- The prior general of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects calls for fast aid to Venezuela
31-07-2017 Rome, Italy.
Last July 29th, Miguel Miro, prior general of the Order of the Augustinian Recollects, by is protocolized letter 163/2017, asked to the whole Augustinian Recollect Family an special effort to help the Venezuelan people, united by huge and strong roots to this religious Family. It is time to improve this union with a big signal of solidarity. This is the complete text of the letter.
As we all know the situation in Venezuela is getting worse everyday with no solution in sight to the oppression, conflict and deprivation being suffered by the people. We understand the pain this is causing them and we, the Augustinian Recollects, want to express our closeness and readiness to help the Venezuelan people in the best way we can.

Last May 5 I wrote a circular addressed to the entire Augustinian Recollect Family in which I asked for prayers for Venezuela and expressed our availability and fraternal support to our religious assigned there. We also expressed our solidarity with all those who work in Venezuela for freedom, justice and peace (see Prot. CG 101/2017). The provincial priors of the provinces of Saint Joseph and Saint Thomas of Vilanova recently visited Venezuela and reported how the people are struggling for the most basic necessities:

1. From Venezuela

The Provincial vicars of the two provinces, namely, Frs. Eddy Omar Polo and José Gabriel Rodríguez, wrote a message on July 3 to the Augustinian Recollect Family in which they explain the harsh reality now prevailing in Venezuela: "There is the great difficulty in acquiring basic food and medicines. Under nourishment of children is now common, whole families scavenge on trash for possible food. And alarming is the number of people who die for lack of medicines. The impoverishment of our people is scandalous. The skyrocketing inflation up to three figures is devouring the little that any honest worker earns."

On July 15, the two provincial vicars sent a letter to the Prior General in which, after thanking the prayers and support of the entire Augustinian Recollect Family, they presented a plan of solidarity aid. To organize this plan and seek its effectiveness, an ARCORES team will be created in Venezuela. This team will count on dedicated lay people for this service, and will be coordinated by Eddy Omar Polo, Provincial Vicar of Saint Joseph, who will have the support of José Gabriel Rodríguez, Vicar Provincial of Saint Thomas of Vilanova. Taking into account the impossibility of adequately attending to all the projects in progress, it is necessary to have lay personnel who will promote and take care of the social initiatives.

The General Council, at its meeting on July 24, has approved to cover the human and material resources for a year, according to the presented budget, to ARCORES in Venezuela started, so that all the economic aid received will be spent in full to the needs determined by the team. This team will periodically report on the disbursements of the donations and their beneficiaries.

2. Social Outreach

In addition to possible new initiatives, it is desired to continue those existing in the various ministries of the Augustinian Recollect family (Augustinian Recollects, Augustinian Recollects of the Heart of Jesus and Augustinian Recollect Missionaries). We highlight the following:

- Feeding Center maintained by the ARCJ for more than 500 people a day in Los Teques.

- Community center in San Judas (Caracas).

- Clinic in San Judas (Caracas).

- Feeding Center in San Judas (Caracas).

- Medical and Feeding Outreach in Tamare (Zulia).

- Feeding Center of Palmira for 80 people a day. (Tachira).

- Feeding and Medicine distribution in Barquisimeto (Lara).

- Feeding Center in the Parish of Our Lady of Guadalupe (Caracas).

- Sponsorship of Children by Haren Alde. In Maracaibo it is necessary to increase the number of children from 15 to at least 50.

3. Call for partnership

— I call on the solidarity heart of the Augustinian Recollect Family so that we can extend help from all levels.

— I ask for institutional help: from the provinces of the Order, vicariates, delegations.

— I ask our communities, parishes, educational centers, lay fraternities and Recollect Augustinian Youth (RAY) groups to promote prayer and solidarity campaigns with Venezuela.

— I ask ARCORES, International Solidarity Network of the Augustinian Recollects, to encourage and coordinate solidarity aid.

4. How to collaborate

Because of the circumstances in which Venezuela is into, it is very difficult to send food, medicine and money. Those who wish to donate financial assistance can do so in two ways:

1. Bring it to provincial or vicariate curias, and they will be channeling the aid.

2. Depositing the amount in one of the following two accounts:

• Account in EUROS (€): SOS ARCORES VENEZUELA (Branch in Madrid of Banco Sabadell). The account number is: IBAN: ES88 0081 0640 6800 0216 8519 SWIFT- BIC: BSABESBBXXX

USD DOLLAR Account ($): SOS ARCORES VENEZUELA (Branch in Madrid of Banco Sabadell). The account number is: IBAN: ES19 0081 0640 6700 7199 0313 SWIFT- BIC: BSABESBBXXX

5. Let us not be robbed of hope

The confreres in Venezuela count on the prayer and support of the entire Order. We ask them in to trust the Lord, to walk with the people looking towards the future and not to let them be robbed of hope (EG 86). Hope is put into practice in prayer, let us all pray that the Lord, in his mercy, will grant this beloved people of Venezuela once again a life in freedom and strength to work for justice and peace. Let us not be robbed of hope.

Rome, July 29, 2017.

© HAREN ALDE - In benefits of those in need. NGO of the Order of Agustinian Recollects. General Dávila, 5, bajo D. 28003 - Madrid, Spain. Phone and fax: 915 333 959. NIF: G-31422793. Registered in the National Association Register with the number 115.324. Declared of Public Use in July 17, 2000.
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