[Province of Madrid – Santa Luisa] The community of Daughters of Charity of Saint Vincent de Paul of Lorca, currently formed by 6 Sisters, works in a disadvantaged neighborhood of the city, known as San Pedro, and its main mission is to work for prevention, promotion, and social insertion. All this is with a commitment to justice and rights of people impoverished and excluded from society. Their mission and apostolate reaches to Cañada Morales, where they serve families, mainly gypsy, with the aim of contributing to the socio-educational and labor insertion of women. Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday a Sister goes by car to give Spanish classes and a sewing workshop. In addition, she brings them clothes and food.
“The Lorca people help us a lot with the work we do”, explains Sr. Teresa, the Superior. We even receive help from other places where Sisters have been previously. We also have the Miraculous Medal Association to promote devotion to Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal. A wooden chapel contains an image of the Our Lady which is carried on visits to peoples’ homes. In addition, Sisters teach catechetics in the parish of Our Lady of Carmen of Lorca. “Catechesis is like extending the arms of charity among people,” Sisters explain. The community has two social projects:
Alternative to the street (ALCA)
In 1999, the “ALCA” project began, which continues to this day. It arose after the Sisters realized that many children from San Pedro neighborhood spent their time outside the school on the street, as their parents were working in the fields and they were left alone.
One hundred children, between 3-16 years old, attend from 4:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m., at the Sisters’ house. Children stay until their parents return from work. This after-school accompaniment helps them to overcome any problems they may encounter on a day-to-day basis or in their family and social environment. With this project, Sisters intend to improve the quality of life, especially of children and adolescents, by promoting a socio-educational environment for youth. They enable their promotion and work on the prevention of risk factors implicit in their environment. Most of the youth who attend are immigrants or of gypsy ethnicity, from families with scarce economic resources.
The RENACER (Reborn) Project
The other project, “Renacer”, it is aimed at young disadvantaged women between 16 and 22 years old, in a situation of exclusion, risk or conflict. They intend to facilitate a meeting place in which they can have some formation and thus transform their reality.
Each morning a group of about twelve girls come to learn to sew or read, although they also have several training courses such as health, proper food handling, and a cooking course. All this aims to promote them and try to move forward in acquisition of social skills, academic updating and learning a trade with the aim of changing their reality.
In addition, they receive awareness workshops related to sustainable consumption, with which they can address life issues.