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Water for everybody! The force of hope

April 11, 2020

3 years ago, in a small municipality within the immense map of Venezuela. A small hope arose to recover the water that would support the life and health of 4 sectors that were over 6 years old and did not see the precious liquid running through their pipes.

This desire led the Hijas de Jesús Community, which has lived inserted in these sectors for 19 years, to initiate the first dialogues with the María Alejandra Community Council and, in turn, made the first contacts with a Spanish Energy and Water Agency that finances projects in vulnerable communities.

Likewise, the first dialogues and community assemblies were held to propose said project and decide together if we were willing to take on the challenge and all that this would entail for us of work and service to the community. Many people were encouraged, the community council offered the land to build the well and the entire community was willing to collaborate with labor.

Until there everything seemed very easy and we almost touched with our hands the jet of water that would come out in our houses. But, no dream comes true without first strengthening faith, hope, will and brotherhood. And difficulties began to arise. The land offered by the communal council was invaded by a family who refused to leave it; the legal process that had to be carried out implied the involvement of the communal council and the latter was not willing to do it. The times of the Agency were exhausted and it was not possible to fulfill the requirements that they requested and therefore the project was aborted.  

However, a small group remained, a “remnant” who never lost hope and who in active silence continued to dream life for all the sectors that make up this community accompanied by the Early Childhood Ministry and the FASFI Foundation. And when someone approached the neighborhood or a volunteer came to know this little Kingdom of God, the subject of water spontaneously arose either because there was no or because the miracle of its appearance in a tanker truck playing deafening horns and snatching from hands the few royals the family had to eat.

Many of those who were witnesses offered their help and we always asked for valves so that when we could see the water we could make a fairer distribution of it. Because some found it and covered it in their houses, denying them their free movement.

And time passed, our reality worsened and each one settled for their individual solutions, until the PPI leaders did the RTS and then came the proposal for CHALLENGE COUNTRY.

In the exercises carried out with the leaders of the Pastoral, the artisans, the mothers of the dining room and the sponsored youth, the Water emerged again as our great community need; Once again, the desire to organize ourselves to find a solution and discover that we were also part of the problem emerged. That we could not continue looking for those responsible for our daily calamities. And that it was time to join looking for solutions, to be able to demand with coherence; public policies that truly seek more dignified lives for ALL and not settle for being null followers in our wealth as citizens.

In this process, FUNDET visited our FASFI project of Comprehensive Accompaniment and Training for Families. They were impressed by the level of commitment of our community leaders and proposed to expand the nutritional canteen to 400 children. We explained to him that we did not have the logistical or human capacity to undertake such a project and we suggested that they support us in solving the water problem.

After a month they answered that they would support the community with the water solution. We began again the dialogues with the various communal councils, and the economic means and the wills began to unite to overcome the problem by weakening individualism.

A community council did not want to participate, at first, but since an assembly was held open to all the communities and neighbors of that sector they joined, the community leaders later also joined, because without intending it the community exercised the true communal power that is PARTICIPATE, not allow anyone to make us invisible. And so with authority before its leaders, it exerted positive pressure and forced them to commit themselves to the search for good without partisan mediation.

The first proposal was still to build a well in the María Alejandra sector, the land was purchased next to the PPI nutritional dining room. Then the technicians said that there was not enough water table in María Alejandra to pump the water for 4 communities and negotiations began with Hidrolagos to enable the old well that provided water to the community and that due to lack of maintenance it had deteriorated and had more than 6 years that did not pump water to the communities. Hidrolagos was willing to work with the company hired by FUNDET to carry out the project, but could not make the decision without the approval of the Mayor. In our first dialogue with him, the mayor gave a negative response to that option. However, we continued the dialogues and seeking the mediation of the person in charge of the Parish Cristo Rey P. Carlos Sánchez, a new meeting was held with the Mayor and he agreed to sign the permit for Hidrolago to allow the intervention of PEGASUS, a private well company.

So, once the last obstacle was overcome, all the subjects involved began the task. FUNDET gave the resources, HIDROLAGO and PEGASUS began the recovery of well 12 and the maintenance of well 19, the 4 communal councils and the Christian community represented by the Daughters of Jesus and the FASFI projects we started new assemblies with the entire community to design the route of the water and the points where the valves would be placed so that the water reached all the homes.

While we were in this process, we were surprised by the worldwide warning of the Coronavirus as a Pandemic and aware that this virus is more dangerous without water, we decided to continue working, for today we have the great joy of hearing the voices of joy throughout our streets… WATER CAME TO US!!!!… THANKS GOD FOR GIVING US LIFE!!!!

But this is not the end. We still have a lot of homework ahead of us. Now the training and awareness phase continues to take care and purify the water. To encourage and continue caring for the true life that makes us the temple of the Spirit and that Jesus continues to pour into each heart, assuring us that He is the RESURRECTION AND THE LIFE !!



Hna. Matilde Polanco Álvarez FI
Villa del Rosario – Venezuela