The missions of the Augustinian Recollects in Brazil and Sierra Leone have provided physical space for the sick and the health workers and are helping the most affected families.
The coronavirus pandemic is reaching the poorest areas of the planet. In some of these places, the missions of the Augustinian Recollects are carrying out a social and evangelizing work that is now marked by the COVID-19. For this reason, the missionaries have ceded two buildings of their property in Breves and Freetown for those infected with the coronavirus and for the health workers who attend to them in these places. They have also reinforced their care for the needy with campaigns to help families who have been particularly affected by the confinement measures.
In the region of Pará – in the north of Brazil – the religious have offered the Tagaste Centre to the authorities in Breves to house the health workers who are fighting COVID-19 in the area’s hospitals and who must comply with preventive isolation. In this way, the health workers will be able to rest without having to go home after their daily work shifts, thus avoiding possible contagion to their families. The space will house around 60 workers. The site will be disinfected and fumigated to ensure the health of the agents.
For its part, the Augustinian Recollect Mission in Sierra Leone has ceded its BawBaw facility on Peninsular Road (Freetown) to be a quarantine center for suspected or mildly positive cases of the Filipino community in the country. The facilities were requested by the Honorary Consul of the Philippines in Sierra Leone and will be upgraded according to the requirements set by the Ministry of Health of Sierra Leone.
The loan of this space has not been the only action of the Augustinian Recollect missionaries against the coronavirus in Sierra Leone. The religious present in the missions of Kamabai and Kamalo have distributed food packages for 10-15 days to approximately 1,220 families of the teaching and non-teaching personnel and students of the educational centers of St Paul of Kamalo and St Thomas of Kamabai. The planned investment in this food assistance programme is 18,000 euros, of which ARCORES International has already contributed a quarter.
Much of the population of Kamalo and Kamabai is already in need due to lack of work due to confinement and water shortages. In this regard, the Augustinian Recollect School of Kamalo has requested the local authorities to open its doors so that the population can enter to collect water from the well in the center. Thanks to this well, hundreds of families now have drinking water. They are also handing out masks made by hand.