BY SISTER SARA JIMÉNEZ
The following Christmas season letter was submitted by Sr. Sara Jiménez in San Felipé, Peru. It did not arrive in time for previous edition of Providence Pages.
We always wait for gifts at Christmas, we have become accustomed to this. I would like to send a box as a gift with the following letter to the authorities of Peru and to the thousands of businesses, bankers, investors and representatives of the world organizations who decide the destiny of the poor countries.
Peru, 25 of December, 2009
The Universal Declaration of Human Rights indicates that every person has the right to a suitable level of life that guarantees good health and well-being.
Do you know what is the reality in which the Peruvians live?
- 51 % of the population have health problems
- 58 % of the population do not have insurance
- 1 in 5 feel the need of medical attention but do not have it because of lack of money
- 1 in every 5 children suffer from chronic malnutrition
- 185 mothers die for each 100,000 births
- 45% of the Peruvians do not have sanitation services
- 30% do not have drinkable water
- The children of the mountains die from cold
- The natives of the Amazon are treated like “second class citizens”
- Violence and exploitation exist: in the homes, workplaces, and streets
- The youth have few prospects of studying or working
- There is no work, there is exploitation, low salaries, long hours of work, 14 to 16 hours daily
May the Lord unite us in prayer at this feast of the birth of Our Saviour. It is He who will liberate us and fill us with hope and love. Let us give to Jesus, gifts of Love, Peace and Justice for the most needy, let us make a great round of Solidarity. May Hope, Faith and Love fall like snow in the whole world.
A song fills me with hope:
“They come with happiness, singing, Come Lord.”
“The poor always wait for the dawn, for a day more just and without oppression.”
Sister Sara Jiménez
Editor’s Note: The Sisters of Providence established The Marillac Mission Fund in 1978 to help fund programs carried out by Sisters of Providence ministering in Peru.
Thirty years later, the need is greater as evidenced by Sister Sara’s letter. If you’d like to make a contribution to the Fund, please contact Sister Ann Hudec at Providence Motherhouse. Tax receipts are available.
People directly helped by those funds have written poignant letters of thanks to everyone who contributes to the fund. Their artwork and touching words appear below.