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The day-care centre “Arca de Noe” (Noah’s Ark) lies in the centre of Jujuy in a neighbourhood where street gangs and drug trafficking are omnipresent. 130 children from the slums can spend the day at “Noah’s Ark”. Their parents often are unable to cope, drug addicts or criminal. Their environment is characterized by garbage, violence and uncertainty. We cannot just change this environment. But with God’s love and together with our dedicated staff we try to give these children and their families a place of refuge and hopefully of healing too.
Most of the children from an age of nine months onwards are brought by their single mothers who often have their first child when they are in still in their teens. They have a difficult past themselves and never got to know a regular family life. Other mothers live together with changing partners or the children’s fathers are in jail. Without education the young mothers must work as domestic servants or street vendors. Their children are often neglected and exposed to sexual abuse.
Sister Vreni who is in charge of the day care centre is supported by long-time staff members and qualified employees. The children are looked after and fostered in age groups. School children attend a public school in the neighbourhood and get tuition and care in the afternoon. It is our great concern to give them a solid foundation so that they can later withstand the temptations of drugs, alcohol and gang crime.
All children get well-balanced nutrition, loving care and education by our staff members who are very creative and have Christian motivation. This can be seen especially when Christmas or the Children’s Day are celebrated. A physician comes twice a week who gives medical treatment for sick children. Every year there are training classes for parents where mothers get advice in educational matters and counselling for their problems. Today the pastoral and practical support for the mothers has become an important part of our work.
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“ Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world. ”
James 1 : 27 | The Bible