It gives me great pleasure to share some of our experiences, dreams sadnesses and joys with you in a spirit of friendship.
13 years ago two “angels ” came to our community: Sister Clare Dawson and Fr Joe Shields.
It was as if we had been born anew and our lives changed completely. They helped us to see that we had a special gift, that we could change our way of life, that we could say NO to violence and YES to Life.
At first I didn’t respond to anything that was said. I felt like a dried-up tree, angry with life and with others.
But Clarita whom I love and respect had great patience with me. The unconditional love that she and the other Sisters of the Cross and Passion are able to give helped us to find Hope .We were able to recognize our own gifts of leadership. Many of us who had not had the opportunity to finish our primary or secondary education did so. Having completed our basic education, we were able to improve our own lives and then finish courses which helped us personally and professionally as well as helping the community.
The Sisters of the Cross and Passion put Life into our lives. Before we met them our lives were like the desert where we live. We had done nothing to improve our situation. There was a lot of violence against children and against women. Now I am proud to belong to one of the groups of women leaders in our community. I tell Clarita, ” You are the water, the air, the earth which I need, which the women and children need ”
Thanks to the encouragement and support we receive, we are now like trees with branches, green leaves and strong roots.
In our area we now have a centre for babies and toddlers, children and adolescents. Many were suffering from anemia or malnutrition when they came to the centre and now they are healthy and well nourished because they get a well- balanced meal and 2 snacks every day. The children who go to school get help with their homework. There are after- school courses in crafts, dancing and English. Parents receive education on nutrition and childcare as well as enjoying aerobics classes.
I thank God for bringing the Sisters of the Cross and Passion into our lives because we still have a great deal to do together.
Aurora is a member of the Passionist Family in the parish of Nuestra Señors de la Paz in VIlla el Salvador, Lima, Peru