Combating Social Exclusion in Chile

This semester I have been busy with a new project of a library and open center for children and youth. It has involved building cupboards, protections for windows, getting books and encyclopedias, etc also computers which I hope to have installed soon, getting people to help out, doing propaganda for the center which by the way is called St. Patrick’s Center. Its aim is to give an opportunity to the children and youth here to advance in their studies by providing access to books, computers etc which their peers have in the town nearby. I think it should be a means in the future to avoid that the children and youth here will be excluded later on in life. It is slow work as it is hard to get workmen people to help and take responsibility. Keep this in your prayers as it is just taking off and we are learning by degrees.

I was interviewing a lady from here on social exclusion and decided to send to you what she said.

1. How people experience exclusion in the society or village where they live.

“I see it as an injustice the fact that people exclude me. The people don’t take the time or the bother to hear my story and my point of view but form their opinions from what they hear and on that basis exclude me.”

2. This lady says she doesn’t participate in anything in the village except school meetings for her children, which are obligatory. Any richness she could have contributed to the area has been stifled by the exclusion she feels and receives.

3. Name a few actions that you have done to help people reach their potential.

The lady says that we as Passionist sisters have not excluded her but we have listened to her story, have helped her and given her strength to go forward.

4.What would help you and your people to be part of a construction of a more inclusive society.

If people were more united. If they would be interested in helping the rest of the community as a whole. If they would organize activates for the youth and get them to participate.

Affectionately,

Ann Langan, C.P.