatively low number, many people are feeling the spillover effects of lockdowns and social distancing. Especially hard-hit are wage laborers and people working in the informal economy, which is why local communities have stepped up their efforts to help one another, not letting themselves fall into despair.

MISEVI Missionary in Angola
“No one finishes their soup if they know the person next to them hasn’t eaten all day. That is one example of the sense of community that characterizes life in Africa, and in Angola specifically. They are not huge initiatives. Instead, each person gives what he or she has. This generosity is normal, but in this time of emergency, I think it becomes even more apparent.”

Alfaro explains that MISEVI will also be providing notebooks and pencils to students when they return to school, hopefully by early August. She says the emergency presents an opportunity to put social justice and solidarity into practice.

MISEVI Missionary in Angola
“We have also received much help from outside sources, from the Church in Spain, through ‘Manos Unidas’ and from many individuals. The virus may be the same for everyone, but the way people face its consequences changes completely from one reality to another.”

The Lay Vincentian Missionaries have also launched a campaign to raise money to help vulnerable communities in Angola. Contributions of any amount can be made on their website: www.misevi.es

Source: https://www.romereports.com/