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Don Bosco Matadi - Monrovia

Home for the young

Tappita May 2020

The threats of Covid-19 have not even spared the missionary periphery of Tappita, in the Liberian forest. Despite the limitations, the Sons of Don Bosco continued to serve the young and the poor.

The first case of Covid-19 infection in Liberia was announced on March 16 in the capital, Monrovia. To date, the official data show 383 cases of contagion and 31 deaths, even if it is feared that the real data are higher.

Furthermore, many people are not convinced that there is a virus in Liberia, and many things of a different nature are seen. The missionary Fr Riccardo Castellino, stationed in Tappita, says: “From gestures of great generosity and solidarity to the gesture of a group that assaults the center of isolation and frees those in quarantine, celebrating. Reason: the virus is a government ploy to take money and the dead are victims of the evil eye ... Illiteracy and superstition are much worse viruses than COVID-19!"

Pastoral activity has also taken on different rhythms in the mission. The school has been closed since mid-March, the celebrations with people actually present suspended since Palm Sunday in late May; the medical dispensary continued its service, but at a slower pace, as with the closure of schools, many people returned to the villages to work on their land to survive.

However, the community has remained united and alive in different ways. The young people, suitably prepared, have carried out awareness-raising campaigns and educational activities: convincing people of the circumstances, presenting the means for prevention and convincing them to use them.

Various parish groups have put together as much as they have been able to to assist the most needy (elderly, sick, disabled, widows ...). A committee went on to distribute food and sanitary items: rice, oil, handwashing buckets, disinfectants ... The Past Pupils of the St. Francis school have done the same.

Sunday Mass was resumed on May 24, the Feast Day of Mary Help of Christians.

Recently, through the Province, the mission received a subsidy to help the population in an emergency situation. After a careful study of the various cases, each sector of the Mission set itself in motion for a second round of distribution of food and health products to the most needy. And the school also met all the staff, teachers and non-teachers, who were forced to stay at home and with the last salary received in April: they received food, health and a "sachet".

One sector that has not stopped, although it has continued at a slower pace, has been that of "construction works"! The long renovation of the small community house is over. The church is almost completed in its first phase: extension, presbytery and ceiling. And Kindergarten has reached the completion of phase one: foundation and level of the windows.

Fr Castellino concludes: “We look forward with trust and hope. Behind the clouds the sun continues to shine!"





28th August, 2020 by don Nicola Ciarapica





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