Aid reaches 200,000 families as Chile marks one month after earthquake
29 March 2010
Essential aid from Caritas has reached 200,000 families in Chile one month after a major earthquake struck. The 8.8-magnitude tremor hit 27 February near Concepción, causing a destructive tsunami, and affecting two million people. Caritas has helped with food and other items such as beds, clothes, medicine and shelter material.
A camp that receives Cartitas aid in the sector 10 region of Talca. Talca is one of the major cities hit hard by the February 27th 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile.
“Our people are rising from their grief. They are a courageous, tenacious and an honorable people,” said Fr. Rodrigo Tupper, President of Caritas Santiago, during a visit to affected villages.
Of the many initiatives, Caritas is supporting 30 comics to perform in the worst-hit communities. The project is called the “good humour caravan” and aims to help the victims, and most of all traumatized children.
“Our brothers need to be able to laugh again and by helping them to do this, we are supporting them. It is a service to the dignity of these people”, said Bishop Manuel Camilo Vial of Temuco.
Caritas Argentina is supporting a special sports event, bringing together some of the continent’s most famous soccer stars, in particular the captain of Chile’s national team Iván Zamorano, in a charity match on March 29.
Tickets for the game “Everybody for Chile” in Buenos Aires will be payable in flour, rice, sugar, powder milk or financial donations. The game will be broadcast all over Latin America and benefit Villa Prat, a village of 2500 people which has suffered major damage.
The first Caritas distributions were carried out with the help of local parishes, despite half of all churches in Chile being damaged in the quake and the tsunami.
"It is moving how the Church, although it has been seriously affected since many of its buildings and churches collapsed, stands up and remains hopeful,” said Lorenzo Figueroa, Director of Caritas Chile.
Caritas launched an appeal for US$8.8 million (6.5 million euro) to provide survivors with food, hygiene and shelter to cover people’s basic needs.
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