The Uniagustiniana of Bogota and ARCORES held the virtual meeting “Responding to the challenge of ending poverty, protecting the planet and generating opportunities for all” to explain some of the projects of the Solidarity Network to fulfill the 2030 Agenda.
Antonio Carrón de la Torre, president of ARCORES International, made it clear that the goal of the network is to move hearts and transform lives and that “it’s not just about doing big things. Many small people, doing small things in small places can transform the world”, a phrase that defines this work with the most disadvantaged and that the guests were able to share with the attendees.
Should the church work on the 2030 Agenda?
Joshtrom Kureethadam, coordinator of Ecology and Creation at the Vatican Dicastery for the Promotion of Integral Human Development. The role that the Church plays is fundamental and was explained by Friar Joshtrom through Laudato si’, an encyclical that invites dialogue between science and religion and proposes to combat the crisis with integral ecology, addressing all its dimensions: natural, human, social, and economic.
The fight against poverty
Ana María Castañada represented ARCORES Venezuela. She shared her experiences with the comprehensive program “United with Venezuela”, which began as an emergency campaign to combat the humanitarian crisis in 2017 and has already been working for five years in nine states of the country through medical care, school canteens, nutrition programs, solidarity pots, and other works to prevent school dropouts that have benefited more than 1,000 people.
Promoting access to healthcare
Vania Acosta Silva, a social worker with ARCORES Brazil, shared the experience of the Santa Monica Polyclinic in Rio de Janeiro, which has more than 17 specialties and serves low-income people living in the favelas, promoting human dignity as a fundamental principle. The project has a medical staff and more than 50 volunteers, and serves nearly 3,000 people a year.
The university and sustainable development
On behalf of ARCORES Colombia and to talk about the role that Uniagustiniana has taken in the fulfillment of the Sustainable Development Goals, the director of Social Projection of the University, Edilberto Lara Pup, presented the initiatives with a social and technological impact that the institution has carried out in recent years, in which dozens of professors have been linked and have addressed the needs of minorities and vulnerable populations such as migrants, street dwellers, street vendors, and inmates.
Cruz Echeverría, OAR, and Yulisa Santana, from ARCORES Dominicana, spoke about their work that seeks to achieve a dignified life for pregnant adolescents within the framework of specialized accompaniment and training, with medical consultations, psychologists, and legal assistance, in addition to family follow-up that addresses the specific needs of each of the beneficiaries.
Sustainability, a common commitment to move forward
“Sustainability must be evaluated with a triple dimension: economic, social, and environmental, and all must work in an integrated manner,” explained Mauricio López, executive director of the Global Compact Colombia, who exemplified the work carried out by the network through its principles based on human rights, labor standards, the environment and the fight against corruption, always thinking of people based on integrity and ethics.
Affordable and clean energy
From ARCORES Philippines, Vincent Cadeliña, OAR, shared the experiences lived in the project “The Solar Dream”, which, through clean energy, serves populations that have been victims of natural disasters. This initiative is benefiting dozens of islanders in the province of Palawan who normally do not have connections to the national energy grid and can be replicated in other countries around the world.
Inclusion of migrants
ARCORES Argentina’s migrant project began two years ago, during the pandemic, explained Nora Burgos. First, a diagnosis was made that identified the precariousness of housing, work, and lack of documentation that prevents access to medical and educational services for them. From then on, ongoing training and counseling were provided to help them achieve successful ventures.
Sustainable housing and community development
The “Tierra Solidaria” project began in 2015 with the supply of drinking water to improve the quality of life of some communities in the Amazon. Today, as Luis Reyes OAR, from ARCORES Brazil, explains, it is in the process that each house of those built has its own bathroom in conditions and a sanitary pit that benefits more than 105 families and 1,000 people. The goal is to complete this basic sanitation for all the homes and organize the residents to give continuity and sustainability to the project, which also seeks to gradually change the participants’ awareness by changing habits.
Habitability and health in rural communities
As an opportunity to live with dignity, ARCORES Peru works with the rural population in the improved kitchens project, which seeks to restructure uncomfortable environments and overcrowding. Work is done in water and hygiene training, home visits are carried out, and help to solve social conflicts is provided, according to Ángel Herrán OAR.
Children and adolescents
Lastly, Lino Iglesias, from ARCORES Spain, explained the plan for protecting minors in educational centers and good treatment in the best interest of the child. The entire educational community is involved in the process of he creation of workshops and awareness-raising to integrate them into the curricula of each educational center.